If you’re launching a new startup or product, this post is for you! You’ve created your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and want to get your first version of the product launched. But where do you begin? You could go about it haphazardly or test and improve it along the way. The 4 Core Steps Framework can help. Based on the ideas from the Lean Startup, this framework will guide you through getting your product launched at a quick pace, with the best features, and help you improve upon them as time goes on.
What is a Lean Startup?
Lean Startup is a methodology for developing businesses and products that aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.
The central hypothesis of the Lean Startup methodology is that if startup companies invest their time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers, they can reduce the market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches and failures.
By taking an approach of continuous innovation, companies can decrease the cost of customer feedback, lower overall development costs and increase the speed at which they can roll out new features based on ongoing customer interaction.
Four Steps to Successful Product Launches
The Lean Startup approach is fundamentally a way of thinking about product launches. It’s based on four simple steps:
Ideate: Identify your business model and a hypothesis for how to make it work.
Build: Build a “minimum viable product” (MVP) that tests your hypothesis.
Measure: Evaluate the response to your MVP and develop learning about how it can be improved.
Learn: Repeat the build-measure-learn cycle as many times as needed until you have achieved product/market fit, at which point you will have validated your business model.
Keep in mind, this loop isn’t intended to be a one-time cycle; rather, it should be repeated throughout the life of your business as new hypotheses are tested and products are iterated upon.
Lean startup as a new mindset
Lean startup is a new way of thinking about business, one that rejects the assumption that success begins with a good idea and ends when that idea becomes a great product. Instead, it assumes that all products are tested ideas and encourages businesses to use data to validate their hypotheses.
The lean startup methodology applies to all companies, but it’s particularly well suited for eCommerce ventures. Here’s why:
A lean startup can be run on a shoestring budget:
No matter how small your business is, chances are you don’t have as much capital as your competitors. The lean methodology has a built-in system for maximizing profit and minimizing waste.
Lean startups make decisions based on data:
Data-based decision making is one of the foundations of the lean methodology. In other words, instead of guessing what consumers want and hoping for the best, you ask them directly. Then, based on their feedback, you change your approach until you find something that works.
Lean startups aren’t afraid to fail:
The biggest roadblock to innovation is fear — fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of change. Lean startups throw caution to the wind in exchange for learning from mistakes along the way.
The process will feel a bit different to each individual, but you can use the Lean Startup method to bring your product to market. Analyzing and developing the idea, testing it out with the market, getting it launched, and then refining and improving follows distinct steps that anyone can learn to do even with their first project. Give this process a go and feel more confident about your next project.
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