The Art of Starting

September 19, 2018

I recently had a sit-down with a product manager of one of the biggest tech companies in Kuwait. A few minutes into it, we started talking about one of our goals here at IdeatoApp, namely helping aspiring entrepreneurs get to market as quickly and affordably as possible. This slowly led to a conversation about the best way to get to market successfully.

We Had Different Opinions

In his opinion, founders of tech startups should invest time and money upfront doing proper market research, studying competition, and talking to potential customers. According to him, this would lead to an MVP that is a better fit to the market.

I was against the idea of investing time and money upfront. I agreed that one obviously needs to get a clear idea about the market and the competition, but that time and money are better spent on product iterations after collecting real feedback from the market. This is especially true for tech startups because most of the time we are creating new markets or entering relatively new ones.

Second Thoughts

Thinking about it alone later, I realized that a middle ground between us is probably the most ideal; a little bit of digging in, especially when it comes to speaking to potential customers, is a good idea.

Since then, we at IdeatoApp have been focusing more on helping our clients:

  1. Define the problem they are trying to solve
  2. Define the target market, and
  3. Clearly define the solution.

From there we encourage them to interview a sample from their target market and try to validate whether the problem they are trying to solve is a real one, and whether the solution they are presenting is a needed solution.

We finally use this feedback and carry out our first round of iteration before designing and developing the MVP.

Importance of Clearly Defining the Solution Before Asking for Feedback

To get proper feedback on a solution, we need to present it correctly, and to present it correctly is to define it well enough for potential customers to imagine themselves using it. Only then can we ask them whether they would use or not. Makes sense right?

For example, “An app that allows you to order a cab wherever you are” is not a well defined solution. On the other hand, “an app that uses location services to show you nearby cabs, and allows you to order one and pay with a tap of a button wherever you are and at no extra cost” is a better defined one.

If we present the ill-defined version of our solution, each person we speak to will imagine it in a different way, and the feedback we get will be off.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that starting an online business and successfully getting to market is an art more than anything, but even art has a set of basic rules, and I think I’m on the right track to exploring them. I hope you’re enjoying this journey as much as I am.

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