The second in a four-part exploration of getting ideas out of your head and into action. Part one here.
Eric Reis is right. The only way to learn something real about your new or improved product is to get it in front of the right people early, before you feel it’s finished, and listen to what they’re saying. He calls it a Minimum Viable Product; MVP. Two keys here:
- It needs only to be enough to deliver the basic value you propose to deliver.
- Better this way (let users tell you how to improve it) rather than spending that time pre-product launch making the improvements and final refinements YOU think users will want.
The whole of what you’re selling (price, product definition) doesn’t have to be 100% refined. Don’t wait and wait and wait until the product is ready. Do it quickly. Watch how people react. Are they trying it? What do they think it is? Are they buying? Then “finish” the product based on what buyers tell you it ought to be.
His world is silicon valley, full of digital things that can be built and refined quickly. But the same applies to ANYTHING, any value proposition, delivered by a tangible or intangible product. Because all we sell is a value proposition. Whether it’s delivered by a product or service doesn’t matter. His book.
So, focus on the value proposition and not the product or service. Get that value proposition in front of people as quickly as possible. Let users tell you what your value proposition ought to be. Then start learning and refining. As quickly as possible.
How would people expect to learn about or find what you’re selling? Would they search for it — what terms would they search on? Hear about it from a friend or peer? See a presentation at a conference? Find it on Amazon? Hear about it on a podcast?
Answer this question, put it in front of them and pay attention to what happens. Do they try it? Buy it? Use it after they buy it?? Love it enough to tell their friends about it???
Then measure, refine and repeat your way to a value proposition people buy.
This is a process, not a creative lightening bolt.
So, better get started. . .!