Business & Product Ideation
Without a viable business model, products rarely succeed. The goal of our ideation process is to discover a scalable and repeatable business model that generates sustainable revenue for our clients by delivering value to their customers.
It’s not easy to build a successful business. Recent research conducted by Harvard Business Professor Shikhar Ghosh reveals that 3 out of 4 startups fail. This is a shocking figure, especially when you think about all of the money, human resources, and sweat equity lost forever. What did Ghosh identify as the main reason for failure? The majority of startups lacked the foresight and balanced business model to grow a sufficient customer base to generate the revenues needed for sustainable growth. Either startups tried to scale the wrong product too fast, or they were guilty of trying to build a product in a vacuum and then get customers to see things from their perspective.
Our approach to building products is a bit different. We believe in being agile, running lean, and scaling products and development efforts based on validated learning backed by real data. Through the years of actively practicing this methodology, we’ve honed in on a very effective framework for generating scalable business models that solve actual customer needs without costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our business and ideation framework is more than just a one time process. It’s a fundamental and concrete change in the way we help you approach starting a business and growing it to success.
The core tools we employ during business and product ideation are:
- The Business Model Canvas - This is the heart of mapping out your business. Instead of spending days writing a lengthy plan, this one page diagram allows you to identify the 9 integral parts of a successful business - who your customers are, what problem they have that needs to be solved, how you will get your product to them, what type of ongoing relationship you will maintain with them, how much revenue your product will generate, how much it will cost to run your business, what the key activities are that need to be done to build the product and run the business, the key resources required to be carry out the key activities, and the key or strategic partners your business relies on.
- Customer Empathy Maps - What are your customer’s biggest pains and frustrations? How do they measure success? Customer empathy maps serve a vital role in helping you better understand your customer segments and how to position your product for maximum adoption.
- Strategy & Risks Board - Chances are, there are several other companies working on a similar problem that you are trying to solve. Looking for things your competitors are doing well and things they are struggling with will help you take the good, learn from the bad, and avoid having to recreate the wheel. It’s also important to identify the riskiest areas of your business model so you can mitigate them as early on as possible.
- Experiments Grid - Business models are initially composed of assumptions. Creating hypotheses and developing small experiments to validate your assumptions is the only way to prove that your business will succeed. By developing your product iteratively using the experiments grid, you are able to obtain validated learning, customer discovery data, and proof that investing the money to build your product will result in success and not failure.
We provide stand-alone ideation consulting, ongoing training, and integration of our framework into new and existing product development projects. We’re passionate about helping our customers build successful products and businesses and we strongly recommend starting here if you have a new business or product idea.