What influences the speed of prototyping? An empirical investigation of twenty software startups
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It is essential for startups to quickly experiment business ideas by building tangible prototypes and collecting user feedback on them. As prototyping is an inevitable part of learning for early stage software startups, how fast startups can learn depends on how fast they can prototype. Despite of the importance, there is a lack of research about prototyping in software startups. In this study, we aimed at understanding what are factors influencing different types of prototyping activities. We conducted a multiple case study on twenty European software startups. The results are two folds; firstly we propose a prototype-centric learning model in early stage software startups. Secondly, we identify factors occur as barriers but also facilitators for prototyping in early stage software startups. The factors are grouped into (1) artifacts, (2) team competence, (3) collaboration, (4) customer and (5) process dimensions. To speed up a startup's progress at the early stage, it is important to incorporate the learning objective into a well-defined collaborative approach of prototyping.