Successful entrepreneurs are highly creative people. On a very consistent basis, they’re able to come up with new and creative solutions to the emerging issues and opportunities of ever-present change in the world. But, if they become too attached and act too quickly on their new idea, disaster can strike.
Most entrepreneurs might be hard-wired for creativity. They’ve always had lots of great ideas for doing things in different ways, probably as early as their childhood school years. These were the students who had ideas even their teachers wouldn’t have thought about. If you’re an entrepreneur, this might sound very familiar to you.
Have as many ideas as you want, but never fall in love with an idea! Learn to play with a market. Your success is determined by a ping-pong between you and your target market.
Entrepreneurs can easily become infatuated with their ideas. They have a strong emotional attachment to a vision they have of what this idea could be in the future.
Also, they come up with a new product, service, process, or experience, and they can imagine in vivid color how enormously successful it’s going to be. They fall in love before they’re even out in the marketplace with it. This is a huge danger.
Then these love-struck entrepreneurs bypass a step that’s absolutely crucial when introducing any new idea into the marketplace: Test your idea with your potential customers, those who will actually like your product enough to pay you for it.
This testing can be as simple as telling a potential customer about your idea, how it works, and possibly sketching it out roughly to show why it’s great. From your conversation, you’ll be able to see whether this is an idea worth pursuing or where it needs tweaking to make it valuable in the marketplace.
Entrepreneurs are persistent in their path! Great! However, you need to learn to let go when it’s necessary!
Why do so many great idea generators skip this important step? It’s simple: The entrepreneur doesn’t want to hear that the idea they’re in love with doesn’t land with a prospective client or customer. It’s a painful experience, just like romantic heartbreak, so they avoid any kind of negative response as long as they can.
There are so many entrepreneurs who spend thousands, sometimes millions, before they’ve even tested their new idea. This is where disaster can occur, where failures and bankruptcies happen, where people lose everything they’ve built up to that point.
We all know that building a Prototype in the early phase can save time, effort, and money? When we make the product on our assumption, we may end up building the wrong thing. By doing prototype testing, we would get to know about what is working and where the users are facing problems. We could then improve those things and then send them to the developing phase.
But, there is a big misconception about validating the prototypes that you make. A lot of times, companies at an early stage build their prototypes, test them, iterate them and again test them. But the main question here remains is, how do people validate their prototypes?
In the common prototype, we are trying to find out what the user wants, needs, or prefers. The information we are looking for with usability prototypes is to better understand user preference. (For example, does the user like yellow or blue.) and Does this actually solve the user’s problem?
Oftentimes there are teams who are pursuing a grand vision, an idea that could really have an impact on their customers and for their business. This vision is fantastic, even necessary for keeping the team motivated and going in the right direction.
But to validate that vision in a more critical way is necessary. Through prototyping, you should focus on three main characteristics for an innovative outcome i.e. Feasibility, Viability, and Desirability.
Feasibility: Tests if we can actually build this
Viability: Tests your value for long term growth
Desirability: Tests whether your product is solving the right customer problems
Now we can have a discussion of what’s realistic and talk about the practicality of building it. Along with solving the user problems, we have to consider: Is it possible? What are we talking about with feasibility prototypes: This is a time for technological discussion. Get unstuck. If the team has a decision-making process, then test out options. Ask yourself: Can this solve our problem? Can this scale? Then the team can now tell the product owner what is possible.
Viability prototypes are usually not a stand-alone exercise. A part of the larger conversation of your project. These exercises are excellent to run when you need a check on the business needs. Requirements, needs, and direction change and it’s foolish to fold your arms, be stubborn, and say, “No no the user wants this.”
The client’s voice matters so conversations need to happen. Run a stakeholder workshop with a value proposition canvas or a business model canvas paired with another prototype. This is the most important validation because it focuses on understanding business requirements, how can we evolve the product offerings so it creates a win-win for business and customers? This is the time to close the gap between business requirements and user needs/problems.
A test for desirability focuses on whether your solution is nice to have or a must-have for your customer. Ask yourself, what task am I helping my customer complete? What does successful completion of that task look like for them? Looking at what they are trying to do and why it is important to them puts yourself in their shoes, let you look at your solution from their eyes.
If you are solving the key pain points they encounter when trying to complete this task, your solution has met the test for desirability. If not, and there are other pain points that you haven’t addressed, then pivoting your solution might put you on a better path.
You have to be fully conscious of not falling in love with your new ideas because they can turn out to be harmful. Eventually, you might give up on developing the ideas because you experienced negative signals recurrently from your target market. This makes your confidence hit rock bottom, which spells disaster for any entrepreneur. Iteration is your friend when building any idea. At each iteration, testing for these three and adjusting your strategy will keep you on track.
We want you to protect your creative confidence by always testing your new ideas on people who will pay you for them. That’s where you’re going to get valid feedback that you can use to move forward, either one way or the other. Don’t attach your emotions to your ideas until the people who will be paying clientele have fallen in love first. Only then are you safe to do the same.
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