by Leon Rosenshein


So what's the difference between a POC and an MVP? Let's start with definitions. POC is proof of concept, while MVP is minimum viable product. A POC is something you show your boss or PM to demonstrate that something is possible, while an MVP is something the business team thinks should be put in front of customers.

A POC could be lots of things. It could be a technology demonstrator. It could be re-running a log with a new model, or it could be doing A/B testing with FLAGR. The important thing to remember is that the goal of a POC is to prove that something works or at least  has the potential to.

An MVP, on the other hand, is a product. It's fully supported. It has monitoring and alerting. It has a deployment process, a scale up/out plan, on-call support, and an SLO/SLA

The trick is to keep them separate. There's always a push to turn a POC into an MVP. After all, you got something that works, how hard can it be to give it to customers? It turns out that it can be very hard, but there are things you can do to make it easier.

The first thing is to make your POC less. The less it looks like and MVP the less pressure you'll get to release it. CLIs are great ways to drive a POC and make it clear that it's not a product.

The other thing to do is to think about what you really need to do to turn your POC into a product. You shouldn't do them as part of the POC, but think about it  and have an idea of how to do it. What kinds of metrics do you want to monitor and alert on? What will need to change for scale? What tests/gates would the CI/CD pipeline need?

Even if you don't get a lot of pressure to turn your POC into MVP having a plan will help you move faster and add more business value