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Idea Validation, NCIIA NYU Workshop

Presentation on idea validation and "getting out of the building" for NCIIA "Invention to Venture" workshop for New York University undergrad and graduate students.

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Idea Validation, NCIIA NYU Workshop

  1. 1. Getting Started: Idea Validation<br />Invention 2 Venture Workshop (NCIIA), New York University <br />September 24, 2010<br />Giff Constable, CEO & Co-Founder of Aprizi<br />
  2. 2. Who am I?<br /><ul><li>Worked for 4 venture-backed startups, bootstrapped and sold one
  3. 3. Have held every hat there is to wear in a startup OTHER than coding
  4. 4. Done both enterprise and consumer software
  5. 5. Managed multiple M&A transactions at Broadview/Jefferies</li></li></ul><li>
  6. 6. So, you have an idea<br />
  7. 7. In academia, ideas are everything<br />
  8. 8. NOT in startups<br />
  9. 9. Validation and Execution<br />
  10. 10. What are your assumptions?<br />Pricing<br />Customer Behavior<br />Staffing Needs<br />Customer Need<br />Funding requirements<br />Channel Partners<br />Market Size<br />Technical Risk<br />IP and Legal<br />Customer Type<br />Regulatory Approval<br />Go-to-market strategy<br />Competition<br />
  11. 11. WHAT<br />is the problem you want to solve?<br />WHO<br />has the problem?<br />HOW<br />do you solve it?<br />big is the market?<br />will you reach the user/customer?<br />will you make money?<br />will you beat any incumbants?<br />
  12. 12. Then get out of the building<br />
  13. 13. Don’t delegate or outsource this<br />
  14. 14. At first, qualitative not quantitive<br />
  15. 15. Stick to 1-on-1 meetings<br />
  16. 16. Get creative about finding interviewees<br />
  17. 17. Be Fearless<br />(failure is scarier)<br />
  18. 18. Don’t be paranoid<br />
  19. 19. Doing Learning Interviews<br />Work to their schedule<br />Get psyched to hear things you don’t want to hear<br />Disarm “politeness” training<br />Start with behavior, not feedback<br />Ask open ended questions<br />Listen, don’t talk<br />Encourage but don’t influence<br />Follow your nose and drill down<br />Parrot back to confirm<br />Thank them<br />Ask for introductions<br />Record or write up your notes as quickly as possible<br />
  20. 20. Advanced Skillz: the Five Whys<br />
  21. 21. Would they buy it now?<br />
  22. 22. Talk -> Paper Mockup -> Prototype -> Beta<br />Test every step of the way<br />
  23. 23. This is not just for customers<br />(potential investors, partners, even competitors)<br />
  24. 24. Measure progress in learning<br />
  25. 25. Learning does not mean abdicating Vision<br />
  26. 26. Be patient, learning comes in waves<br />
  27. 27. Reading<br /><ul><li>Steve Blank: Four Steps to the Epiphany
  28. 28. Cooper & Vlaskovits: The Entrepreneur´s Guide to Customer Development
  29. 29. Eric Ries: Startup Lessons Learned
  30. 30. Ash Maurya:</li></li></ul><li>Thank you. Questions?<br /><br /><br />
  31. 31. Customer Development Exercise<br />(you get to try both sides of an interview: entrepreneur and prospect)<br />
  32. 32. Mock invention: a widget to reduce consumer energy consumption<br />
  33. 33. Example Questions to Ask<br />How conscious are you of your energy consumption?<br />How much do you care about your energy use?<br />In what ways do you think you waste energy?<br />In what ways do others waste energy?<br />Is your or other people's energy use a problem?<br />What electrical devices do you use on a daily basis?<br />What efforts have you made to conserve energy?<br />What could you do to conserve more energy?<br />Do you think the government should get involved in energy conservation?<br />How much would you pay for a product that reduced your energy bill by 10%? By 50%?<br />Bonus: how do they typically discover new products?<br />