Product Validation Week 1

Test First, Triumph Later

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Beyond9to5 - by LoopGenius | Read Time: 5 mins | Advertise

Welcome back!

This week’s edition is brought to you by Growth Daily. More on them below!

Last month we tackled the topic of Pricing. This month, we’re coming at you with a huge new theme: Product Validation! What product should you be making? How do you know what’s working? When is it time to change? We’re giving you the answers to all of these tough questions - every Monday right to your inbox! 🔥🤝


What Everyone’s Talking About

Tools + Productivity

Here’s What You’ll Love

👨‍✈️ Sheet Copilot - uses AI to complete tasks in Google Sheets

 Soona - the complete suite for making professional visual content

👬 Career Companion - generate interview questions from a job description

🧠 Recall - Summarize any online content

🏃 Supadash - Generate charts and visualize data with AI


Test First, Triumph Later

Did you know that ~80% of businesses fail in the first 20 years?

It’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. Check this out:

Fortunately you have us, so this won’t happen to you! Let’s dive in.

Don’t get stuck in ideation
The reason most (i.e., nearly all) businesses fail is because they don’t know how to pivot. 

You might think that you’re solving a problem for your customer with the product you’ve made, but you never really know until that product is launched and interacts with the public.

Imagine this: you’ve spent weeks creating a product. You and your team hunkered down and refined the product, complete with all the bells and whistles any user might possibly want. It’s no longer “a” product - it’s “the” product.

You hit launch, and you expect revenues to skyrocket. You have built it, and they will come.

Buuuuut then it flops. Your performance metrics are nowhere near what you thought they would be, and you don’t know where you went wrong.

Here’s what happened: you didn’t talk to customers, research your market, or test your MVP, so although you locked in with your team to make the “perfect product” you were slowly detaching yourself from how people would react to it.

There are business owners who do this all the time, and it can be incredibly frustrating, but it’s also their own fault. They get too focused on what they think people want, and they forget to test their ideas out before going full throttle.

How to test your ideas
When it comes to rolling out a new offering, launching a product, or simply revamping your packaging (throwback to last week), everyone does their research on what should work.

The problem is that most of the time, what should work doesn’t align with what does work. We can’t capture all the variables, so we often end up getting things wrong.

The way to deal with this is by properly testing your products in real markets and being open to change when things go left. The method:

  • Build

  • Measure

  • Learn

  • Repeat

When building any company, it’s important to keep these principles in mind.

We begin with a minimum viable product (MVP). This is a first-pass effort at solving your audience’s problem. 

This could take many different forms:

SaaS: a fully functional and deliverable software tool
Online Course: A website to host at least one course with streaming/download capabilities
Consultancy / Agency: A description of the services being offered - this should include an overview of the problems that the agency aims to address, as well as the specific expertise that the provider brings to the table
Digital Products: A landing page with an assortment of product offerings (LoopGenius is great for this!)

Zappos, the footwear e-commerce giant, applied these principles during its initial phases, eventually becoming an acquisition by Amazon for $1.2 billion.

In their MVP approach, Zappos took a unique route – they visited a nearby brick-and-mortar shoe store, snapped pictures of the merchandise, and showcased them online. 

The twist? When a customer made a purchase on their site, Zappos' team would physically acquire the product from the local store and handle the shipping directly to the buyer. This unconventional strategy served as a real-world test for their business model.

Once you’ve built the product, the next step is to take your MVP to a number of different market segments and collect feedback from users about the product. 

Before you made your MVP, you probably had a hypothesis about the customer needs your product or service aimed to fulfill.

Now, leverage the data gathered from your MVP to assess and align it with your initial concept of the market. By tapping into customer feedback and experiences, you can adapt your MVP in a dynamic process known as agile development

If your MVP fails to generate sufficient interest, it could signify its lack of viability, posing challenges in establishing a sustainable business.

After obtaining your MVP, along with customer feedback and data, the next step is to determine how to pivot the business idea. 

Assess the level of interest – does it justify moving forward with business development and product refinement? Maybe you just need to recalibrate and roll out a new iteration of the idea.

In this third stage of the lean startup methodology, you decide whether to persevere into your business idea or pivot towards a new approach.

Looking Ahead
This month, we’re diving into how to validate your product, whatever that product may be. In this week’s edition, we’ve just shown you the tip of the iceberg with the lean startup model (Build, Measure, Learn). Next week, we’ll be bringing you a detailed breakdown of how to conduct market research and gain customer insight. Check out this month’s calendar below:

Week 1: Testing an Idea (this week)
Week 2: Market Research and Customer Insight
Week 3: Testing and Validation Techniques
Week 4: Analyzing what you learned to make informed decisions

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