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When's The Right Time To Show Your Prototype?

Whether you are a 2-person startup or a big company with lots of customers, pulling customers into your innovation cycle is one of the most important things to do. But when is the right time? Should you show an idea on the back of a cocktail napkin? Or should you wait for something near finished so customers have a close-to-true experience?

This presentation was given by Brian Gladstein from GYK Antler, at an Alpha Loft Lunch & Learn in November 2014. It's purpose is to help you understand when you should be engaging your target customers and showing off that prototype, and how to turn those meetings into valuable sessions that deliver insights and build relationships, without breaking the bank from a development and production perspective.

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When's The Right Time To Show Your Prototype?

  1. 1. When’s The Right Time To Show Your Prototype? Brian Gladstein @briangladstein Image&©&1992&Smithsonian&Ins2tu2on&
  2. 2. @briangladstein •  EVP, Technology Marketing, GYKAntler •  Specialist in Advocate & Loyalty Marketing •  2-time entrepreneur •  Lean Startup Challenge Boston •  Business Model Generation Meetup •  Startup Coach •  Launched dozens of products •  Stanford MBA, MIT Computer Science
  3. 3. So When’s The Right Time?
  4. 4. Sometimes It’s Too Early To Share An Idea
  5. 5. Prototype circa March 2008 Too early?
  6. 6. Sometimes It’s Too Late
  7. 7. Prototype circa August 2009 Too late?
  8. 8. The idea is born The concept comes together The kinks get worked out The prototype gets useful The Lifecycle of a Prototype
  9. 9. A prototype is not the thing you are making. It’s a vehicle to discover why customers want to hire you.
  10. 10. Product-Focused Customer-Focused
  11. 11. Some of The Wrong Reasons •  Need a pat on the back •  Want to amaze people •  Show off tech or design •  The “a-ha” moment
  12. 12. Don’t Think ‘When’… •  Prove you can build it •  Attract a team •  Attract investors •  Validate market •  Get beta customers •  Scope the project •  Vet out competition •  Solidify requirements … Think ‘Why’
  13. 13. So When’s The Right Time? When you are far enough along to take a meaningful action.
  14. 14. So When’s The Right Time? When you are far enough along to take a meaningful action. But not so far that you can’t start over.
  15. 15. “Remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek.” Eric Ries The Lean Startup
  16. 16. “Remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek.” Eric Ries The Lean Startup
  17. 17. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  18. 18. Guerilla Fashion Show @maki8383
  19. 19. Create prototypes to answer questions Hypothesis Prototype Data Desired answer Question Experiment
  20. 20. BEWARE…
  21. 21. Avoid perfectionism
  22. 22. Don’t over-simplify
  23. 23. Don’t over-engineer
  24. 24. Hear. Really hear.
  25. 25. Keep users focused on *your* goals
  26. 26. Dispose of properly when its job is done
  27. 27. Guide To Effective Prototyping Step 1: Create a hypothesis & develop an experiment Step 2: Design the prototype to carry out the experiment Step 3: Learn from the experiment Step 4: Save only what you need and throw out the rest
  28. 28. THANK YOU! