According to the statistic, 95% of the startups fail. It causes because of different reasons. However, the most spreading reason it’s unknowing of how to develop the product efficiently. Before building a new product, you need to know some steps of how to build your startup and launch to the market quickly.
An idea worth nothing, but you should make sure that your solution is needed by other people, not just by you. You can prove your idea by talking to your target audience. Find out if they really need your product and how much they would be willing to pay for it. However, there are some things you should be aware of, which you can learn how to avoid by reading the book titled “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick. Later I’ll write an article with a summary of this book.
You can also use tools such as Wix, Tilda, etc. to validate your idea.
At this stage, software development is barely a requirement.
POC, an acronym for proof of concept, is the first step to consider before moving ahead with the development process. As the name implies, proof of concept is proof that the idea is feasible and can be converted into a product. A proof-of-concept will cover a small part, not the entire system. Moreover, users will never get to see it because POCs are used internally to clarify which way to go with the development. You can also consider building a POC to get seed-stage funding.
A prototype is a draft version of the product that focuses on user experience and semantics. The word prototype originates from a Greek word that means “in a primitive form”. Similar to a POC, a prototype’s main purpose is to help you make decisions about product development and reduce the number of mistakes. However, there are key differences. While a POC offers you a model of just one aspect of the product, a prototype is a working model of several aspects of the product. The development team usually uses prototyping to discover errors in the system. By building a prototype, they test the product’s design, usability, and often functionality. With a proof of concept, you can’t do that, because it’s smaller and can verify only a single issue.
MVP, an acronym for a minimum viable product, is a workable version resembling the final product but loaded with only the essential features. Any further product developments and feature additions are then based on continuous valuable feedback that flows in from end-users. As the MVP is delivered to the market right away, it has to be simple and well-polished, without any bugs or other problems.
During the PoC, Prototype & MVP stages it’s better to outsource development, than use an in-house team, as you’ll probably need to do several iterations during the user-testing phase. While you test your solution, your developers won’t bet working, but the convention is to still pay them.
When you have gathered all the feedback from your customers and have made the product almost perfect for them, you should concentrate on marketing and sales. At this stage, it’s more important to build your in-house team, as you need to support your product, and add new features.
New product development is like experimenting with a vision in mind. It requires commitment, cadence, awareness, and knowledge of how you need to move ahead with the process. The process starts with laying the foundation right, i.e., idea, creating a proof of concept, and a prototype, followed by an MVP. At all of these stages, you should use your resources in a lean way. And always remember the phrase: "If you think, that you can't make something for free, think again :)"
Good luck with launching your startups, folks!
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