Entrepreneurs are always coming up with ideas for new products and businesses. In order to smartly move forward in making those ideas into a reality, in particular if it includes the creation of custom software, we suggest taking the time to conduct upfront validation as the first step in outlining a product roadmap.
Upfront validation challenges an idea by calling out assumptions that are being made about users, behaviors, the business and/or the product. Upfront validation is a critical first step in product creation, which we complete through a 2 - 3 week Discovery Sprint. This effort allows us to quickly and strategically equip entrepreneurs with answers to the most pressing questions and delivers total confidence in the path forward.
In a Discovery Sprint, we start with Product Design Sprint exercises to ramp up on all existing resources and strategies, and capture assumptions that are being made along the way. These Product Design Sprint exercises inform a prototype which is tested with target users. Here are some example assumptions for a dog walking app:
The reason testing assumptions is critical for early stage entrepreneurs, in particular those who are self funding their first product build, is because it is guaranteed to save you money. When handled correctly, product validation finds problems before they become costly to fix and sets the priority of the MVP build.
We can quickly identify if there will be traction with a target audience and their appetite to pay, which will better inform a business plan. Our findings might uncover a need to revisit the delivery model or differentiator. What’s powerful is learning this before an entrepreneur starts building, and paying for custom software.
Moving straight into development runs the risk of only learning where a product misses the mark following launch. Which means a sizable amount of investment could be spent moving in the wrong direction. It’s important to remember that if features or whole solutions are invalidated, it is not a failure, but a positive, time & money saving, learning experience.
If you have an idea or product that could benefit from validation, we want to help you with it!