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5 Key Hacks for Breakthrough Innovation

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5 Key Hacks for Breakthrough Innovation

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It’s easier than ever to create a startup around a new, innovative idea. But most startups fail -- and most innovative products never take off. What differentiates the ones that DO? What developmental habits and behaviors do the teams that create genre-defining hits have in common? Here are 5 Key Hacks that will set the stage for breakthrough innovations - along with 3 smart shortcuts that can dramatically accelerate your early product development.

It’s easier than ever to create a startup around a new, innovative idea. But most startups fail -- and most innovative products never take off. What differentiates the ones that DO? What developmental habits and behaviors do the teams that create genre-defining hits have in common? Here are 5 Key Hacks that will set the stage for breakthrough innovations - along with 3 smart shortcuts that can dramatically accelerate your early product development.

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5 Key Hacks for Breakthrough Innovation

  1. for breakthrough innovation 5 Key Hacks Amy Jo Kim, Ph.D.
  2. 1 Section One – Introduction Table of Contents What We’ll Cover Today
  3. 1 Section One – Introduction Think Like a Scientist Laser-focus on Early Adopters Gather customer insights early Build & test your Core Loop Co-create a path to mastery 2 Section Two – 5 Key Hacks for Breakthrough Innovation Table of Contents What We’ll Cover Today
  4. 1 Section One – Introduction Think Like a Scientist Laser-focus on Early Adopters Gather customer insights early Build & test your Core Loop Co-create a path to mastery 2 Section Two – 5 Key Hacks for Breakthrough Innovation 3 Section Three – Getting Started: 3 Smart Shortcuts Table of Contents Clarify your strategy & assumptions with the MVP Canvas Gather early-adopter insights with Speed Interviews Turn insights into product design with Habit Stories What We’ll Cover Today
  5. section one IntroductionIntroduction Section One
  6. A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something. Frank Capra Filmmaker
  7. You’ve got a great product idea
  8. Section TwoHow I discovered these HacksHow do you know if it’s the RIGHT ONE?
  9. co-founder, Shufflebrain shufflebrain.com
  10. we partner with great companies to make smart games for a connected world
  11. what can we learn from breakthrough innovations? Rock Band The Sims Covet Fashion eBay
  12. 5 Hacks for Successful Innovation Section TwoHow I discovered these HacksCan we generate & validate innovative product ideas Better, Smarter, Faster?
  13. that lead to breakthrough innovations 5 Key Hacks Section Two
  14. Hack 1: Think like a scientist Hack 1: think like a scientist
  15. To increase your chances of success, minimize time through the Build-Measure-Learn cycle Eric Ries Author, The Lean Startup you are here
  16. Ask the hard, important questions upfront Rock Band The Sims Covet Fashion eBay
  17. what do people want to do in a virtual dollhouse simulation? Think Like a Scientist: The Sims
  18. What social systems do we need to build trust online in a marketplace? Think Like a Scientist: eBay
  19. Can non-musicians play plastic instruments together and feel like a band? Think Like a Scientist: Rock Band
  20. Will fashion-loving young women pay to play dress-up with real designer clothes? Think Like a Scientist: Covet Fashion
  21. Hack 1: Think like a scientist Hack 2: laser-focus on early adopters
  22. Why focus on the early market?Ever heard of Crossing the Chasm? Geoffrey Moore, 1992
  23. Why focus on the early market?Successful innovations delight a small early market FIRST Innovation Diffusion Theory Everett Rogers, 1961
  24. Early adopters will put up with cost and ridicule for innovations that meet real needs. Erika Hall author, Just Enough Research you are here Find & delight your early adopters
  25. Gather ideas and feedback on key systems Laser-Focus on Early Adopters: eBay
  26. Cultivate relationships with content creators Laser-Focus on Early Adopters: The Sims
  27. Leverage relationships with avid music gamers Laser-Focus on Early Adopters: Rock Band
  28. Hack 3: harvest customer insights early Hack 3: gather customer insights early
  29. you are here Create a culture of iterative play-testing There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all. Peter Drucker
  30. Conduct onsite interviews with social gamers Gather Customer Insights Early: Rock Band
  31. Setup weekly interviews & play-tests female team + fashion research  crossover appeal to non-gamers Gather Customer Insights Early: Covet Fashion
  32. Expand playtests with team  friends  enthusiasts Female-driven team  strong appeal to female audience Gather Customer Insights Early: The Sims
  33. Hack 3: harvest customer insights early Hack 4: build & test your Core Loop
  34. What is – and isn’t - a core loop? you are here In a loop, you’re learning a skill and updating your mental model. That’s what leads to player delight. Dan Cook Co-founder, Spry Fox Games DESIGN & BUILD
