Because of our involvement in various early-stage startups, we come across some repeated patterns and common pitfalls quite frequently. That said, we decided to put together and share publicly some tips and best practices to help people with brilliant ideas turn them into useful products.
To validate fast a new idea and minimize costs, there are some critical things to consider in order to minimize time to market, reduce costs and stay focused all the way long.
Strip down the idea and focus on its core concept
Trying to add all these bells and whistles is slowing down your progress, disorientates you, and forces you to lose focus eventually.
Stay in the course by putting all the eggs in one basket.
Stick to the core concept of your idea and try to ship it.
Do heavy Research and Development cycles early enough
It is important to do some meaningful research and Development early enough before creating any design or writing any piece of code.
Check competition, investigate legal matters, speak with experts in the field. In general, try to spot flaws and holes in your plan.
All these will be extremely beneficial since you will end up having a very clear vision before starting the actual implementation.
Not moving forward due to various issues that might come up at this stage, might also be a great decision that will save you further efforts, money, and time.
Ok, we all love technology, fancy libraries, and state-of-the-art frameworks but here we are trying to launch a new product and this is all that matters. Work smart and focused.
Sometimes a clickable prototype might be all we need to validate some patterns, demonstrate our idea, and avoid premature development cycles.
Keep it simple
If you decide to create a Proof of Concept, then keep the technology stack simple to reduce complexity, cost, and time-to-market.
There is no need to create a complex setup with N services and User Interfaces to present your idea to the world.
Use the technologies you are familiar with and be ready to rewrite from the ground this PoC with a more complex technology stack once the idea gets validated or even throw it away if it doesn't.
Make it solid
Simple doesn't mean sloppy or buggy.
Ensure that the core concept is bullet-proof and pretty well-tested so that early users can really use it and provide meaningful feedback.
Validate the idea by getting honest feedback asap
Try to ship fast in the market, so you get actual feedback fast and re-iterate accordingly.
Don't be afraid to get honest feedback from actual users out there.
Even if the feedback is negative, it will help you to reshape your idea and move with a better plan ahead.
Find a mentor
The competition out there is huge and the challenges you'll need to overcome can be tough.
Sometimes you will be forced to step out of your comfort zone a lot.
Find an experienced mentor that can stick by your side and will support and give you valuable advice throughout your journey.
Find the right partners
The more your idea will mature the more you will need people with different skills and expertise than yours.
These might be UX experts, software engineers, architects, marketing or sales professionals, and so on.
Don't be reluctant to partner or even hire the right people that can work by your side in order to step up your game.
The world was not created in one day neither your idea will be.
Be patient, stay focused, and above all have fun.
Your idea is a newborn kid that is growing before your eyes.
Try to be a patient parent and enjoy the adventure.