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Keep it Lean

Posted on September 28 2012 | Author: Admin

Make sure your solution has a problem

Entrepreneurs are often the most intelligent, creative, and gutsy individuals out there – but even the best and brightest have a hard time guessing what the market wants.

Case-in-point: Segway. The founding team at Segway was made up of incredibly brilliant individuals and was backed by some heavy hitters in the venture capital space. They truly believed that their idea would revolutionize urban transportation. So, after collecting over $100 million in funding they set about the stealth development of the next big thing.

What happened? Well, not much. We still drive cars to work, or take the bus, train, subway, or bicycle. The original vision flopped – and it cost a lot of money. They’ve found their market now, but was it a lesson that was really worth a hundred million?

Today’s startups are becoming highly successful very quickly, and with less money than ever before. How?

Among (many) other things, the lean concepts of people like E. Ries, A.Osterwalder, S.Blank and A. Maurya are creating a movement of small, agile, and intelligent startup teams. These teams understand a key concept: don’t build it until you are as certain as possible that people actually want it, and are willing to pay you for it.

Here is a list of tips that have been synthesized from a variety of authorities on agile/lean development:

  1. Start with a market need
    • What is the problem? Who has it? Why do they have it? How many of these people are there? Remember, you are making assumptions here.
  2. Develop an initial business model based on your assumptions
  3. Test your assumptions
    • You have made a bunch of guesses – now it’s time to see how wrong you are.
    • Get out of the building! Talk to 10 (or 20, even 100) real people about the problem you think they have. Is it truly a problem? What are they doing now to solve it?
  4. Develop a product vision
    • Now you understand the problem – how will you solve it?
    • Test your vision “If I could solve your problem with this…”
    • Learn from the customer’s feedback – be ready to pivot

Once your product vision has positive traction in your market, along with commitments (or enthusiasm, at the very least) to purchase it’s time to build out the Minimum Viable Product.

The road is still fraught with risk – but at least you know you don’t have a solution without a problem.

Braden Kemp
Bioenterprise Corporation
 






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Innovation Fridays: AgDay: Monsanto's New FieldScripts Product

Posted on September 07 2012 | Author: Admin

Monsanto is taking precision planting to the next level with its new FieldScripts integrated farming system.

Monsanto’s recent purchase of Precision Planting is leading to a system that will produce the perfect planting environment for today’s high-value seed, according to Gregg Sauder, CEO of Precision Planting. The first product being launched in the system is FieldScripts.






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