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Issue 14 🪜:Breakdown the minimal scope of the idea/vision with core functionality to address the niche-based audience.
Hey everyone👋, welcome to the 30th newsletter.
“The more I write, the better I become at writing. Same way, the more you build, the better you become at how to begin.”
Whether you’re joining a startup as a founding member or building your own product, knowing where to begin from will make the execution process easy, get faster results, make your thought process clear, and know which direction to lead.
Where to begin/what’s the starting point of a product? That’s the biggest hurdle of execution leading to procrastination for most of the founders.
With myself leading two tech products in past, I have learned a lot about how to launch and get started with building anything. In fact, I’ve witnessed how starting with the wrong approach can kill your product at an early stage.
Let me begin with…
Understand the product idea in a realistic way
Most of our ideas are comprised of assumptions making us believe that it will help make the product successful and loved by the users. But in reality, it’s the risk we are taking with the probability to win or loss.
Break down the problem idea into a way that it can be explained in one-two sentence.
Having possible to learn a language by visiting the country.
Giving a place for new content websites to immediately get quality backlinks.
Find and promote 100% eco-friendly products from all around the world for home.
(☝️above are some examples)
This helps me narrow down the scope of the idea, which feature to add in the MVP, target audience, create a persona and get a clear idea of enough people that I want to attract in the initial stage. Even before launching the product I have to create a pre-build user base through pre-marketing & building a community. Helping me save time & money.
These assumptions can be removed, in the easiest way, by validating the idea → building an MVP → getting initial feedback, or if you have the power of pre-build audience use it by asking them open-ended questions. Such as “how is X thing working for you”, “why aren’t you satisfied by the current services?”.
When you ask open-ended questions to the users, you are able to identify their problems before giving them the solution that will work best for them rather than giving them ideas on possible solutions first-hand.
As startups are self-explanatory, they find their market, users, definition & who they are as they discover themselves.
Defining where to reach at the end aka goals
Even with your MVP, goals will help you stick to the right side. Here are my primary goals for overall MVP:
Finding out the right solution to a problem
Building the “actual” solution users need
Having niche-based users pre-launch
Your MVP gives you a faster way to get out and validate the idea. So, hold the customers tightly with the problem and help shape the product before launch.
I’m fortunate enough to experience the value of MVP. The first goal with the pre-launch product is to get it out as soon as possible. Understand and decode the mixed reactions.
Next, your goal should be to interact with the users, find out insights about their journey with your product. Dig out feedback with open-ended questions. Until you hear they aren’t satisfied or find something that isn’t working. It’s not all about appraising & having good talks always.
You can’t keep an idea about what you wish to build, as in reality that’s not what your customers are looking for. Keep on correcting the solution until it fits with the initial problem.
Create a positive momentum & psychology to keep going by setting small actionable & attenable goals. When you feel like you are able to accomplish goals faster, long-term goals seem much easier and faster to achieve.
Lastly, your MVP doesn’t need a ton of people to validate the idea, just a hand full of them are enough. Remember your vision needs to be for everyone, but the solution for one. Build the solution for them, until they become your biggest cheerleaders.
Prioritize product requirements & identify the user segment to target
The worst thing you can do while launching is to work on different features than what your target audience wants.
With the product, I try to build the features that fit in a cycle, a small cycle for MVP. And increase the cycle as more features are added along with increasing the niche. Every feature needs to co-relate with each other and not to stand alone.
If a feature doesn’t make sense at the time or is completely separate from the cycle, it can be removed. If it brings no value then it has no revenue. Hence, for no use.
With the small circle, the product features are limited for a very niche down audience. This helps me:
Find the initial user,
Build the right product functionality,
Define story or message for marketing,
Shape the product in the right direction,
and have a solid foundation.
Remember don’t dwell on making your idea perfect, and think optimistically. As you shape your product, you’ll want to kill underperforming features that you loved the most as per user requirements.
Find the distribution channel
For me, spending time on growth marketing when your product isn’t ready for launch is a waste of time & money. Rather it’s better to find the right distribution channel before the product is ready for the initial launch and has core functionalities and an audience to address.
It’s easy to target & build a community around a niche down audience. Once you’re clear on what channel brings you the most traffic, creating a marketing strategy to convert the leads becomes the next task.
If you ask me where would I get initial users? It’s simple - the people who led me to the problem first hand. Then do things that don’t scale, such as cold reach out, DMing people, posting on community, etc.
Be the machine that talks a lot about the product, until it becomes a known brand on Twitter (or anywhere). With 100+ users on board, you’ll be able to find your pre-launch distribution channel.
Feedback and cycle 🔁
The loop of getting feedback working on making the solution better is a never-ending story. In fact, that’s what makes your product better. With each feature update, the feedback brings you in the right direction, if you’re leading somewhere wrong.
Your first launch after the MVP doesn’t need to be perfect. In fact, you’ll be launching your product each time with major feature updates. So don’t worry about making it perfect.
Prioritize getting feedback from the right people. Always getting happy feedback from customers isn’t good. This way, you’re actually making no progress. If you keep asking them questions until you find them saying “no” you’ll be surprised to find ideas you can never think of.
Lastly, keep your building process small. You’ll want to keep adding & removing features as you shape the product, live in front of users. It should be done fast - execution & correction.
That’s all for today! I’m looking for some feedback on this newsletter. If anyone’s interested, please leave it here. Thank you!
Until next time! 👋
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