  35. Fake Landing Page? AKA Discovery
  36. Fake Landing Page? AKA Discovery
  37. Operant Conditioning Loop? AKA Skinner Box
  38. Operant Conditioning Loop? AKA Skinner Box
  39. skill-building = making customers more awesome
  40. Skill-building habit loop?
  41. Skill-building habit loop?
  42. Engaging activity + internal urge fuels the loop
  43. Feedback & progress support learning & mastery
  44. Investment & triggers pull people back
  45. Focus on prototyping, testing & tuning the basics Build & test your Core Loop: Rock Band
  46. Create a daily skill-building reason to return Browse your Style Feed Browse New Content Show off your outfit Raid your friend’s closet Browse your Style Feed Accept an Invitation Dress for the Event See New Invitations Build & test your Core Loop: Covet Fashion
  47. Hack 5: Create a path to mastery Hack 5: co-create a path to mastery
  48. you are here DESIGN & BUILD Every artist was first an amateur. Ralph Waldo Emerson Author, Essays on Self-Reliance
  49. Engage customers with progressive skill-building
  50. Empower enthusiasts & early adopters by giving them tools, access & special powers
  51. Harvest ideas from early adopters Co-create a path to mastery: eBay
  52. Release tools early to your fan community then harvest feedback & ideas for advanced features Co-create a path to mastery: The Sims
  53. Build mastery systems around early adopter & non-musician aspirations Co-create a path to mastery: Rock Band
  54. Create rating systems that bubble up experts Co-create a path to mastery: Covet Fashion
  55. Think like a scientist Recap: 5 Key Hacks
  56. Think like a scientist Laser-focus on early adopters Recap: 5 Key Hacks
  57. Think like a scientist Laser-focus on early adopters Harvest customer insights early Recap: 5 Key Hacks
  58. Think like a scientist Laser-focus on early adopters Harvest customer insights early Build & test your core loop Recap: 5 Key Hacks
  59. Think like a scientist Laser-focus on early adopters Harvest customer insights early Build & test your core loop Co-create a path to mastery Recap: 5 Key Hacks
  60. 5 Hacks for Successful Innovation 3 Smart Shortcuts Section Three to turbo-charge your Customer Discovery
  61. CASE STUDY
  62. Section Two1. MVP CanvasShortcut #1: the MVP Canvas
  63. Think like a scientist Laser-focus on early adopters Harvest customer insights early Build & test your core loop Co-create a path to mastery Shortcut #1: the MVP Canvas
  64. Section Two 5 Hacks for Successful Innovation 1. MVP CanvasClarify your product strategy
  65. Section Two 5 Hacks for Successful Innovation 1. MVP CanvasIdentify strengths, values & success metrics
  66. Section Two 5 Hacks for Successful Innovation 1. MVP CanvasPrioritize your highest-risk assumptions
  67. Section Two1. MVP CanvasShortcut #2: Speed Interviews
  68. Think like a scientist Laser-focus on early adopters Harvest customer insights early Build & test your core loop Co-create a path to mastery Shortcut #2: Speed Interviews
  69. Interview 10-15 (potential) early adopters 5-10 min. per interview
  70. Ask just a few revealing questions Needs & Desires Daily Habits Beliefs & Ideas
  71. Section Two 5 Hacks for Successful Innovation 1. MVP Canvas I’m in the background, taking notes and categorizing patterns I’m answering questions I’m asking questions Interviewer Subject Note-taker Interviewer + Note-Taker Pairs = Better, Faster Pattern Recognition
  72. Section Two1. MVP CanvasIdentify 5-7 Enthusiastic Early Adopters Early Adopters Identify Early Adopters + Collect InsightsCustomer Insights
  73. Section Two1. MVP Canvas When trigger I want a activity + goal so I can outcome Shortcut #3: Habit Stories
  74. Think like a scientist Laser-focus on early adopters Harvest customer insights early Build & test your core loop Co-create a path to mastery Shortcut #3: Habit Stories
  75. habits, ideas, unmet needsHabit Story = existing habit + unmet need  Job Story When _________ I want to _____________ so I can __________ trigger activity + goal outcome +
  76. habits, ideas, unmet needsPiggyback your Core Loop onto an existing habit + unmet need +
  77. CASE STUDY MVP Canvas
  78. CASE STUDY MVP Canvas Speed Interviews
  79. CASE STUDY MVP Canvas Speed Interviews Habit Stories +
  80. Covet Fashion BEFORE Young women 18-30 who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashions PLUS advice from a celebrity stylist
  81. Covet Fashion BEFORE Young women 18-30 who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashions PLUS advice from a celebrity stylist F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content & hot trends Vogue alternative - stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking
  82. Covet Fashion BEFORE Young women 18-30 who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashions PLUS advice from a celebrity stylist F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content & hot trends Vogue alternative - stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking like/dislike metrics via interviews with hard-core fashion gamers F2P game experience Existing, addressable audience for fashion games
