Entrepreneurship Essentials: Validate Your Product Idea | Vladislav Pervozvanov | Skillshare

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Entrepreneurship Essentials: Validate Your Product Idea

teacher avatar Vladislav Pervozvanov

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Create A Lean Business Model

    • 3. Identify The Riskiest Assumptions

    • 4. Organize Problem Interviews

    • 5. Conduct Solution Interviews

    • 6. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Looking to start a startup / business, but not sure where to begin?

Join the class for beginners to learn the basics of testing the viability of a product idea with potential customers.

From distilling your product idea into its key assumptions, identifying the riskiest assumptions that could jeopardise the whole entrepreneurial endeavour to testing the idea with perspective customers, you will learn key techniques to help you build a better, customer-centric product.

Bite-sized lessons include how to:

- Create A Lean Business Model

- Identify The Riskiest Assumptions

- Organise Problem Interviews

- Conduct Solution Interviews

After taking this class, you will have a better understanding of how to build a product, giving you the skills to start working on your product idea right away.

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1. Introduction: Most startups fail. And the number one reason why startups fail is associated with building products. Nobody wants. The good news is that again, I would much of that failures look like socket. So your potential customers with the purpose to understand whether or not you have a problem or solving the unique product idea. My name is Vlad, I'm a product manager and today I will show you some of them. Street tests and techniques are used when coming up with new product ideas. In this class, you will learn how you can systematically test my ability of your new product idea in just three simple steps before devoting time and money instead of building the actual product. First of all, you will learn how to turn your product that aids Elaine business model. Second, you will learn the basics of conductive problem introduced specifically designed for testing whether or not they have a problem solving. Finally, you will learn how to conduct some interviews that are aimed at understanding how your potential customers to your solution and whether or not they are ready to buy your product. So if you're an entrepreneur interested in building customer centric products, that will be more than happy to see you in the lecture. Let's get right into it. 2. Create A Lean Business Model: Welcome to the first lesson of the course which is related to turning your product had a failing business model. Before we go any further, let me start by saying that one of the most typical mistakes that first-time entrepreneurs make is usually associated with completely neglecting the process of validating their product. Today is at the very beginning of their entrepreneurial endeavor. When entrepreneurs and get hidden by another great business idea, they are so Blyton but motions of final hand palm, the next big thing. Thus, Russian to build their new products without wasting any time in order to counter the world. Unfortunately, most of these initiatives are zooms of Heller due to the fact that these type of products are built on beliefs or guesses of what the market wants, thus most likely not reflecting the reality of the market. Entrepreneurs operate under a high level of risk and uncertainty. So it is very difficult, sometimes impossible to predict success of a new product launch. It just happens when entrepreneurs decide to act on their product ideas they had saved on board a lot of assumptions that have the possibility of being true. That is why it is highly important. So a trick your initial product ideas as a set of untested assumptions. All we have right now is your initial product idea, which will change throughout the course of your product development. Van, you will be engaging with your potential customers as an or your very first objective is to turn your initial product Eddy Elaine business model, which is a one-page business plan specifically designed for endless stage startups in order to bring it down new product ideas into each key assumptions. So they can be later on validated or invalidated by talking with potential customers. Link business model is a simplified version of the original business model canvas first introduced by Osterwalder. Both models look quite similar, however, they serve different purposes. The purpose of the business model canvas is to provide information about how a well established organization makes money. In other words, executing its business model. On the other hand, knowing business model is designed for startups to help entrepreneurs to plant their business model. When developing your occurs leading business model, you need to take into consideration that any type of product that doesn't appeal to only one group of customers you deal with that, it is highly recommended to create several separate business models for different customer segments in the following sequence, problem, your product solves a problem for some, write down your top three, assume problems. You're willing to equilibrium product, rank them by the level of importance. Thinking about the existing authorities available on the market sphere of potential customer segments in terms of addressing their problems today. These are your direct and indirect competitors. Customers, when brainstorming potential customers segments, try asking yourself questions like, who has the best interests and your product idea to become a reality? Why do they want your