I have a product idea. Now what do I do?

Kelly Gebo

When I meet an entrepreneur with a brand new business idea, their excitement is infectious. We talk about their grand vision and the future state they want to reach. That conversion progresses as we begin thinking through how we get there, specifically the first step. Individuals come to thoughtbot in various stages, and it’s our job as product consultants to determine how we can best support them to reach their goals. With rapid validation and prototyping, thoughtbot’s product strategists work with our clients to quickly validate the opportunity and synthesize their idea into a product vision. Depending on their needs and goals, there are a variety of ways to start. After working with lots of clients at this stage, below are successful paths.

Path 1: Iterative MVP

This path is right for you when…

- Customer Research Conducted
- Feature List Prioritized
- Budget Secured
- Differentiator Established
- Technology Partners Confirmed

What it looks like:

We begin with product design sprint exercises to plan the most impactful roadmap and overall feature priority. We then start design and development iteration with the goal of shipping an early first version in the first few weeks that can begin onboarding users. After that, we work together to continue to iterate, layering in more features and taking into account user feedback.

Path 2: Discovery

This path is right for you when…

- Looking for MVP Funding
- Need to finalize Differentiator
- Limited Customer Research
- Unsure on Tech Stack
- Looking for Designs

What it looks like:

Each Discovery sprint is planned based on your needs and goals. The focus of the effort is to rapidly determine our value proposition in the market, the critical path of the user through our platform and a recommended design and development approach.

Our Discovery Sprints aren’t one size fits all.

We work with you to outline the right mix of activities and deliverables. Here are a few examples of successful sprints we commonly facilitate and how they align with a founder’s goals. Which one aligns with your needs?

“I want to WOW investors”

Activities we commonly suggest:

- Industry Analysis
- Lean Canvas Modeling
- Figma Prototype
- Branding Effort
- Pitch Deck Creation
- Prioritized Roadmap & Timeline for MVP

“I want to confirm our tech stack & understand how hard this will be to build”

Activities we commonly suggest:

- Technical Feasibility Analysis
- Third Party Data Source Exploration
- Architecture Planning
- Technology Recommendation
- Prioritized Roadmap & Timeline for MVP

“I want to understand and grow my audience”

Activities we commonly suggest:

- Customer Research
- Target User Defined
- User's Journey Outlined via Critical Path
- Absolute Clarity on Problem
- Statement & Unmet Need
- User Testing with Designed Prototype
- Marketing Lander to Grow Audience

These are just a few of our most common examples but just like our clients, their needs are unique and we work to determine a project and partnership specific to them. We look forward to hearing about your goals and needs.