What I learned about startups in just one evening

An exciting session about experimentation and early adopters from the perspective of a business intern

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Hi all, I am Richard, an intern at Red Brick. I work with startup founders, but I am not a founder. I am excited to tell you that we are starting a series of weekly articles about our Monday sessions! These online meetings are where our coaches teach you everything you need to know to make your startup dream come true.

In the upcoming weeks, I will share with you my perspective on those sessions and main takeaways. Hope you’ll find those useful. Enjoy!

Experimentation

This Monday, we met with our coach Orfeuo Lionor who talked to us about experimentation and early adopters. Orfeuo exudes joy and competence from the first moment of interaction, and nothing feels better than fun learning! After the session, I think of user testing as a way of putting your market research into small-scale practice. The goal here is to make this experience as close to reality as possible. We learnt about many different methods to do so, depending on the product. This practice will certainly help you better understand the needs of your buying persona and adjust your product accordingly.

Test your product with your early adopters

We looked at Facebook, and I believe it was a great example. When Facebook network was launched, they started with Harvard students. Harvard students at the time were their early adopters. The product was tested, validated, and they slowly started scaling it up.That was hugely possible thanks to early adopters. Early adopters seem to be important, but how do we know we have them in our network?

  • They have a problem.
  • They understand they have a problem.
  • They are actively searching for a solution.
  • The problem is painful enough that they have cobbled together an interim solution.
  • They have, or can quickly acquire money to purchase the product to solve the problem.
Workshop caption: As a startup founder, you come up with a set of hypotheses about your early adopters.

Do not try to please everybody

Did Facebook try to create something suitable for billions of people on day one? I think that their initial goal was different, a lot more pragmatic. One of the strongest points Orfeuo was making is that testing a small idea is a great way of entering the market. This notion changed my understanding of start-ups. I was taught differently. I was taught to think of a large market, to solve the problems of millions. Maybe it works for some, but I feel that Orfeuo’s idea is a lot more realistic, and makes it possible for all of us to become start-up entrepreneurs.

My takeaways

  • We really need user testing and experimentation
  • There are lots of ways to test your product, most of them are simple and cost nothing
  • We want to help a small audience solve their problem to make a successful entry into the market
  • There are lot of problems in our everyday life we can address, and we should start from there

It feels great realising that my knowledge of startups totally changed in one evening. Wow! Apparently, it takes a great coach to achieve this effect. I really have the before-and-after feeling! Next week we will continue with Orfy, and based on what I saw, I am not the only one who is looking forward to it!

Red Brick offers intense coaching and mentoring for your idea and early-stage startup. Go see here when the next application period starts!

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