product to be successful? And which customer segment would use your product the most? And why? Write down specific customer segments that you think your product would build a syrup. You want to target a small number of people first. So you need to select your early adopters, those individuals who would be interested in using your product. Ideally, early adopters will help you develop your product and by providing all the necessary feedback. And early adopters might also help you market your product free of charge by telling him bottom you'll their friends would share these problems that leads to the cell unique value proposition. It is a short and direct message about your product, which emphasizes its difference from what we are raised on the market and why your customers wouldn't want to pay for your product. Your unique value proposition should be addressed to 11 daughters, as well as it should draw attention to the n belly and your customers will receive using your product solution, this box that describes your product features devoted to solving the top three problems your potential customers might be heading. If I were you, I wouldn't spend a lot of time brainstorming your intelligent jazz because this key part of your business model will definitely change right? After a year of purists, interactions, video of potential customers, unfair advantage. This is what makes your set yourself apart, stand out from your competitors. And Copic has, this might include a great single market and experts and that is working on your team. Revenues shapes. These are various chiefs which you earn money. Ask yourself questions like, how does it get paid? What is your profit model? What price are you willing to charge for your product or its spirit? It is a crucial part of your product offering that you will also have to test in your market cost structure. Now these are costs and expenses related soup grading, launching, and marketing your product. Make sure you include direct, indirect, face and variable costs. Key metrics, it is a must to have key performance indicators to assess what is going on in your product. You have to define success. And he do that through measures that are many metrics you can choose from. However, I find too much frameworks the most appropriate when managing products. The first metric framework is called the horror framework, which stands for happiness. How happy or your customer's engagement. How engaged are your customer's adoption? How many interests of people have a useful product? Retention? How many customers do come back after using your product for a certain period of time, South, success, how successful our users add completing their tasks. For each metric, you need to define product goals are related to a user experience. In other words, what do you want to achieve in terms of user happiness, engagement, adoption, retention, and task success. Also, you need to come up with signals to know whether or not your product goal was achieved. And finally, you have metrics. These are signals transformed in so measurable numbers that describe what is going on to your product. The second framework is the pirate metrics framework, which is widely used across the world. These framework that takes into account that many stages that a customer goes through when interacting with your product. The pirate metrics are acquisition, how the customers finally, activation. How many customers have been activated? For example, how many sign up on your landing page? Retention, how many customers to come back after not using your product for a certain period of time, revenue, how do you make money? And referral? Do your customers sell others while your product? And finally, the last key part of the business model is channels reflect on potential channels you can use to reach your customer segments. There's channels might include worn off, Facebook, Instagram, as webinars, Blogs, or EDA works. It is crucial to take into consideration your ability to, because of your chosen channels to reach your potential customers segments. If you find it harder and challenging to reach your customer segments, then you should consider coming up a bit another customer segment that would be easier to read just because if you can find a candidate to intervene from your customer segment, that it would be difficult for you to find a channel to market them in the future. Now, I warned off otherwise, don't spend a lot of time or thinking at meticulously monitoring over Europe lean business models. Remember, these are just assumptions that had the possibility of not being true, which means that your business model will most likely change right after your first interaction spent potential customers. All the triangles is right now is to transfer our initial product idea on a piece of paper with the purpose to have a foundation supersede them with. 3. Identify The Riskiest Assumptions: Having completed several business models side-by-side, it now makes sense to identify and low through the riskiest assumptions that could potentially jeopardize your chances of building a successful product and make that whole entrepreneurial and never a complete disaster. When launching a new product, our entire job revolves around reducing their uncertainty and risk of building a product nobody wants. So it is reasonable to address their riskiest assumptions of Arlington business models first, that could potentially seeing the shift. In my opinion, there are two major risks associated with developing new products. In most cases, the logical problem is probably the risk is aspect of Asara. The main purpose of a product is to solve a specific Osmo problem or satisfy a need. If you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't