In today’s hyper-competitive world, customers are surrounded by an ocean of tempting value propositions that all compete for the same limited slots of attention. It means that the competition happens not only among products — for example, BBC News and Huffington post — but between values like quick information delivery and the latest news, that can be generated not only by news brands like BBC but also by other products, for example social media like Twitter.
Different methodologies such as “Value Proposition Canvas” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, “Jobs to be Done” by Chris Spiek and Bob Moesta, and “Design Thinking” by Tim Brown aim to turn customers’ needs into insights that will be used for building a job or value proposition.
“Value Proposition describes the benefits customers can expect from your products and services” (Osterwalden et al. 2014, p. 277). It can be delivered by a number of products and services.
The unique value proposition focus on jobs, pains and gains that matter to customers and can be delivered better, cheaper and faster. In every stage of startup development it should be checked with three “fits”:
- Problem-solution fit: evidence that customers care about the jobs, pains, and gains you intend to address with your value proposition.
- Product-market fit: evidence that customers want your value proposition.
- Business model fit: evidence that the business model for your value proposition is scalable and profitable.
The fit is achieved when customers get excited about a value proposition, which happens when addressing important jobs, alleviating extreme pains, and creating essential gains that customers care about.
All these process and Fit stages are supported by the Lean methodology codified by Eric Ries (2011) that is considered to be the most effective nowadays for quick and target startup idea building, its measuring and receiving of feedback for the next iteration and constant improvement like a loop.
But the difference between a startup and a disruptive startup is this: startups often play it safe and follow the blueprint of what companies before them in that same industry have been doing. They try to emulate it, but make it better.
Disruptors often enter an industry and do not look at the existing blueprint, but rather look outside that industry and bring best practices from other industries and apply it in a new, fresh and different way to the industry. Essentially, they attempt to rewrite the rules (Messenger, 2015).
This statement shows the main difference of disruptive startup nature and the role of new vision, not only fitting value with customers’ needs.