Information Technology

Building An Innovative Tech - Startup Using Lean Methodology

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<p>Today, when the world is changing rapidly because of new technologies, regulations, and other reasons, it is the best time for an entrepreneur to catch the opportunity and build a tech-based startup that might become the next Unicorn in a matter of years.&nbsp;</p><p>While this sounds easy, there are steps that one must take into consideration before jumping in and starting to build something.</p><p>Let's start with :&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Defining the Problem&nbsp;</span></h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Often, the problem founders tackle isn't a pain point for the target people, or it simply doesn't exist. When you have an idea, you first must create surveys and talk with many people to fully understand what kind of problems they have in a specific industry. </span>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Questions to ask Yourself :&nbsp;</strong></p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">How is the problem you are thinking about solved today? (Remember, one of your competitors is "just doing nothing/not being solved")</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">In which industry is your startup?</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Which countries are you targeting?</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Who is your potential customer?</span></li></ul></li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p>While talking with the target groups, you should try to randomize the people because if you ask a question in a room of 50 people, all of them might have the same problem, but those might be the only 50 people in the world facing that problem in need of a solution.&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Defining the Solution</span>&nbsp;</h2><p>After successfully understanding the demand on the market now, you can start talking about potential solutions. Here you must take a lot of things into consideration, such as :&nbsp;</p><ul><li>Talk with the Software/Hardware people and fully understand what is buildable and what is not</li><li>Ask target groups if the solution will make their lives better</li><li>Make sure that the target customers you are talking with are willing to pay for the solution</li><li>Project the potential revenue and ask yourself the following questions:</li><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li>Is the solution an outcome or a feature?</li><li>Will this product be VC-fundable? &nbsp;</li><li>Is it scalable?</li><li>Can we create a monopoly?</li><li>Are you reinventing the wheel?&nbsp;</li></ul></li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)</span></h2><p>If the answer to the questions mentioned above is positive, things look good!</p><p>Now, you can start working on a product roadmap according to which idea will be transformed into technology.</p><p>Having all the "Yes" answers from target groups still doesn't mean that your product will be successful. According to the Lean Methodology, my favorite strategy, you should focus on launching your product early.</p><p>A startup is an organization with no (bootstrapped) or very limited financial resources. This means you should value your and your team's time. &nbsp;While defining the roadmap, the priority must be the product, not the features. You must design a product that only solves the problem and launch it quickly. This is also called Rapid-Prototyping. &nbsp;</p><p>After finishing the roadmap, I recommend talking with a few potential customers once again to make sure that you have everything taken into account that is needed to solve their problems.&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Launch&nbsp;</span></h2><p>The goal for every startup founder here is to "Fail Fast," meaning, if you are going to fail anyways, it's always better to fail fast. After building an MVP, make it available to early adopters and test it thoroughly. After that, just launch !</p><p>Many startups fail before even launching. By launch, I mean making your product available to a big group of potential customers. &nbsp;</p><p>Here, most startup founders think they already "made it", but now the most important part starts. Your product will be crushed and turned upside down. To grow quickly, you should use the LEAN strategy to update quickly/upgrade products according to the customer's needs and re-launch.&nbsp;</p><p>This becomes a never-ending cycle where you constantly see what users think about your product, develop a new version, and launch.&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Traction and Fundraising</span>&nbsp;</h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">I'm not going to go into details here because my favorite strategy is to build a product, get traction, and start fundraising. Many startups do it, and vice-versa. &nbsp;</span></p><p>I recommend focusing on the traction and deciding the path : Participating in an accelerator: YC, 500, Techstars, LAUNCH, etc. Going straight to VCs.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Conclusion</span>&nbsp;</h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">When building an innovative Tech-Startup from scratch, try to :</span></p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li>Fully understand the problem</li><li>Define a good buildable solution</li><li>Create an MVP quickly</li><li>Launch&nbsp;</li></ul></li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/giviberidze/">Givi Beridze</a>&nbsp;</em></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Givi Beridze</span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. I have an innovative idea and want to validate it. How can I do it without telling anyone, so they don't steal it ?</span></h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">There is an almost 0% chance that someone will steal your idea. Start speaking about your idea with tens or even hundreds of people to fully understand, "is it something you should spend time working on?" There are billions of great ideas outside, but every one of those ideas needs good execution. </span></p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. I have an idea but don't have the team to execute it. What should I do ? </span></h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Without the team, there is practically zero chance that you will be able to turn your idea into a successful venture.&nbsp;<br />First, Try talking with different software engineers and business and digital marketing people to find someone who might be interested in working with you, but offer them equity using "Vesting" only. When you don't know someone well, it is hard to tell what they'll do under hard circumstances. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Second, if you won't be able to find co-founders, it is tough to be a solo founder but not impossible. Try winning various grants to get enough money to hire an agency or freelancers, but make sure your idea is validated before ! </span></p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. I've built an MVP and launched it. I'm seeing very low engagement, and the growth rate is close to 0 or negative. What should I do ? </span></h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Answer to this question is tough because there might be several reasons:&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">First, you aren't doing something right, for example, Customer acquisition (Targeting, Digital Marketing, Sales, etc.). You must try various strategies with various target groups to fully understand "Is this something that people want?" </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Second, your solution isn't a "Product-market fit". This means that you probably found the correct audience to work on, but people don't need such a product. In this case, you need to talk with the potential customers and understand their needs to decide : Pivot or Fail.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Givi Beridze