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.

Prototype MVP
Purpose Test proof of concept/feasibility Maximize return for the least cost/effort
Focus Presentation to Stakeholders, or Investors, proof of concept and Idea Deployment to production for sale, product features and functionality
Features Only those needed for demonstration Basic and Functional
Audience Decision Makers and/or Investors Customers and/or Investors
Value Demonstrates Promised Value Delivers Tangible Initial Value
Business Case Business Case and Product unproven, insufficient funds, risks unknown Business Case and product are sound, sufficient funding, minimal risks
Revenue Not for Sale Sold to Early Adopters