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How do you know that a customer needs your product?

A startup is primarily about turning an idea into a product. In order to create a product that will interest the consumer, you need constant feedback not from experts, but from future buyers. For this, a cycle of “create-evaluate-learn” is being established.

Rarely do specialists focus on all parts of the cycle at once. More often you can see that the whole process is either aimed at bringing the product to the ideal or at effective promotion.

The speed of one aspect of the cycle doesn't matter without everything else. Investors will not be impressed with the timing of a product if no one needs it. Cycle you to constantly check the compliance of the product with the buyer's requests.

You are creating a minimum viable product. It may not even have the most important details. Immediately after creation, you test it on the users and find out if they are interested in such an offer. That being said, you can even sell a prototype. If the users are interested, continue to work in the same direction. Otherwise, change your approach.

With a frequent repetition of the cycle, it is possible to bring a product to the market even with a minimum initial capital.

To develop a completely new product, first of all, you will have to make several assumptions on which the development strategy is based.

Since it is difficult to convince investors on faith alone, first you need to find analogs or anti-analogs. For example, the iPod was created with the assumption that users would listen to music through headphones in public places. This hypothesis was previously tested by Sony by releasing their player. Sites for the free distribution of music have become an anti-analogue. Apple assumed that the consumer would be willing to pay for music, and they were right.

Once the foundation is built, it is time for assumptions and experimentation.

Let us consider creating a hypothesis using Facebook as an example. Even before the creation of this social network for students, there were many similar projects.

The creators used two main hypotheses. The value hypothesis assumed that people would want to use the proposed product. The growth hypothesis said that the community would grow steadily. The assumptions turned out to be correct. In a month, the social network captured ¾ of Harvard students, although not a cent was spent on advertising.

If at the same time one of the hypotheses is not justified, the project will fail. For example, if the product did not represent value, then even global advertising would increase the audience for a short time. Without getting the finished product, users will leave.

When the hypothesis has already been formed, one should "take to the streets". You can't know what customers want unless you ask them and get a feel for their concerns.

When it comes to startups, customers themselves don't know what they need. They can only talk about previous experience.

In 1982, Scott Cook started Intuit. He believed that in the future, people would start using personal computers to manage their budgets. To check it, Cook randomly called people from the state telephone directory and asked how they were managing their finances. Handling invoices by hand turned out to annoy people. Thus, Cook received information from potential customers, not asking them about the details of the future product, but only finding out the needs.

Conduct a consumer analysis before starting a hectic business. Create a customer archetype and match any solution to customer needs. A superficial analysis will lead you to create an unnecessary product.
It is also not worth going too deep into the analysis. Customers themselves do not know what they want from the developed proposal. After collecting and analyzing the information, create a product that you can test and re-gather an opinion based on a real product.

Only by humanizing the buyer and understanding his needs can you create a
successful business.


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