A Prototype is essentially a proof of concept, it demonstrates a product or process or an idea. It can be functional but doesn’t have to be, it can even be a sketch or a CAD drawing. It is not intended for sale. It is used to understand or determine viability of product, process, price, and cost, and/or to raise funds for future development.

An MVP (Minimally Viable Product) must be functional and sellable. It must work and include enough functionality for a business or consumer to make an informed decision to purchase it based on function or price or both. An MVP must be supported once introduced along with continuous improvement of product/process/price/marketing.

PurposeTest proof of concept/feasibilityMaximize return for the least cost/effort
FocusPresentation to Stakeholders, or Investors, proof of concept and IdeaDeployment to production for sale, product features and functionality
FeaturesOnly those needed for demonstrationBasic and Functional
AudienceDecision Makers and/or InvestorsCustomers and/or Investors
ValueDemonstrates Promised ValueDelivers Tangible Initial Value
Business CaseBusiness Case and Product unproven, insufficient funds, risks unknownBusiness Case and product are sound, sufficient funding, minimal risks
RevenueNot for SaleSold to Early Adopters