To build, or not to build… that is the question.
As an entrepreneur, I have a lot of ideas. Some might be the next “great” thing and yet most, well they are probably just crap. And as an investor, I sit in a lot of meetings with early stage companies who want to be convincing.
And yet, when it comes to informing the product roadmap or determining which half of the marketing budget is working, we are often at a loss. At least initially. And we are left making educated guesses.
And all of this while burning cash and time.
Of course, we’ve read the right books, and we have our Lean processes, but in practice, we have to decide quickly and iterate often. And getting a team to agree which version of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and which user/market inputs we start with can be a challenge. The same goes for our Business Model Canvas, as initial assumptions and iterations matter. A lot.
The real opportunity may just be in getting a group of unbiased users at scale. Yesterday.
So, to quote one of my old professors with crazy hair (mumbling over and over again), “what to do? … what to do? …”
To design and then to build Lean is the logical first step. So we do. And we test. And we iterate. And building in line with the assumptions of the Lean Canvas could determine just how “big” we can get or how “lean” we must remain.
And success is sure, right?
Yes, it is. Well, that is if you can optimize the process of determining what is Minimum and yet most Viable. And accomplish at scale. All while getting paid and maximizing value. Quickly.
After all, innovation might just be what happens as we create real value dynamically. And not just when we believe our own static bull $hit.
There is a great deal that goes into this process, and we’ll often start with customer/user feedback and conversion assumption testing. As this should be one of the first things to evaluate when making these early decisions, not just to inform the product roadmap, but also in positioning product-market fit, and building out the business while optimizing capital in support of its vision and mission.
Again, the key is to be relevant and well-positioned quickly and at a large scale, so the tighter we make this process, the better.
I have been researching and living this a lot over the years. And as you can imagine, I have made my fair share of mistakes. But in the end, I’ve come up with a few helpful resources and experiences I’d like to share. I am also evaluating my idea (I know, crazy huh?), and I would like your input, so let’s talk.
Here are some resources I have recently evaluated, some better than others:
StartUpLift helps promising startups get exposure and receive insightful feedback. Submit your startup now.startuplift.com
Loop11 is a website user testing tool that enables you to identify navigational and usability issues of any websitewww.loop11.com
Feedback Army is a cheap website usability testing service built on Mechanical Turk. Submit your questions and get…www.feedbackarmy.com
We're experts in UX Testing to help you understand your customers and improve conversions.whatusersdo.com
Home page: Take the pain out of user research on mobile and web. Validately is the easiest way to recruit testers…validately.com
Mobile App & Website Remote Usability and User Experience Testingwww.userlytics.com
Unleash your site's potential with remote usability testing. Fast, low cost, effective. Use our large network of pre…www.userfeel.com
TryMyUI makes it affordably easy for website developers to understand how real users interact with their websites by…www.trymyui.com
Stuff people ask I've always recruited my own test subjects. Why should I use your service? The chances are, you spend…www.testingtime.com
Usability testing has never been easier. Get videos of real people speaking their thoughts as they use websites, mobile…www.usertesting.com
Testlio is a test case management service that tests your app against a community of expert software testers. Its suite…testlio.com
Peanut Labs connects your users with thousands of paid online surveys from leading brands and market researchers. We…web.peanutlabs.com
And if you want my “private — off the record” feedback, feel free to connect with me directly — my email and number can be found here.
What am I missing, what else have you used? Let me know, and I’ll add to my list to test/eval.
As for dynamic; size and scale inline with and in support of the business… more to come on this.
Interested? Let’s talk.
After all, we should probably just build it. Smartly.