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10th May 2024

Proof of Concepts are Pointless

In the race to market, businesses are under pressure to constantly innovate and adapt to stay ahead. This drive towards continuous innovation often leads organisations to explore new technologies and ideas by developing proof of concept (POC) projects.

While POCs serve as a pivotal step in validating the technical feasibility of a concept, they fall short of providing a comprehensive overview of the potential value such innovations might bring to the business. This gap has led to an increasing recognition of the importance of focusing on proof of value (POV) rather than solely on proof of concept.


Differentiating POC & POV

POC is essentially a realisation of a certain method or product idea to demonstrate its feasibility and verify its potential for a real-world application. It’s a preliminary stage, often experimental, to assess the practical potential of a new concept or technology.

While a crucial step, POCs are inherently limited in scope, focusing primarily on the technical viability rather than the broader implications for the business.

In contrast, a POV extends the evaluation beyond technical feasibility, diving into the tangible and intangible benefits a solution can deliver to an organisation. This involves analysing how a solution or product can impact various aspects of the business, from operational efficiencies and cost reductions, increasing revenue growth and providing a distinct competitive advantage.

POV assessments consider financial metrics, return on investment, customer satisfaction, and overall alignment with the company’s strategic goals.


Advantages of Focusing on Proof of Value  

  • Strategic Decision-Making 

Emphasising POV aids organisations in making more strategic decisions about which projects to pursue. By understanding the broader implications of a solution, decision-makers can prioritise initiatives that offer the greatest value.

  • Optimisation of Resources

Resources are finite, and prioritising projects based on their proven value ensures that investments are made where they’re most likely to yield significant returns. This strategic allocation of resources supports sustainable growth and innovation.

  • Building Stakeholder Confidence

Demonstrating a project’s value can significantly enhance stakeholder buy-in. Investors, management, and customers are more likely to support initiatives that clearly articulate the benefits and potential returns.

  • Achieving Higher ROI

Projects vetted for value are positioned for success, potentially leading to higher ROI. These projects are chosen for their innovative appeal and their capacity to drive business growth and efficiency.

  • Ensuring Market Relevance

A POV-focused approach ensures that projects address current market needs and customer expectations, enhancing the likelihood of successful adoption and market penetration.


Proof of Value Strategy

Adopting a POV strategy requires a shift in mindset and processes within an organisation. It begins with integrating POV assessments early in the project lifecycle and involves:

  • Establishing clear criteria for evaluating value, including both quantitative metrics (financial performance, ROI) and qualitative aspects (customer satisfaction, strategic alignment).
  • Involving cross-functional teams in the assessment process to ensure a well-rounded evaluation of each project’s potential impact.
  • Encouraging a culture that prioritises value-driven innovation, recognising that the true measure of success is not in the novelty of an idea but in its contribution to the business’s goals.


Additional Benefit for Funding: Attracting and Securing Investment 

One of the advantages of prioritising proof of value (POV) over proof of concept (POC) is its capacity to attract and secure funding from investors. This benefit is especially critical for startups and businesses looking to scale. By demonstrating the tangible value and potential return on investment of a project or innovation, organisations can more effectively communicate their vision and the viability of their ideas to potential investors.

Here’s a deeper dive into how a POV-centric approach can be a game changer in attracting funding:


  1. Enhancing Investor Confidence

Investors are inundated with opportunities, and their primary concern is the potential return on their investment. A well-articulated POV provides a clear picture of how a project will generate revenue, reduce costs, or otherwise offer a financial return. This clarity goes beyond a POC’s technical feasibility, directly addressing investors’ concerns and interests.

  1. Differentiating in a Competitive Landscape

In a world where innovative ideas are abundant, the ability to demonstrate not just the novelty or technical feasibility of a concept but also its real-world value sets a company apart. This differentiation is crucial in attracting attention from venture capitalists and other funding sources looking for investments that promise innovation, profitability, and market relevance.

  1. Facilitating More Strategic Partnerships

Beyond traditional funding sources, focusing on POV can help forge partnerships with other businesses or strategic investors. These entities often look for synergies and how a new project can complement or enhance their operations. Demonstrating the concrete value of a project can lead to partnerships that provide capital, expertise, market access, and other resources.

  1. Building a Stronger Case for Grants and Non-Dilutive Funding

For projects that may qualify for grants, government funding, or other forms of non-dilutive financing, showcasing a strong POV is essential. These funding bodies are increasingly outcome-focused, looking to support projects that can demonstrate a clear benefit to society, the economy, or specific industries. A compelling POV helps articulate these benefits, making a stronger case for such funding opportunities.

  1. Accelerating Time to Market and ROI

By prioritising projects with a clear POV, companies can often accelerate their time to market and the realisation of ROI. This efficiency is attractive to investors looking for quicker returns on their investments. A project that has technical feasibility and is aligned with market needs and business objectives is more likely to be fast-tracked and receive the necessary funding and resources for development and launch.


While developing a proof of concept remains a critical step in the innovation process, the proof of value ultimately determines the viability and success of new initiatives.

By focusing on the tangible and strategic benefits of new projects, organisations can ensure that their investments in innovation lead to meaningful, sustainable growth. If you’d like to find out how your product offering can transition to a POV-centric approach reach out today for a no obligation chat. Let us ensure that your innovation efforts are aligned with long-term success and value.



neil carter MD Ignys

This article was written by Neil Carter