really exist in real life, then unfortunately, your product is doomed to failure. Therefore, you want to validate the problem you're texting first. After we prove our problems have been true, you're going to move to the next riskiest assumption, which is associated with building the right beneath. Soon know for a fact that our solution most sold our customers problems or satisfy their needs. We need to determine whether or not our customers are ready to purchase our solid. I find that one of the best ways to validate or invalidate their riskiest assumptions by speaking with potential customers. I believe that it is obligatory to talk with potential customers in order to determine if our product idea is a good idea to build, we need to talk with our customers to determine if the problem we're trying to solve is a real problem and whether or not our customers are ready to buy our solution. In other words, who answered these questions? I used that technique called customer interviews. Customer interviews is the practice of establishing a communication line with potential or existing customers So it can test your product ideas and get feedback directly from the market when interviewing customers who were testing a series of unproven hypothesis about our business model. That's certainly our assumptions. In fact, where turning with the unknowns into knowns for this specific reasons, the right suit types of customer interviews that we'll be exploring today. This is our problem and solution. Introduce the goal of the problem when Surevue is to validate our assumptions around the problem and customer segments set. First, we need to find out if our customer segment has the problem. Learn exactly. Second, we need to measure the level of importance given to the problem by our customer segment. And finally, we need to understand how our customers have many addresses this problem today. We want to know what kind of product or service they used to solve that problem. This will help us to shape the landscape of direct and indirect competitors. On the other side of the coin we have introduced, the goal of the solution interview is quite different. Our task is to verify if our solution is able to. So actual customer needs. So before arranging, any solution should be, we should have an MVP or minimum viable product ready to be shared with our customers. We usually kickoff solution should use by stating customers problems we're aiming to solve. Then we need to demonstrate our MVP that just in a futures. So the problem. And finally, we want to measure how available are solution at ease and understand whether or not our customers are willing to pay for it. In the next lesson, we will go through the basics of routing problem interviews. See you there. 4. Organize Problem Interviews: Your lean business models ready and risks identified. Now, it's the right time to talk about the process of conducting problem introduced. Let's start by taking a look at the problem. It should be, I prefer to divide problem trees in seven parts. The first part of the interview is reading. In this part, we want to make a good impression on your customer as well as electrical customer and know what to expect from the interview. The second part of the interview is classification. He wants to collect basic information about the person you're talking to, such as age, gender, place of living, or employment status. In other words, what your journey is trying to understand, what do your potential customers look like? The third part of the interview is problem setting. The purpose of the problem-solving part is to introduce the problem you are exploring. Usually the problem concepts is revealed by telling a story about you or someone else having difficulties in achieving a job or test. Having revealed the problem you're tackling, it is time to ask questions. The very first thing that you want to do is to ask few qualification questions to validate whether or not you're talking to your potential customer. You don't want to waste any time talking to someone who doesn't have problems you're trying to solve with your product or service. Just to give you an example, let's say you have an idea of credit and e-commerce website designing for ice hockey players and you want to sell ice hockey equipment. In this case, your qualification questions would be dusky play ice hockey and thus his shop online, if they took questions mash, that this is probably your potential customer and you're good to ask him more questions. Once you receive answers to all your questions, it is signed agreement with the Euro potential customer on your next interview, which will be based around a revealing yourself. Also, you need to ask your customers for referrals to other people that might be falling into the group of your potential customers. This is a really good practice of acquiring new prospects to interview. The last part of the problem and Surevue is Documented results after each interview. It's a mask. Documented results. Your main job here is to look for patterns. In our case, similar problems your customers might be having. If you managed to find starring patterns, That's a really good sign, which means that you might have found something interesting worth paying attention to. It is obligatory to emphasize such patterns, document them, and validate them into your next problem is, how do we find customers to introduce? Frankly speaking, it is always more challenging to find respects that match up with our group, especially when you're a startup and he didn't have an established customer base. There is one approach that I liked the most and it doesn't cost you a penny. Align it to find my potential customers to interview on social media such as Instagram