  83. Covet Fashion BEFORE Young women 18-30 who play mobile fashion games Aspirational dress-up in designer fashions PLUS advice from a celebrity stylist F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content & hot trends Vogue alternative - stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking like/dislike metrics via interviews with hard- core fashion gamers F2P game experience Existing, addressable audience for fashion games Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion PLUS access to a celebrity stylist
  84. Speed Interviews WHO we spoke with • 15 young women 18-40 who play mobile fashion games • Recruited from existing player base & craigslist ads
  85. Speed Interviews WHO we spoke with • 15 young women 18-40 who play mobile fashion games • Recruited from existing player base & craigslist ads WHAT we asked them to do • Spend 5-10 minutes answering 3-5 questions The best interview subjects became paid testers
  86. Speed Interviews WHO we spoke with • 15 young women 18-40 who play mobile fashion games • Recruited from existing player base & craigslist ads WHAT we asked them to do • Spend 5-10 minutes answering 3-5 questions The best interview subjects became paid testers WHEN & WHERE we ran these tests • Via phone & Skype, over a period of 2 weeks
  87. Research Results: 3 Key Patterns Fashion Browsers want to immerse themselves in a beautiful aspirational world that keeps them up to date on fashion trends Co-creators want to “do fashion” with a buddy – a friend or relative they can dress with, shop with, and borrow from. Armchair Stylists love telling other people how to dress – they want role-play a celebrity stylist, and get credit for their fashion sense
  88. When I’m tired after a long day, I want to flop on the couch & get the escapist, immersive experience of flipping through Vogue – but in a game. The Fashion Browser
  89. When I Login to the game I want to see gorgeous, creative outfits – made from the latest designer fashions so I can stay on top of fashion trends in a fun and relaxing way When I’m tired after a long day, I want to flop on the couch & get the escapist, immersive experience of flipping through Vogue – but in a game. The Fashion Browser HABIT STORY
  90. Patti told me to put these shoes and belt together with this outfit – I would never think of that, but it TOTALLY works. I need her advice all the time! The Co-Creator
  91. When I Need to dress up for an important event I want to raid my friend’s closet and get her feedback on my outfit online so I can have her accessorize my look and help me feel confident - just like in real life :-) Patti told me to put these shoes and belt together with this outfit – I would never think of that, but it TOTALLY works. I need her advice all the time! The Co-Creator HABIT STORY
  92. I LOVE the idea a game that lets me rate my friends’ outfits & tell them how to dress better – like I do before every party  The Armchair Stylist
  93. When I Login to the game I want to see gorgeous, creative outfits – made from the latest designer fashions so I can stay on top of fashion trends in a fun and relaxing way I LOVE the idea a game that lets me rate my friends’ outfits & tell them how to dress better – like I do before every party  The Armchair Stylist HABIT STORY
  94. Covet Fashion AFTER Young women 18-30 who play mobile fashion games Skews older – women 18-45 like the game & older women spend more $$ Aspirational dress-up in designer fashions PLUS advice from aspiring player- stylists F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content & hot trends Vogue alternative - stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking like/dislike metrics via interviews with hard- core fashion gamers F2P game experience Existing, addressable audience for fashion games Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion PLUS access to a celebrity stylist
  95. Covet Fashion AFTER Young women 18-30 who play mobile fashion games Skews older - women 18-45 like the game & older women spend more $$ Aspirational dress-up in designer fashions PLUS advice from aspiring player-stylists F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content & hot trends Vogue alternative - stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking like/dislike metrics via interviews with hard-core fashion gamers F2P game experience addressable audience for fashion games Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion PLUS access to a celebrity stylist
  96. Covet Fashion AFTER Young women 18-30 who play mobile fashion games Skews older - women 18-45 like the game & older women spend more $$ Aspirational dress-up in designer fashions PLUS advice from aspiring player-stylists F2P co-op game with real-world fashion content & hot trends Vogue alternative - stay up-to-date on fashion by playing – not just looking like/dislike metrics via interviews with hard- core fashion gamers F2P game experience addressable audience for fashion games Young women want a mobile game based on real-world fashion and will spend $$ on a game based on real-world fashion Young women want access to a celebrity stylist – AND to up- and-coming stylists
  97. iterative play-testing  hit game
  98. Try out these techniques for yourself http://mvpdesignhacks.com/shortcuts
  99. Is this you? My team is creating an innovative project
  100. Is this you? My team is creating an innovative project We’re in an entrepreneurial organization startup, incubator, accelerator, enlightened co.
