What have you built lately?

Photo by el alce web on Unsplash

I have been working with a number of early stage entrepreneurs and internal corporate innovation teams recently and one thing has stood out to me. The key capability that successful teams have access to and that people should be striving to develop is to be a ‘maker’.

To be successful in a more volatile environment each team needs a ‘maker’ (or at least easy access to them) to build the right products and services. These ‘makers’ are those people that are able to take an idea and actually produce something quickly to test those ideas and drive iteration. However, being a ‘maker’ isn’t just about building things though — it is about building something with purpose.

In the early stages of a project they do this by breaking something down to a big assumption and testing it with a simple version of the product or service and in the tech space this has never been easier or more important.

It is easier because the barriers to entry to being able to build a product or service that can test your big assumption have become so low. It is more important that ever because not doing so will cost you in time, agility, quality, and ultimately money.

So for individuals in our volatile economy becoming a ‘maker’ is important and luckily it is pretty easy to start learning. You don’t even need to learn to code you just need to start thinking about ideas in terms of assumptions, what you can test, and how you can test it.

This may not be the most elegant of examples but to demonstrate I recently wanted to test whether there was a market for a cybersecurity job search portal. Instead of building the portal based on sourced data I looked for a way to test my main assumption; that people are looking for cybersecurity jobs.

So I used three services to build a basic product in one hour with no code.

I used Carrd to design a simple site and embedded a readable view of the data via Airtable and I take submissions via Typeform!

The cybersecurityjobs.xyz site

Now I have the chance to get real feedback quickly on my assumption and if correct I can build the product out rather than building a solution without validating my assumption.

So go forth and make something.