When the Prototype Fund began, the Knight Foundation forecast a minimum 80 percent fail rate, expecting only 20 percent of projects to win additional funding or move to product launch. Within that scope of success, the Prototype Fund has had some impressive outcomes; see the stories of StoryCorps, Hollaback! and Curious City that follow.
Beyond successes with specific products and services, Prototype Fund projects have become catalysts for the growing use of human-centered design in all types of media organizations — a critical development in an industry grappling with enormous technological and social disruptions. For the Knight Foundation, that larger ripple of impact demonstrates considerable value toward the original goals.