  101. Is this you? My team is creating an innovative project We’re in an entrepreneurial organization startup, incubator, accelerator, enlightened co. We want to validate ideas faster & smarter
  102. Is this you? My team is creating an innovative project We’re in an entrepreneurial organization startup, incubator, accelerator, enlightened co. We want to validate ideas faster & smarter We have the bandwidth to focus for 4 weeks
  103. validate your product idea with game design smarts TEAM program LEADER program Custom Packages MVP Design Hacks
  104. Testimonials from startup founders This program gave me a framework for turning my startup ideas into concrete reality. Megan Berwick Founder, Stealth Startup Testimonials
  105. Testimonials from startup founders This program gave me a framework for turning my startup ideas into concrete reality. Megan Berwick Founder, Stealth Startup MVP Design Hacks gave me the skills and confidence to quickly validate my ideas & build a product that our customers love and need. Amanda Pouchot Founder, Stealth Startup Testimonials
  106. Testimonials from startup founders This program gave me a framework for turning my startup ideas into concrete reality. Megan Berwick Founder, Stealth Startup MVP Design Hacks gave me the skills and confidence to quickly validate my ideas & build a product that our customers love and need. Amanda Pouchot Founder, Stealth Startup Fantastic methodology – the ROI you’ll see is a no- brainer. Ofer Leidner President, Happify Testimonials
  107. Testimonials from startup founders This program gave me a framework for turning my startup ideas into concrete reality. Megan Berwick Founder, Stealth Startup MVP Design Hacks gave me the skills and confidence to quickly validate my ideas & build a product that our customers love and need. Amanda Pouchot Founder, Stealth Startup Fantastic methodology – the ROI you’ll see is a no- brainer. Ofer Leidner President, Happify This program was invaluable in helping us connect ideas & prototypes to the needs of a real audience. Ori Ratner Co-founder, Pedago Testimonials
  108. Testimonials from startup founders This program gave me a framework for turning my startup ideas into concrete reality. Megan Berwick Founder, Stealth Startup MVP Design Hacks gave me the skills and confidence to quickly validate my ideas & build a product that our customers love and need. Amanda Pouchot Founder, Stealth Startup Fantastic methodology – the ROI you’ll see is a no- brainer. Ofer Leidner President, Happify This program was invaluable in helping us connect ideas & prototypes to the needs of a real audience. Ori Ratner Co-founder, Pedago We created and tested our MVP in record time. An invaluable investment that’s still paying off. Ranan Lachman CEO, Pley Testimonials
  109. Take the Next Step schedule your complimentary 15-minute coaching session Click here or go directly to http://amyjokim.com/schedule

Editor's Notes

  • Thanks for joining me today. We’re going to talk about what it takes to do breakthrough product innovation – and take a peek under the hood of some genre-defining blockbuster hits.
  • We’ll start with an introduction – then
  • reveal the 5 key Hacks that set you up for Breakthrough Innovation –
  • Amd close with three smart shortcuts you can use right away to super-charge your early product development
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, an innovator, or a maker– you already know...
  • that everything starts with a hunch.... an exciting idea to explore...
  • A hot area to pursue, a vision for a product game app or device you’re itching to build.
  • But until you’ve developed and tested it, your idea is only a hypothesis. How do you know if today’s idea is the right one to pursue? What markers can guide your way as you explore and shape your ideas?
  • I’m Amy Jo Kim game and product designer specializing in early-stage innovation.
