I have an idea. I have a GREAT idea! A concept for a platform that doesn’t currently exist. From what I can find there are a couple of solutions which are close, but I believe are not hitting the mark. Validation is needed!
I refuse to give in to the temptation of blindly building a product without following the tried and true Lean Startup methodology.
Over the years I have seen countless startups fail due to their ‘just do it’ attitude. Yes, I have the issue I’m trying to solve. Yes, I believe I understand the value proposition for both sides of this network. But No, I will not let arrogance get in the way of validating this concept correctly.
Eight weeks of customer development.
This probably seems excessive to most. But I’m not in any rush, and I want to make sure I have everything ironed out before the first line of code is written.
Starting with customer interviews is immensely important. Working out what their real pains are, and what functionality they would pay for. Where is the real value?
I guide the conversation so they talk about their issues re content marketing and garnering inbound links.
- do you currently do x?
- how have you found that?
- what are the biggest issues here?
- have you looked for a solution?
I never start the discussion with what I’m doing or planning on doing. That would only create leaded answers.
I do, however, explain the concept at the end. If the solution fits and they are excited by it, I add them to the leads list for future discussions and user testing. These ones usually turn into first paying customers.
I use the deal pipeline in Hubspot CRM to track everything and store contact details.
So far, so good.
I’m about 10 interviews in and the feedback has already been very insightful. They tell me their wants and needs, and patterns are emerging, which is exactly what I wanted. I’m starting to narrow down the defining characteristics of the first customers, the ‘early adopters’.
Lots more interviews to complete over the next few weeks. Lots more to learn.
Watch this space!