As you know, there is always some risk concerned with starting a new product: lack of interested customers, critics’ disapproval, wasted resources etc. Any startup project is built on the original raw idea which is then advanced by numerous features intended to make the outstanding final result. Before investing in those advancements, it is advisable to check customers’ attitude to the core product as a guarantee of success.
First of all, your new creation should carry a certain message to the potential users, or in other words, it should reflect the advantage they will get from the product. People always have a bunch of problems they want to get solved in a short period of time with minimum resources. So why not think about your own problems and try to come up with a solution?
The developers of Unsplash website, an online community of photo artists and designers, know exactly how it works. Some years ago they tried to find a new image for one of their websites, which turned out a long-time process. Finally, they decided to hire a professional photographer to do this individual work for them. When the photos were ready, they published some of them online for free under Creative Commons Zero license, thus offering access to high-resolution images for everyone interested. At that time, the team just used a simple website theme provided by Tumblr in order not to spend a lot on a trial product. Finally, the service has become a perfect tool for high-quality image search popular among other entrepreneurs and artists working on their own projects. Interestingly, Unsplash creators decided to keep that minimalistic Tumblr website theme. Talking about product advancements, it always makes sense to start with something simple and relatively cheap for your trial product, just to see the customers’ attitude, and then change it for something better if necessary.
Another recommendation on dealing with your minimum viable product is about creating a blog or just one-page website giving all the information about the upcoming novelty in a very demonstrative way. Thus, you will be able to learn about customers’ attitude through the numbers of likes or subscriptions without even starting the product! And then, if you see that your business idea has all the potential to turn into a powerful product, you can start working on it. Also, during this kind of communication with people you will pick up new features they will inform you about and add them to the product. This is a special business tactic called Smoke Test.
So after making sure that your business idea will succeed, take real actions and do not stop surprising your customers. Remember: the message, Smoke Test, minimalism.
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