So, you have a brilliant (and viable) idea. Here’s what next!

Seth & Dunn
Dec 11, 2018 · 6 min read

by Hans Robben

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Interesting fact: 75 percent of all companies struggle when to execute innovation projects. While most of them do manage to get through the ideation phase rather successfully — ah, the thrill of it all –they somehow run into a wall once the initial excitement wears off. ‘Just do it!’ is what a certain American sports brand would say, and it’s certainly what everyone involved in the project is thinking too. Months later, however, everyone’s still saying ‘we should just do it’. Sounds familiar? Read on and you’ll know exactly what to do to turn your next innovation idea into a success.

It’s all about the experiment

1. Get out of your bubble

2. Create a lean canvas

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Once you’ve got your lean canvas in place, identifying the most impactful elements of your business model (both positive and negative) will prove a breeze.

3. Experimenting means getting chatty

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Experiments can take many shapes and forms, but they should always be as fast and cheap as possible. Don’t forget that conducting interviews and carrying out surveys among your target customers will never go out of fashion — for good reason! Surveys yield loads of input over a short period of time, while interviews provide you with valuable insights you would never have discovered by yourself.

4. Create a minimal testable product

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As a next step, you stop assuming and start confirming. After all, before you begin building your minimum viable product you want to make sure your assumptions are correct. We recommend using Lean Canvas at this stage, a particularly practical tool that allows you to describe the key points of the business model you’re developing in a very concise manner.

A famous example of how to verify whether assumptions will lead to a minimal testable product is what Dropbox did to explore consumer interest before building their final product. They made a video that looked like a demo of the final product and shared it with their target customers’ online communities. Within days, thousands of people signed up because they wanted to buy the product.

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5. Define your minimum viable product

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Applying this iterative approach will gradually transform your lean canvas and make it much easier for you to acquire more funding and achieve a minimal viable product. Any initial uncertainties have been reduced to a minimum and, if all goes well, your team now feels much more confident that what they’re about to build is something customers are really looking forward to.

6. Map the story

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As you can see in the example above, story mapping, if done right, makes it very easy to discuss the prioritization of your product’s functionalities with your team in an agile manner. Adapting priorities becomes as simple as moving a card up or down the story map.

De-risking means experimenting

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