  • At Shufflebrain, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many great companies and teams – all trying to build something innovative and new. Some were more successful than others.
  • A handful of my early-stage clients went on to become massive, genre-defining hits. What set these breakthrough innovations apart?
  • Can we identify habits and behaviors that reliably lead to better, faster, and smarter innovation?
  • I think we can – and today, I’m going to share with you 5 key Hacks – in focus and outlook– that drive the behavior of teams who create successful breakthrough innovations.
  • The first Hack is foundational: Think Like a Scientist. Successful innovations start with small, iterative experiments designed to answer the most important questions.
  • This is consistent with a Lean Startup approach – where the path to success involves moving quickly through the build/measure/learn cycle
  • The most striking pattern - shared by ALL the breakthrough innovations I’ve worked on – was the ability to ask the hard, important questions upfront, and seek the answers experimentally
  • The team behind The Sims – led by Will Wright and Chris Trottier -- spent years experimenting with different approaches to bringing a virtual dollhouse to life, finally settling on a design that became the highest-grossing PC franchises of all time.
  • The early team at eBay – led by Pierre Omidyar, Mike Wilson & Mary Lou Song – experimented with a variety of social systems for building trust among buyers and sellers, at a time when online shopping was a niche activity.
  • The Rock Band team faced a daunting product challenge: could non-musicians – playing plastic instruments – make music together and FEEL like a band? Answering that question was fundamental: – without a resounding YES, nothing else mattered.
  • The Covet Fashion team had created several mobile fashion games – and hit a wall. To create a breakthrough hit, they needed to reach a broader audience of fashion-loving women Using a disciplined, experimental approach –the team iterated their way into Crowdstar’s biggest success to date.

  • The second Hack characterizes how successful innovations get started – by focusing on and delighting a small, passionate group of early adopters. They don’t always look like Segway-riding rock stars – your job is to recognize the right early adopters for YOUR project
  • Have you ever heard of Crossing the Chasm – by Geoffrey Moore? This influential book talked about the difficulty of marketing innovative products to a mass market - and opened people’s eyes to the key differences between early adopters and early majority.
  • Moore’s book was based on work done three decades earlier -- Everett Roger’s Innovation Diffusion Theory is a data-driven model of how new products spread through existing communities.
  • If you want to innovate successfully, – you NEED to find & delight your early adopters – These are the people who will put up with cost, inconvenience and and ridicule because they’re LOOKING for what you’re offering – it solves their problem, or meets some real need.
  • Your early adopters can add value in many ways. Pierre Omidyar – the founder of eBay - was the original customer support rep for the service – and during a support interaction, an early user came up with the idea for eBay’s reputation system
  • Will wright – the genius game designer behind The Sims – cultivated relationships with an active, highly creative group of super-fans who provided a rich source of ideas, user-testing and content creation long before the game ever shipped to paying customers.
  • The Rock Band team knew that social dynamics could make or break their ambitious multi-player music game – so we focused on understanding the needs and habits of avid social gamers and non-musicians, which helped to create a massive crossover hit
  • The third Hack is about process and attitude. Successful innovators are tinkerers and experimenters – they don’t fall in love with any one idea, but instead they test and refine many ideas – and include their customers in an iterative feedback loop from the start.
  • If you embrace lean methods – and want to set your team up for success – one of the most powerful things you can do is to create a culture of quick, iterative, high-learning play-testing in your team and organization.
  • Testing can start before you’re designed or built a thing. Early in the Rock Band project, we interviewed dozens of casual gamers, and gained early insights that helped to shape the game.
  • The Covet Fashion team was blessed with a savvy in-house researcher who setup weekly interviews with fashionable young women, gamers and non-gamers alike – those weekly sessions morphed into user testing once the game was playable.
  • The Sims developed an iterative playtesting culture early among the team – and grew those tests to include an enthusisastic, content-creating fan community.
  • This brings us to the fourth Hack: focusing on testing and tuning the most important part of your customer experience FIRST.
  • A Core Loop is a gaming concept that describes the interlocking activities, progress markers and rewards that a player experiences during a gaming session. As game designer Dan Cook says, skill-building and learning are an essential part of what makes games compelling fun.
  • When you’re validating your product ideas, be careful not to fall into the trap of testing your marketing message – and thinking you’ve validated your core loop.
  • A fake landing page will help you shape your message – but it’s NOT going to help you shape or test your core product experience.
