When you start something out it is super easy to get caught in absolute numbers. How many visitors do you have to your website? How many downloads does your app get? 1, 100, 10.000?
But absolute numbers are not that important. More often than not they are a function of the effort and investment to drive awareness and traffic, anyway. No, what matters are the relative numbers.
What big a percentage of those that went to your new website signed up for the offering? How many of those that downloaded the app created a profile? How big a percentage of them actually activated it? And so on. Those are the kind of numbers that matter – the relative numbers. And in combination with some clearly preset success criteria for what they should look like, those are the numbers that will determine whether you are onto something or not.
Today we’re soft-launching a simple pilot of our latest project, which we call FIXDIT.
FIXDIT is for homeowners and home maintenance professionals who wants to get rid of all the horror stories about home maintenance and redecoration projects. It is a challenging area, and lots of homeowners put off doing projects for fear of getting into a quagmire. I know, because I am one of them myself. Which is why I thought it was an important problem to try to find a better solution for.
With FIXDIT we’re looking to bring the love back between home owners and maintenance professionals. We try out a completely new spin on the market and the dynamics in it, and time and – most importantly – your reception of the concept will tell whether this is the start of something more or just a stupid idea.
Enjoy! (the website is in Danish)
One of the things that many people building new products and services automatically assume is that their would-be customers are curious people always on the look-out for the next big thing. But is that really the case?
Have you ever asked your customers how they find the hidden gems out there that can help them solve all their problems? Have you ever heard them explain how they actively go looking?
We have a tendency to think that everybody is always looking for something new and shiny. In many cases it is totally not the case. Which makes it important for you to avoid the temptation of building something hoping they will come. They most likely won’t – not by themselves anyway. So make sure you have a strategy for how to get them to notice you properly.
One of the easiest things is to get carried away by your great idea. For many aspiring entrepreneurs it just happens straight out of the gate. But even for those who have learned and accepted that getting to product/market-fit is an experimental process, it can be tricky to stay the course and be true to your process.
Staying nimble when you need to is a virtue. With an emphasis on ‘when you need to’. Because of course there comes a time – hopefully – where it makes a ton of sense to just do whatever it takes to hit it out of the park. Chances are though that that won’t be the first thing you need to do. And that doing it anyway may send you seriously off course – sometimes without the ability to recover.
A good way of staying the course could be to have a simple process drawn down. David J. Bland has an excellent one in a video here, where he connects Pirate Metrics for growth with experimentation and how to allocate time and budget. That is exactly what you need to make sure that you stay focused on the right things at the right points of time and that you stay the course and stay nimble, when you need to.
When you try to do something completely new, the only way you will know whether customers like it or reject it is if you show it to them.
This is precisely the argument for why you should be running experiments again and again, as you try to move forward from idea to a product or a service; you need to take stock of your customers to see, if you are essentially on the same page as they are. It not, redo, retool, relaunch or just stop.
Show your ugliness. Give your idea a spin. A little time and money invested in the right experiments go a long way into guiding the big product decisions that are truly costly.
Countless times when people talk about doing an MVP, what they are really deep down looking to do is something that resembles the finished product. Or at the very least should be used as a quite feature heavy and robust stepping stone towards the finished product.
It is a misconception though. MVPs in its original definition are meant to be thrown away. They are meant to be product-imitations showcasing a critical hypothesis for your idea to potential customers in order to get hard data on what happens, when you throw it out there and – hopefully – the right people start taking notice and interact with it.
Looked at through that lens the MVP is just one way of validating your business idea and underlying hypothesis. In the test-library, I use, there are 59 other methods just like it. It is just a way of testing whether you can validate your idea and your critical assumptions. Nothing more.
Uncertainty seems the only constant when you’re working with innovation and trying to build a viable business. And there is good reason to support the argument that the more successful you are, the more you tend to be surrounded by uncertainty.
You can not – and shall not pursue – total certainty at any point in time, because doing so will slow you down and get you bogged down in process.
What you can however do is try to identify the factors most critical to success in your business and work towards getting to more certainty in those particular areas and use the insight to really rocket-fuel your success.