How to build a prototype for a startup idea?

Startup founders that have identified a real problem and created a solution have a startup idea. They have a vision for disputing industry, making life better, easier, quicker or different by making that idea into a business.

That startup idea often has a digital or technical element that needs creation. This can be a web app or a platform or software solution.

The challenge is figuring out how to build this software solution, especially if the founder has little or no technical expertise.

Founders can start by learning the technical language, just like building a house where you would need to understand the terminology of what foundations are, what an architect is, who does what in the build process, founders need to understand the basics of technical lingo. We have created a short A – Z of Startup Tech Lingo to get started

Then founders have to consider what they want to build. At the early stage of a startup the founder can look to build a prototype.
First step is to draw out the customer flow of the product and think through the various steps from customers interested in buying the product right through to customers using the product.

Second step once the drawings are complete, is to consider who is going to build the prototype.

Options include outsourcing the development and design to an agency, this agency can be based locally or further afield.
With the increased cost of technical development in UK and Ireland more founders are looking to Europe and Asia for outsourced development to keep costs down.
The challenges can be time difference, being able to project manage them closely and occasionally language differences.

Another option is considering a no code route to get the prototype built. This option allows users to create apps through methods like drag and drop, adding in application components to complete the application.

There are several tools that founders can use to get started including Bubble and Airtable. These are complemented by automation tools such as Zapier, Notion and Typeform to move data from one place to another.

The no code option takes some time for the founder to learn however may save some money in building the prototype.

The final step for the prototype is to use it to get customer feedback on the validity of the idea and prove there is demand before looking to further develop into a commercial solution.

For further information on No Code and Automation check out our next event:
Tech for Non Tech: Insights into No Code on Thursday 25th June at 6.30pm.