Putting the Lean Startup Methodology Into Practice
There are many startups that begin with an idea or a product which they think people want. But instead, they spend years perfecting the idea before bringing it to fruition. They often forget about why they started out in the first place, to bring the product to the people in the hope that it would start to bring about a change in their everyday lives, that it would create an impact that would spread and last. It is when they fail to reach broad uptake from their customers that the idea starts to fail as well because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting.
The biggest factor that comes into play here is the ‘Fear Factor’. There’s always a fear of failure when you get into the startup game, especially when starting a digital business because a majority of people do not know the basic know-how that they need. For people wondering what it is they need to do, we have a step-by-step approach to get you started in the right direction:
- Eliminating the Air of Uncertainty: The lack of an assembly line, from idea to scale can lead to a situation that can be extremely uncertain, creating an air of confusion. Taking a ‘Just Do It’ approach, avoiding all forms of management is not the solution. It isn’t about spending less money, or about failing fast or failing cheap. It is all about putting a precise process, a methodology around the development of a product.
- Work Smart, and Not Just Hard: If the question you’re asking in reference to your idea is “Can this product be built?”, then you can not be more wrong. “Should this product be built?” Is the ideal question that should pop into someone’s head, because what you are doing right now is an experiment. If it is successful, you start on the right foot in your campaign, adding little successes and team members with every iteration of the experiment.
- Develop a Minimum Viable Product: It is essential to have a product if you are to get feedback. For this purpose, one must roll out a stripped-down version of their product, with the bare minimum features that it should have to be a standalone product and do it as soon as possible. This will get you into a feedback, measurement, learning and improvement loop which would ensure that your final product is ready for the market.
- Develop a Minimum Viable Brand: It is also imperative to communicate the story of the company and the product to really connect with the early users. It also shows the future investors that your company has a vision and is on the path to create change, it gives investors a better idea and insight in the company.
- Validated Learning: As we discussed in the previous step, one must rigorously get into the feedback loop if they are to learn as much as possible about what people want from the product. When you focus on building the right thing to build, the thing that customers want and will pay you for, you need not spend months waiting for a beta launch to change the company’s direction.
By focusing your energy on going through iterations of your product following the above steps, until you believe your product has been perfected for the market after undergoing a process involving a series of feedback and subsequent changes. This way, you know what your target audience need in the product that they will be using, as well as having a new product to launch straight to the market without any hesitation.