When your MVP approach simply breaks.
Bring that research in, stat.
At some point, you need more research vs. development. How do you know whether you're doing it right?
Let's first establish that we agree on the necessity to have an innovation process/research in the first place. The smaller you are the more likely your approach will be to develop MVPs with little pre-validation. Throw spaghetti on the wall, and see what sticks.
This is normal and it doesn't scale. As you grow, this process breaks. Opportunities are not so obvious while your available development capacity increases. At the same time, the impact per hour spent decreases.
Pre-development research allows you to increase the chance of developing something with impact. The best process looks oversimplified like this:
1. Qualitative research: We go deep into a few data points (users) and investigate
2. Quantitative research: We go wide on lots of data points (users) and validate
3. We connect both to make predictions on the market and existing users with statistical analysis
I'm in the process to write an entire course for this particular topic but here are common mistakes/symptoms that I see:
- You don't know how to connect the qualitative findings with quantitative data or do only one of the two
- You only perform your research with existing users -> tunnel vision
- Your questions are hypothetical. "Would you use this feature if...". Don't do this. Investigate what users *did* not what they think they will do. Hypothetical market search - does. not. work.
- You don't feel confident whether something works before you test it in the market with an MVP.
- You don't know your customer profile and are too wide in targeting -> your data becomes incomparable and there are no clear trends
- "We don't find enough users to interview/survey" -> You might target too far upmarket, consider going down to smaller clients. It's very rare that smaller businesses don't have the same problems as enterprises.
Is there anything else that you would add to this list or that you even experience?
#innovation #scaling #productmanagement
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