Skip to main content

Idea Validation and Minimum Viable Product

I'm teaching the 4 series- online business course for the third time this year. Its a different set of audience running their own baseline assumptions of issues and understanding. It is always a learning experience to be in a room full of 40 entrepreneurs at different level ideation and validation. The challenge, however, lies in getting them all to the same baseline of understanding their own idea or process of ideation.

In the last series, the audience wanted me to spend more time on the basic ideation and validation process. As a result, this series now includes almost 2 hours of exercises on how idea may be validated in part 1 and how Minimum Viable Product creation occurs in Part 2 ( which I will teach in a few hours time).

Interestingly, the whole foundation of getting to a product/ service idea in any business( whether online or offline), is a function of a well conceived idea which is a gap or a need for a customer. To recognize this gap or need is a prerequisite to the validation of this need or gap by the customer.

The concept of creation of the minimum viable product stems from the fact that a product or a service is not ONLY about your idea but is mostly about the perception of the people who will use and buy it.

To understand why, how and what your customer is willing to spend their money on- products/ services will essentially need to undergo a MVP validation process.

This is a multi-stage approach, where you as an entrepreneur must deduce the whole set of features and services that may be provided by your business to essentially and then reduce the list to those features that may need to be demonstrated to get a customer buy-in at the initial MVP stage.

An MVP is not a demo of the real product. Most start-up ideas that have seen instant customer adoption have not build the real product till much later. Start-ups that look at innovation through products or services make the mistake of assuming that they have zero competition. It may be true that your disruption may have no other credible competition in the market.  However, it is also true that since there is no competition - there is no data on how many customers would either pay or use the product or service. Or most pertinently- does the customer even exist?

Customer feedback cycle can be started by lean startups within hours of the idea being validated.

You can build credible MVP through the following processes
a. A story board video of what the product will do to - which pain or problem of the target customer will it solve.
b. Land the Customer on a page to get his feedback through behavior/ click analysis, interactive chats or surveys. This is also effected through physical feedback in focus groups or meetups
c. Flintstone it. Go to Zappos way by manual creation of a customer interaction process before investing in a business set up or even backend creation
d. Concierge It: Lay out the customer interaction process and run it as a manual process first to understand customer expectation and value before putting in dollars to create and automate it.
e. Hybrid it. Flintstone some and Concierge some parts of the customer interaction process to assimilate feedback.
f. Customer Fund it! Set up indieGOGO or kickstarter campaigns to gauge customer interest and buy in to your idea.

What's the best way method to MVP is a function of what you are creating and how. However, the hard and fast rules of mitigating start-up risk may be summed up as below:

a. Find the MAIN customer pain. Pivot the pain they would pay the most to get rid of
b. laundry list your features and remove the ones that the customer is least likely to pay for.
c. Manually simulate the product before working to automate and sync it with process and technology flows
d. Ugly is good. An ugly MVP that shows the back end skeletal structure is a good MVP
e. Fake it. Dont make it.


 Next: Taking it to the product design.




Popular posts from this blog

SO WHEN DOES LIFE BEGIN ?

We have been fighting a religion defined definition of “ when did the life of a fetus begin”. It is a trap. The debate around this whole concept is so ridiculous that when you see pages of theories being written about the exact time “life took a birth”

Why I call this entire argument ridiculous is because technically everything is life. A cell is a life. An ant is a life, a plant is a life. Zygotes are life too. However, if you choose to mourn the zygote the same way you chose to mourn taking the dead cells off the bottom off your feet- is a decision you need to make with yourself.



All of these arguments around “life” distract from the actual issue, which is that no human should be required to share their organs with another human. No human should be required to sacrifice their life for another human. The intention or reason behind abortion is irrelevant in the context of the right to bodily autonomy.
I would argue that the Liberal “pro-choice” people who aggressively insist that abortio…

THE ABORTION FIGHT IS NOT ABOUT ABORTION

It's about firing the 2020 base. And the mainstream media is helping Trump


When Trump spewed his most preposterous lie about abortion in a rally about how full-term babies were killed by Doctors; do you think no one in the crowd was grown up enough to know that it was a lie? These are full grown people who make more important and logical decisions in their lives every day- what to buy; what to do, where to spend, how to earn a living. Do you think they do not know that Trump was concocting imagery for the benefit of creating a national debate about disgust towards the concept of “abortion”? Abortion is painful. Emotionally, it never leaves a woman. I aborted in 1998, then miscarried in 2008 and 2011. Each time, I named those cells and fetuses, celebrate their lives and created a story for their absence in mine, those cells, which could not find viability, for one reason or the other. So for someone, and these 25 white men, and several others, who have never been through that life-…

The Clock is Ticking : BACKWARD FOR WOMEN

Sometimes it is just a customary sound; but a movement that takes us backward; instead of steering us forward.

2017 and 2018 have been the most regressive years in the progress of women. 

Since Trump became the President of the United States of America, a new culture of suppression of women rights has unleashed worldwide.  He has slowly degraded Women Rights by attacking fair pay legislation, defunding reproductive rights and changing the definition of violence against women. His attitude towards women is evident from the way he treats women and his objectification of the whole gender. In response, the women rights movement has revived itself, only to become negative and vicious.

No one wins when we have to fight. It is still a pity that we have to wave flags, march, hoist posters and commemorate each other on this day every year. We should not have to. 




The global economy could be enriched by about $160tn (£120tn) if women earned as much as men. 

No Zaghari-Ratcliffe should have to be in …