and Facebook. Let's use our ice hockey example again. And in order to find potential customers, I would start by looking at your competitors on Facebook groups and Instagram accounts in your region are related to the sale of ice hockey equipment. There the high probability there are male as hockey players that are subscribed to these groups or accounts. I would go through all the subscribers name to find the candidates that match my criteria. And I would reach them by sending a private message. Even if messaging strangers seems impolite or feels inconvenient, believe it or not, many of them will send you a message back saying there any help. You can simply send a short message saying that you're a startup owners or product manager working on a new product related. So ice hockey equipment in this case. And the purpose of the message is not to sell you anything, but actually our way around that you need help with understanding whether or not product is a good products. Who built the goal of initial messages is to reach out to your potential customers and agreed with them on an interview. You can interview people both offline and online. You can do it in your office or on camera. When speaking with customers, it is highly important to ask direct questions. Keep in mind that our task is to turn the unknowns into knowns. Perhaps one of the most important things you should remember is that we always want to ask questions about customers, actions committed in the past, as well as questions about. Our customers are doing today. This is the exact process that we should implement to extract facts, avoid bias, and being lights to when speaking to customers. We don't really want to talk with customers about your future actions since people don't really have a clue what will happen tomorrow when asked about actions to be committed in the future, customers most likely will respond with something that might have a chance of becoming true. As a rule of thumb, we should always ask open-ended questions. These are type of questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Open-ended questions basically forced your customers to elaborate on their answers. That's providing us with insights and valuable information about their worldly. An example of an open question would be, how did you go about buy a car? The student's types of questions that we want to avoid when talking to customers and they start to close. And questions and alternative questions. Closed-ended questions are questions that can only be answered by choosing from eliminate pool of options, such as a yes or no. An example of a closed-ended question would be, are you a student? Probably the biggest disadvantage of loss? And the questions is associated with the fact that they can only provide us with a limited amount of information. Instead, we want to dig as deep as possible when talking to customers to unveil real problems, needs, or wants of our customer segments. The same rule applies to alternative questions. Questions that offer a variety of pre-planned esters. An example of an alternative question would be, what's your favorites? Parse bread, Nike, Adidas, or Puma. Alternative questions usually suggest answers that the customer would not otherwise have. So it is extremely important to stay away from operative questions to avoid bias. Month running properly introduced, we want to gain a better understanding of customers problems so we can invalidate or validate our assumptions. One of the best ways to do so is by asking your customers to tell you a story about their experience, trying to solve the problem you're texting. You want to evaluate whether or not they were successful using existing alternatives present on the market. You can ask them questions like way they were in the market looking for a solution. What Exactly They went into achievement of solving that problem. What products or services did they examined compare to solve that problem? What product or service was eventually slanted, and why? What did they find a difficult word, annoying lab using those products or services. And finally, where they are able to achieve their goal using those products or services. The wonderful advice you should not mentioned or talking about your potential products or services during problems for use. Instead, you want to understand how your market operates in real life. Basically, what you're doing is a market research to determine the viability of your customer problem pair. Let me give you an example of two good questions I usually ask. Ban, conducting problem introduced. What a greater desire for you to solve that proud, this is a great question that empowers your customer to elaborate on the outcome they wanted to achieve in the first place. How do you solve that problem today? Another good question, and add unappealing your direct or indirect competitors. This question also gives you the opportunity to understanding your customers way of thinking. Also, let me give you an example of two by the questions that I tend to avoid at all costs. First, do like or product ID. This question might make your customers lie and say Yes, just to not offend you, even if they think that your idea is really bad. Second, what do you use our product if it's good, make your life easier and better question for two reason, it is a leading question that implies yes. And also, it is challenging to predict whether or not your product Marines enough value to your customer before they are faced with a real decision. Speaking about the number of interviews that you need to come back to in order to give yourself the green light. So start working on your MVP that can be let there be shown to your potential customers during solution to reuse? Well, it really depends on the size of your market, the vigor of the market, the more proud introduce you need to arrange. If you remember, it is pretty good. So I'm certain patterns that tends to be common among them majority of respondents, and never the less, I find that absurd, at least 10 different interviews, you will be able to notice some patterns are related to your market. Whenever I feel like I can predict their respondents. Next answer to my question. I had sensors Southern process of conducting problems and should be used so I can carefully analyze all that information embedded and start working on my NDP. Did my MDP ready I can approach all the people that were in tribute to agree on our next interview, which will be the solution should be what? Our solution to reuse and what makes them different. We're going to discuss in the next lesson. See you there. 