How many times have you said to yourself ” I have a Great Idea”?
The path usually goes like this: Oh man, “This idea will kill it” , why have I not thought of it before? It’s so good, I don’t even want to tell others!
You’re a creator, you are a designer, you’re a builder, so you go ahead, and create your awesome
product. You create it based on your great UX , design or programming skills. You do your homework – you go online and do your “market research” and examine your competitors and based on that, create something similar, better, or different. ( Maybe all three)
You spend ( fill in amount of time) working on this baby. The interface looks slick, you change the color scheme a few times, perfect the copy a little, and launch.
You launch, and crickets…
You would wonder why it is that others already had a test base, etc like I don’t have any connections, you don’t have 200 early adopters, why ? What did I miss?
You think to yourself, oh I know I’m missing stuff
So you do the obligatory Social Media. You spent a little money (or maybe get the $50 free coupons) doing some ad words tests, you think to yourself – I also have to work on organic traffic – of course you make tweak all of your pages and make them SEO friendly.
You get ideas online on how to market your awesome product. There’s a hundred “guerilla marketing” tactics, you add your product into the beta lists, tweak the copy a little more -now based on the USP ( unique selling proposition)
“Oh, of course!” My product doesn’t compete! My customers would love this that’s why it’s not resonating. You add more features. You change your product, you maybe go a little deeper and now that you’re there you tweak the design a little more.
Then you Freak Out.
Or Perhaps, you’re smarter than that
You’re cool, you follow “Lean methodologies” you already know that you always start with the PROBLEM duh! This is what Lean Startup or Startup Machine “Get out of the Building” teaches you.
Go out and ask people questions, and see if based on that you tweak your Audience, your Problem and your Solution, then you do your MVP.
But wait there darling – How do you sell that Solution to people?
Why is this a Broken System
This is what Amy Hoy calls Idea quicksand. It’s a Broken System. Why?
- Because by starting with an idea, you become a slave to it. You will do whatever to validate it , even if it’s not a great idea.
- Most likely you know nothing about the audience, so you won’t be sure that they want the problem you found solved.
- Since you don’t know your audience, it will be very difficult to market to them properly.
- You take a gamble on the product. If you start with the customer, they will not only be your early adopters, but you have guaranteed their involvement and interest before it became a product.
Instead – Start with the Customer – the Audience.
- Get to know their NEEDS.
- Define their and your CONSTRAINTS
- Learn and Understand their WORLDVIEW
- Use it to craft an OFFER