IMP: Idea.Market.Product

2014: Wanting to ride the E-Commerce wave I get this awesome idea of building a product that could be configured to become the first mobile commerce SaaS platform in India – mBark

Coming from a tech background I and my colleague (also tech) built this product after 11 months of hard work. And then I started calling up customers, basically retail stores to have their own branded mobile app. I did mails, cold calls, references and everything I could to make customers sign up for free for mBark. All the people I spoke to asked this question – why would someone download my app?

2015: After failing at mBark, we changed the way we managed our IT firm – Xiphi Tech.

We thought of what customers wanted and how can we, using technology, automate their mundane tasks and enable them to achieve more.

We loved our new found appreciation from our customers. It was something that we always craved for in the first two years at Xiphi Tech.

But we always knew that while the acclaim was good, scaling a services business was just not feasible. Requires too much effort and the returns are meagre

2016: While working for this really interesting project in the construction industry I connected with my good friend who’s been in the industry for 4 years. I asked him to take a look at what we had built. He looked at it and immediately connected me to his friend in the same industry. We got another sale of the product. Woohoo! The new deployment came with more use cases and we dived deeper in the industry. I kept in touch with my friend all the while asking him to give his inputs on the system. Eventually in September I asked him to join me and my colleague from Xiphi Tech to form SuperWise. We also got another friend to handle the tech so that I could follow my inner calling – Sales.

To summarise

  • Idea validation is not when an idea is unique. Idea validation is when it comes from the customer.
  • Translating customer satisfaction to monetary satisfaction is market validation
  • Product validation is when the same product is applicable to all customers in the segment and the customers using the product start requesting for similar features

While there’s definitely a lot to learn from the experiences of others, the learnings that really hold to you are the ones you created.

Go ahead. Create yours.