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How to Know if Your Product is Needed?

This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.

Sam Mallikarjunan is currently a university professor at Harvard University. He also worked with HubSpot. He helps people learn how to speak, especially entrepreneurs so that they know how to convince their clients. Also, helps with consulting, and teaching. 

Mr. Sam Mallikarjunan used to work with HubSpot Labs, that is why during his speech that he delivered to our audience while he was present in Startup Turkey 2016, he gave us the techniques that HubSpot Labs uses, how they try new technologies and ideas, as well as talked to us about ‘The First Framework’ that could guarantee growth success to entrepreneurs. 

The FIRST Framework stands for Fake it, Iterate, Retain, Scale-up, and Test. The first ‘F’ letter represent the ‘Fake It’ phase. Before you actually start building products, what you should do is to make sure that this is actually something that worth spending all your time, thoughts, and your investors’ money to build. If you can not articulate your concept to an animator explainer video, and you can not get it into a 90 seconds script, then you probably need to think more about the service that you are about to offer, and scale up your product furthermore, said Mr. Mallikajunan.

It is way cheaper to build a 90 seconds animated video, than writing codes, going to markets, and trying to attract customers that will eventually end up being not interested in the product that you are offering them. The second thing that you could do is to create a landing page to generate signups and see if people will actually start using your product after you launch it. Before you build that technology, it is crucial to check if that is what people really want, that would save you a lot of time, effort, money, and could save your career if the product fails to attract people. 

The third thing that you could possibly do before you start building your product, is that if you already have an existant interface, you could add up a button in that interface that is related to your product. This way of checking if your product or idea will attract people or not is very easy; if no one or a small number of people click that button, then your product is not worth building. 

Mr. Mallikarjunan then presented the fourth alternative that you could use as an entrepreneur in order to make sure that your product needs to be built. He compared this method to the ‘Wizard of Oz’ who is just a guy standing behind the curtain and making things work. In relationship to this that is also another fake it methodology when checking if your product is needed or not, you could create a frontend which is a lot easier to build and to change, before creating the final backend of your startup, that way you can make sure that people do want what you have before it comes to existence. 

The thing is not that you need to prove your capability or ability to build that product you are offering to people perfectly, but instead, what you need to prove is that people actually need what you are offering, so that you could benefit from it later on. 

10 October 2019

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