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Testing your idea – minimum viable product (MVP)

You are now ready to test your idea and take it in front of real users/customers but how do you find out if the product is what your customers or users want? The obvious option would be to build a minimum viable product (MVP) quickly and cheaply to test it out. We have put together some handy resources to help you learn what an MVP should look like, how to go about building one yourself if you don’t have coding experience, selling it to early customers and finally, changing the product according to the needs of the users/customers.


  1. Dos and Don’t of building an MVP

Some of the biggest startups started as MVPs: DropBox started life as a product demo video on Digg and Groupon started as a WordPress blog.

This blog by Forward Partners looks at what a good MVP looks like to deliver value to the customers. A good MVP can almost be thought of as your product’s spine — giving a solid core foundation for the form and function to follow.


  1. Get started without any coding 

This article distils the no-code insights that will help you cut through the noise to capitalise on the power of emerging tech to enable people to build websites and Apps without any coding.


  1. Start-up pricing 101

YC Partner Kevin Hale goes over the fundamentals of pricing and monetization, how it affects your customer acquisition strategy, and how to optimize it through a few rules of thumb.


0:00​ Introduction

1:35​ ROI of monetization

2:50​ The pricing thermometer

5:00​ Pricing mistakes

6:34​ Stages of a company

7:47​ Why is pricing innovation hard?

9:55​ How to optimize prices

10:58​ Pricing danger zone

15:24​ 10 – 5 – 20 rule

16:50​ Conclusion


  1. Pricing your product

A lot of startups treat pricing as a math problem or, worse, an afterthought. Pricing is as much an art as it is a science, one that relies as much on marketing and psychology as it does on classical economics. This Sequoia Guide covers strategies that can help you figure out the right price for your product—and end up with happier customers and more profit in the process.


  1. Finding product-market fit

Segment co-founder and CEO Peter Reinhardt shares his story of finding product-market fit so that other founders can avoid years of “wandering around lost in the woods” like they did, and emerge with product-market fit sooner.


  1. Team exercise to get started on your brand

The point of these brainstorming exercises by Google Ventures is to make the abstract idea of “our brand” into something concrete. After doing the exercises, the team gets a common language to describe what their company is about — and all subsequent squishy decisions about visuals, voice, and identity become way easier.


  1. Brand strategy to make your startup look bigger and professional

In this interview by Leslie Ziegler of Rock Health, she walks through the most important brand decisions startups can make to appear formidable, credible, and ready to make change.


  1. Guide to naming your startup

A good name can help a company or product become successful, of course, but it can also help find an audience, help formalise an informal process, and propel ideas about the world toward becoming talking points throughout it. This guide provides a comprehensive set of tools and methodology founders can use for naming their startup.


  1. Important documents to keep 

Having some very basic organisation from day one will help save an enormous amount of time in the future. Key takeaways:

  • You need to store certain documents – to comply with the law, and help with fundraising;
  • Some you’ll need to keep physical copies of, and others can be kept digitally;
  • Don’t forget your data protection obligations.


  1. Sales advise for founders 

You can have the best product or service, but if no one knows about it or understands the value, you won’t survive. This article by Y-combinator outlines three easy ways to jumpstart your sales and build the momentum you need. It goes over how to identify and prioritize low hanging leads, how to get in front of these leads, and what a successful sales conversation looks like.


  1. Guide to startup pivots

Most of the times, startup don’t work. At some point, it may make sense to either (1) give up on your original product and to sell the company, (2) shut down what you are doing and return money to investors, or (3) to pivot. This blog focuses on pivoting for small, early-stage companies (e.g. 10 or fewer people).


  1. The art of startup pivots from a founder

Pivots are a fact of life in the startup world. Yet, very few founders, especially first-time founders, will plan for it. The founder mindset is typically focused on a single go-to-market strategy. The investors are sold on the potential based on that initial strategy, signing off a budget calibrated accordingly. Everyone sings the same tune until the shareholders realize, hopefully before it’s too late, that the strategy is going nowhere, and that a radical change is required. This scenario occurs more often than not, over 65% of the time. If done right, a pivot is almost inevitably a cause for success.


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