  • An operant conditioning loop – such as the Habit Loop (from the Power of Habit book) or the Hooked model – gets you closer to a Core Loop, because it’s based on feedback and rewards.
  • What’s missing, though, is any notion of skill-building or personal empowerment. Skinner Boxes and operant conditioning loops can shape behavior – but they won’t lead to player delight or true long-term engagement.
  • For that, you need skill-building. People enjoy getting better at something they care about. The process of learning and mastery is deeply, intrinsically motivating.
  • To create a robust Core Loop,
  • Combine compelling feedback with the skill-building power of games.
  • Create repeatable, engaging activities that are triggered by an existing urge or need
  • Build a feedback loop that promotes learning and skill-building
  • close that loop by giving people compelling and meaningful reasons to return – and cues to remind them
  • Breakthrough innovations spend lots of time up-front getting this core experience loop right. The Rock Band tea, for example, created a War Room for protoyping and testing early versions of the game – and didn’t add features or polish until the feel of that early play experience ROCKED.
  • The Covet Fashion team experimented with a number of Core Loops – tweaking and iterating until they found the right combination of features and systems to delight and hook their early players.
  • The fifth Hack builds on all the previous ones – and is directly connected to building long-term engagement with your customers.
  • teams who produce Breakthrough innovations recognize the importance of early adopters – and find ways to co-create with them – empower them - learn from them, and leverage their skills, knowledge and passions to bring the full product vision to life.
  • You can engage ALL your customers with progressive skill-building...
  • And encourage your best customers – your early adopters, enthusiasts and passionate advocates – to stay involved and contribute by giving them the tools, powers and rewards of mastery.

  • In true eBay fashion, the idea for the star system came from a group of early power-sellers who wanted a shorthand way to communicate trustworthiness to potential buyers. Through their actions & feedback, these power-sellers helped tune & shape the overall system.
  • The Sims team leveraged their fan community by giving them powerful customization tools early in the development process – and then learning from their experiments and questions.
  • For Rock Band, the mastery systems were built around the Rock-N-Roll fantasies of social gamers and non-musicians – something the team absorbed through interviews & early testing.
  • And Covet Fashion was created from the ground up around rating systems that naturally bubble true fashion expertise among the players.
  • So there you have it –
  • 5 key Hacks that lead to breakthrough innovation.
  • To maximize YOUR chances of success
  • try making these Hacks – in your thinking and practices –
  • and see what happens.
  • Now let’s switch gears, and take a look at 3 smart shortcuts you can start using TODAY to turbo-charge your customer discovery process.
  • Which we’ll bring to life with a deep dive into the early design process behind Covet Fashion, the breakthrough hit from Crowdstar.
  • The first shortcut is the MVP Canvas – a 1-page document, similar to the Business Model Canvas, but highly targeted to the needs of early stage product development.
  • the MVP Canvas helps you think like a scientist by giving you a clearcut way to generate hypotheses and prioritize your highest-risk assumptiosn,
  • First you clarify your product strategy by forming hypotheses about your early customers, unmet needs, solution and value prop.
  • You identify your team’s strengths, value and passions – and the early metrics you’ll use to measure success
  • You’ll then list and prioritize your most important, high-risk assumptions – and use that list to focus your prototyping and testing efforts.
  • The second shortcut is the Speed Interview – a great technique for generating early product insights & excellent testing subjects.
  • Speed Interviews help you identify and leverage your early adopters through rapid pattern recognition.
  • You conduct 10-15 quick interviews with potential early adopters – who you can find & filter in a variety of ways –spending 5-10 minutes on each interview
  • You ask just a few revealing questions - carefully-chosen to surface the needs, habits and ideas of true early adopters
  • You can speed things up by using inteviewer/note-taker pairs for better faster pattern recognition
  • And once the interviews are complete, you’ll identify 5-7 enthusiastic early adoptees who would make great testing subjects.
  • The third shortcut is Habit Stories – a variation on Job Stories, or Jobs-To-Be-Done
  • Habit Stories help you harvest the most actionable product insights from your customer interviews and testing sessions
  • If you’re looking for shortcuts to customer engagement and satisfaction, piggyback your product experience on to of an existing habit – amd solve a problem or unmet need that goes along with that habit.
  • If you’re looking for shortcuts to customer engagement and satisfaction, piggyback your product experience on to of an existing habit – amd solve a problem or unmet need that goes along with that habit.
