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Last week was certainly very exciting and insightful for you, wasn’t it? I hope you also had fun and felt like doing more. As a rule, the following things have happened in the last few days:

  • Either you’ve realized that your idea is viable, but there is still some work to be done to build your existence on it. Or you’ve noticed that there’s little or no interest, at least among the people you’ve interviewed so far, i.e., either you have to modify your idea, your target group, or even both.
  • You’ve learned a lot of surprising things about your customers and your idea, which you’d never have dreamed of. That’s why it’s so important to go out and talk to real customers!
  • You’ve got thoughts on how to improve your idea.

We refer to the risk of developing a product or offer that doesn’t solve a relevant customer problem and is not in demand as product risk.

To eliminate this risk as much as possible, four steps are necessary:

Schritte, um das Produkt-Risiko zu minimierenBeispiel Yoga-Studio
1.       Wir stellen sicher, dass wir ein Problem gefunden haben, das es den potenziellen Kunden (Geld) wert ist, gelöst zu werden.Wir brauchen handfeste Hinweise darauf, dass Angestellte sich nach Erholung, Entspannung und Gesundheit sehnen und dafür bereit sind, Zeit und Geld zu investieren.
2.       Dann definieren wir die einfachste Lösung (im Sinne von kostengünstig und schnell selbst umsetzbar), um das Problem (testweise) bei echten Kunden zu lösen.Wie können wir einen Yoga-Kurs in Arbeitsplatznähe simulieren? Zum Beispiel indem wir zunächst einen Inhouse-Kurs anbieten.
3.       Diese Lösung müssen wir nun in einem kleinen Umfang an echten Kunden anwenden, um zu bestätigen, dass wir eine Lösung haben, die das Problem der Kunden wirklich löst.Wir sprechen mit zwei Firmen und bieten ihnen einen vierwöchigen Yoga-Schnupper-Kurs an, der für die Mitarbeiter kostenlos ist. Wir machen einen entsprechenden Aushang am Schwarzen Brett und bringen genügend Yoga-Matten für die Teilnehmenden mit.
4.       Sobald wir im kleinen Stil zeigen konnten, dass wir das Problem echter Kunden lösen konnten, müssen wir sichergehen, dass wir das auch im großen Stil hinbekommen.Sind die Teilnehmenden so zufrieden, dass sie weitermachen möchten? Sind sie bereit, Geld dafür zu bezahlen? Würden sie andere Kollegen mitbringen? Und können wir das Angebot so realisieren, dass wir eine größere Zahl von Kunden bedienen können?

Here is your task:

Answer the following questions based on the survey in your notebook:

  • How well is your business idea received? What was particularly positive for potential customers? What did they not like so much? How did they express themselves, i.e., what words did the respondents use to describe your offer?
  • What aspects need to be improved? What was criticized or missing?
  • Is there enough willingness to buy? How was the price perceived? How often would customers purchase or use the offer?
  • Is the market big enough? Are there indications that there are enough potential customers for your offer to succeed in the long term?

The next step is to gradually improve your idea. Maybe the target group is different, or you’ve discovered a new or different problem that’s worth solving. Sometimes the target group and the problem may be appropriate, but you may have received suggestions on how to improve your value proposition and/or refine the solution.

Second part of the task:

Update your Extended Canvas according to your new knowledge, i.e., remove or add Post-its, change their order (meaning) on the canvas or write what you’ve learned on the existing Post-its.

If you’re one of the few people who hit the nail on the head at the first go, then: Congratulations!

Tomorrow, you can jump to Day 42.

Otherwise, develop your business idea based on what you’ve learned and repeat the steps as follows:

  • If potential customers find your value proposition attractive, but the solution is not good enough, start again from Day 35.
  • If your target group has not responded positively enough to your value proposition, continue with Day 34.
  • If your target group doesn’t have the problem you’re suggesting, go back to Day 32.
  • If you feel that you havent found the right target group yet, start again on Day 31.

In your opinion, did the survey not go well at all? Then don’t worry; it’s more the rule than the exception at the first attempt. Sometimes the following happens: You had overlooked something serious in your idea, and it seems almost impossible to be successful with your idea, even if you would modify it significantly. If this is the case, don’t give up yet! Your task then is to sleep on it for the rest of this week or a few nights. Talk to all kinds of people about your idea and the newly discovered “hurdles.” Your goal is to find a way to make it work.

  • If you discover an approach, start again with the changed idea on Day 31 and go through the process again (that’s only two weeks).
  • If you can’t find a way to pursue the idea, put it down, take a two-week break, and then start a new approach on Day 31. And remember: Discovering that an idea doesn’t work in the early stages is a good thing! With classic startup methods, you would’ve only noticed this after several months with a lot of invested energy in the process after your “shop” had already opened!