5. Conduct Solution Interviews: The goal of this solution interview is to understand how your potential customers will react to your solution and whether or not they are ready Sumatra, prior to our engine and a solo interview, you need to do your homework. You need to create an MVP as a visual representation of the solution to the problem validated in problem interviews. It can be a prototype, landing page, slideshow, screenshot or mock up with just enough features to address customer problems or needs. And just like program interviews, there is a certain layout that you want to sue Paolo when conducting celebrating trees. The layout can be divided into three parts. Problems having a VIP presentation and feedback section. First, it is highly recommended. So starch solution should we use with your customers? Buy lovely, stating the problems needs to be solved or needs to be satisfied, validated during probably introduce, you want to make your customers focus on their problems or needs arrived from the very beginning of your conversation. For example, you can say something like, you're an entrepreneur, you want to bring in more customers, increase your landing page conversion, upsell your customers with additional services or products, and so on. Is that something that you weren't having received a strong positive response? The next thing, what we want to do here is to show our customer the minimum viable product we were working on. That the judges are not features addressed to solve customers problems for satisfying their needs. Lend your customer interacts with your solution without interfering at all. You want to keep silent, observing your customer in action. Your customer to figure out that expressing thoughts as they occur about your solution, it is of the utmost importance to the commander Europe customer's interaction with your core belly of your solution. Now, it's science. He received feedback on your solution by asking the following question. Does our solution solve your problems or satisfy your needs? What are our solutions? Strong and weak sides. How our solution can be compared to existing alternatives on the market isn't better, or is it worse? Does our price measure the value of a proposed solution? Are you're ready to buy our solution. I want to emphasize the importance of asking your customers whether or not they are ready to buy your solution. This is one of the best questions aimed at discovering real objections regarding your solution. If your customers are ready to buy your product, Well, congratulations. Now we will have a strong signal that a particular customer segment is potentially viable customer segment number nonetheless, I have to admit that, unfortunately, in most cases, television interviews do not add a sales agreement or many different reasons and it is completely acceptable. Remember, our initial product idea doesn't always represent the actual product that will be released to the market. Our product will change throughout its product development cycle in veal that we want to view and a customer rejection as available information which will be used in order to change our product. So after each rejection, it makes sense to ask customers why they didn't buy our solution. So when can you use this feedback to inform our products division forward during next product integrations. 6. Final Thoughts: Customer interviews is a great practice for testing. Initial predicate is before building the actual product that has the risking, that civility of building products and nobody wants. Customer interviews serve as its hope for validating key business model of parts. And one part on the business model consists of assumptions that needs to be proved true in the real world scenario or product to be successful, if your assumptions are confirmed, you can focus on iterating towards product market fit. On the other hand, if your assumptions are a proven wrong, don't let it upset him because your entrepreneurial or doesn't really stop there. In fact, learning is an essential part of the progress achieved by establishing a communication line to predict your potential customers. So if your assumptions are pruned RAM, you may seriously considered the possibility of pivoting. A pivot is a change in one of the business model key parts without a change in vision. Second moment to think about changing your customer segment or solution as sovereign cycle of conducting customer interviews all over. Again. The moment you are finished with the customer interviews, you should have a decent amount of qualitative data related to your product. Now, it makes sense to test your product on a bigger scale to evaluate how a larger number of people will read through your product. One of the best way to do so is by driving traffic to your blending page that separates semi quantitative data. And one more thing, always put your customer first.