Like what Elon Musk says, anyone can build a presentation and make it look sexy. What sets you apart from dreamers is bringing it to life, making your concept design and sketches REAL - into 3-dimensional objects or a digital wireframe for your software or app.
When developing a product, we suggest prototyping them first. Even if it was just a basic, partly functional one. You’d rather spend i.e. 10 hours building one to streamline your product development process than spending 60 hours head-first without a clear direction of how it would be done.
Your idea that may work perfectly in theory, may not practically. Building your prototype brings you clarity on how it can be possibly built, how it can’t be and its process. You just will never know until you begin! And because you want to test your product’s main functionalities, prototyping takes away unnecessary decisions you need to make (like what color the background of your app should be, or adding an extra design to your machine) and helps you focus on what makes your product effective and unique.
Prototypes of products can be done in many different ways - whatever will help your product be as close to real as possible. In prototyping software products, you can use tools like Figma or Adobe XD to start designing what your app can look like for example. Hardware products are a bit harder to prototype, but learn and explore what you can about different materials, ways of mechanics and more.
Prototyping is the time to test all calculated possibilities of how you can maximize the impact of your product, in the best and most sustainable ways! Depending on what your product is, for hardware, you can test different materials like metals or plastics. For software, try different API’s and app integrations that serve your product’s effectiveness best.
Say you want to build a go-kart that goes double times faster with specific sized gears - but haven’t tested it. Before you spend much effort and countless hours looking for manufacturers, finalizing its sizes, going back and forth on shipping - prototyping saves you time and money by testing with materials or platforms that are more easily accessible. For example, these gears could be 3D-printed first so you can finalize on the sizings and print/test as much as you need. For software products, prototyping different designs on Figma and finalizing them will help you save hours on hard-coding different styles.
It’s true, anyone can come up with crazy ideas and make beautiful presentations. But if you’re looking for support and especially even investors, you need something to show - to help them better visualize your purpose! Having a prototype also helps you get validation and feedback from your friends and family and your target audience - see what they like or don’t like about it, and how you can make it even GREATER.
Prototyping is a fundamental part of developing products, it adds grease and ease to your development process! By testing functionalities, design, materials with different tools and resources, you are saving your team time and money on planning and developing, while getting validation and feedback to continuously improve your product.