I’m a huge advocate of the Lean Startup for validating ideas with real customers, before time & money is ‘wasted’ pursuing a solution that users may not use. Pursuing an idea using this method (Build – Measure – Learn) shouldn’t be a monumental task, however it is very easy for us to fall back in to our comfort zone and assume that testing an idea will cost loads of time and money. (And thus stifling any chance of beginning a project in the first place, particularly when its a hobby/side project!)
I’ve been meaning to implement these techniques for a while now on a persistent idea that I have, but found it difficult to visualise the feedback mechanic as anything more than this:
And whilst it is a great concept, its very difficult to track progress without using some sort of cumbersome task tracking, project management style tool. Even applying an agile framework to my idea feels wasteful at this point, as I’d only be pursuing the ‘exploration’ method of validating my hypotheses & assumptions. Well this is of course, until now.
I recently stumbled across the Lean Startup Machine “Validation Board” and I found it so simple & useful, that I immediately got a copy of it printed & laminated, then stuck it up on my wall. It looks a little something like this:
It’s free to use (unless you’re a software company) and all they ask is for is a tweet. (I happily obliged!)
I’m using this already and adore its simplicity & structure. I found it useful and I hope you do too.