  • If you’re looking for shortcuts to customer engagement and satisfaction, piggyback your product experience on to of an existing habit – amd solve a problem or unmet need that goes along with that habit.
  • A habit story is a special type of job Story – one that’s built around your customer’s existing habits and unmet needs.
  • If you’re looking for shortcuts to customer engagement and satisfaction, piggyback your product experience on to of an existing habit – amd solve a problem or unmet need that goes along with that habit.
  • Let’s look at how Covet Fashion used these techniques – the MVP Canvas
  • Speed Intervierws and
  • And Habit Stories – to super-charge their early product development,
  • Covet Fashion came about because Crowdstar saw an opportunity to expand the fashion gaming market by integrating with real-world fashion brand, Our initial product strategy involved letting fashion gamers play dress-up with real world brands – and get advice from a well-known celebrity stylist.
  • Our initial product vision was a free-to-play co-operative mobile game tied to fashion trends and real-world events. We wanted to offer people a replacement for Vogue” – something beautiful to flip through and play with that keeps you up-to-date on fashion trends.

  • Our unfair advantages are 1) extensive F2P experience and 2) an addressible audience for testing and marketing the game. Out early metrics were subjective responses drawn from weekly interviews.
  • Our key assumption was the basic premise of blending real-world fashion cycles with a F2P mobile game. We also wanted to understand the value-add – or not – of a celebrity stylist.
  • For the speed interviews, we spoke with young fashion-loving women – both gamers and non-gamers
  • We did the interviews as phone screening – with paid testing as a followup for the best interviews.
  • We completed the first round in 2 weeks, which gave us useful customer insights and testing subjects to work with.
  • From these early sessions, three key patterns emerged that corresponded to different types of fashion gamers.
  • The first is the Fashion Browser – someone who loves staying up to date on fashion trends, and immersing herself in the beautiful aspirational world of Vogue,
  • WE translated these research insights into design decisions by creating a Habit Story around her existing habits and unmet needs
  • The second pattern we identified is the Co-creator – someone who likes to dress, shop and primp in co-op mode, with a buddy
  • Writing her Habit Story helped us see the need for a Shared Closet – which became a much-loved feature of the finsihed game
  • The third pattern we identified is the Armchair Stylist - Someone very opinionated about fashion, who loves to tell other people how to dress
  • Her Habit Story helped us get inside the mindset of a wanna-be stylist, and create a in-game rating system to empower and highlight these people
  • We updated our MVP Canvas to reflect what we learned. Our hypotheses were largely confirmed – and our age targets tweaked a bit.
  • The F2P game we’d envisioned looked like it could be a hit with fashion-loving young women who own smartphones and tablets
  • SO we validated our initial assumptions, and generated NEW assumptions to guide our next round of testing.
  • And that’s how a solid start in low-fidelity, high-learning playtestiing helped Croiwdstar create their largest hit to date.
  • Now that you see how these ideas work together, I encourage you to try our these shortcuts and techniques for yourself –just click anywhere on this slide, or goto MVP DESIGN HACKS DOT COM SLASH SHORTCUTS – or click anywhere on this slide
  • If you and your team aspire to create an innovative product
  • If you’re working in an entreprenurial organization that supports fast-moving, iterative innovation
  • If you’re eager to learn shortcuts, best practices and smart ways to get further – faster
  • If you can focus on turbo-charging your customer discovery for a few weeks...
  • Check out MVP Design Hacks – our 4-week programs for TEAM and product LEADERS who want to turbo-charge their customer discovery
  • ... And get amazing results. We’re proud of the entrepreneurs we’ve helped to succeed – and we’d love to do the same for you.
  • ... And get amazing results. We’re proud of the entrepreneurs we’ve helped to succeed – and we’d love to do the same for you.
  • ... And get amazing results. We’re proud of the entrepreneurs we’ve helped to succeed – and we’d love to do the same for you.
  • ... And get amazing results. We’re proud of the entrepreneurs we’ve helped to succeed – and we’d love to do the same for you.
  • ... And get amazing results. We’re proud of the entrepreneurs we’ve helped to succeed – and we’d love to do the same for you.
  • If you/re ready to turbo-charge your customer discovery with game design smarts, let’s setup a short, complimentary coaching session. I’ll answer your questions, discuss your project, and together we’ll decide if MVP Design Hacks is right for you. Thanks for listening – I hope to hear from you soon.

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