SANDBOX: PART 1. The Why and What of Sandbox POCs


Why are we building a Sandbox? Presentations are vapour ware, instead build Proof-of-Concept (PoC).

We’ve worked with cutting edge Valley-based startups to consulting firms working with Fortune 100 companies – almost invariably, clients of Metron who approach us to build rapid POCs in a sandbox have one of two intentions:

1. Either a startup initiative with a novel enough idea that there is a need to demonstrate Proof of Concept or skunkworks like initiatives in larger companies to quickly prove the value of an idea at low cost and without complex project budgeting red tape etc.

2. Another set of people view a rapid sandboxed POC as a cautious initial first step to starting on larger product development – to evaluate the competencies, capabilities, and speed with which future development could proceed.

In either case, the objective behind POC is to be able to rapidly and with minimum fuss demonstrate a Minimum Value Proposition to either potential investors or top management decision makers.

But, why build a working POC? Why not just good persuasive slideware and presentation skills.

1. POC does not need to be an expensive, long drawn process – If building a rapid POC was long elaborate and expensive process with extensive project management required, yes, it would be better to start slowly but if you could launch it with just 300 word statement of the Minimum Value Proposition and have it running within say just 6 weeks …Presenting an actual POC instead of only slideware can radically improve conversion of your audience.

2. Draw your audience closer to get a buy in – Slideware, however exciting is still thought ware, an idea as yet unborn, a much longer runway to materialization. A set of ideas to mull over, examine, explore. In a running touch and feel POC, it is almost already a product- the thing is already there! Whatever is the core exciting value proposition is visible and already working right in front of your eyes. Even while reviewing the value of the proposal, at the back of the mind everyone is already thinking in terms of “add this here, a little touch there and it is practically ready to go!”. It is much, much easier to get buy in with a POC.

3. Get your audience invested in the process rather than getting dismissed – Even if the demonstrated MVP is not perfect in the eyes of the investors/decision makers – with a running system, rather than a thumbs up or thumbs down, the audience thought process invariably inclines towards what is needed to make it a better MVP, what should be changed, what features should be added. I want to see this here … or that there. In other words, they are already invested with the value proposition.

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