Rapid prototyping: Understanding the art of for the emerging technologies industry.

In this week’s blog entry, we will talk briefly about prototyping. Specifically rapid prototyping and how we can borrow helpful ideas from industrial design and manufacturing that could be useful in getting an MVP going as quickly and cheaply as possible in the emerging technologies industry notorious for its costly execution of even the simplest of ideas.

To begin with, we’ll start by understanding what rapid prototyping is, why it’s important, and how it’s different from regular prototyping.

Rapid prototyping

In industrial design, rapid prototyping enables designers to quickly fabricate products by utilizing three-dimensional computer-aided designs. Designers then feed these designs into an etching machine, which brings them to life. This step precedes further inspection and modification of the product idea before introducing it to the consumer market.

This type of prototyping shares a similar purpose with an MVP in software development. It allows product owners to assess whether the idea functions as intended before releasing it to the wider market. Understanding user needs is a highly valuable outcome of this process.

However, building an MVP for a new type of crypto wallet, for example, requires significant upfront work. Without asking the right questions and implementing appropriate strategies before the development phase, the effort invested may prove to be fruitless in achieving the intended goal.

Some of these questions include but are not limited to:

  • How detailed and polished should the prototype be? 
  • What essential functions should be included? 
  • Whether or not it should be built as a disposable version that’s to be replaced with a new and improved one or as a barebone product that is gradually improved upon in real-time as user feedback grows and the product is being used. 

For emerging technologies industry prototyping, these questions help to determine whether a medium-fidelity prototype is what you should build as the software developer or something closer to a full-fledged app that’s then iterated upon with time. 

In contrast to regular prototyping which aims to validate and refine product design during a testing period prior to the launch of the product, rapid prototyping for emerging technologies markets does not involve any dedicated user testing period. Here, crucial features are bundled into the app or product and launched while newer ones including users suggested features are added on the go. 

Building an MVP for Emerging Technologies Market

Central to this approach to prototyping is the idea of substituting cumbersome new technology in places where doing can go unnoticed for familiar technologies that allow for rapid development in the initial stages before launch when users’ opinion about the features such technology enables is yet to form and as the developers look forward to switching to the main technology once its learning curve has been beaten.

An argument for this approach to building for new technology market is the well-known fact that almost all startup founders change their idea within the first year of business.

Twitter capture. Rapid prototyping

In other words, early startup ideas are extremely volatile. So much so that in most cases founders learn really quickly how users don’t exactly want what they’re making, forcing them to pivot as fast as they’ve finished building their application with shiny new technologies.

Prototyping for Emerging Technologies Market 

The problem in this type of story where a founder changes his idea as soon as the hard work of learning to use new technologies to build the product has been done is what this way of prototyping for the emerging technologies industry wants to help solve.

There are far too many stories of where the tough work that was put into building software was reduced to nothing because it did far below expectations or had serious defects after launch.

This is the case with several brands of infusion pumps that have had to recall their products severally over the years due to defects that could be attributed to the use of nascent technologies.  


Although the goal of the suggested prototyping approach in this article is to avoid scenarios where labor and money go to waste in building a product that’s not needed with hard-to-learn technologies. I do understand that building a product in emerging technologies industries like AR, VR, blockchain, etc may require the use of non-replaceable technologies. In such cases, it’s necessary to undertake the gruesome work required to build a first version even if there’s no guarantee of acceptability.

Do you plan to build an MVP for your idea in any of the emerging technologies industries? Contact our team through the dedicated garage of experts who are eager to work with you to bring your idea to life. 

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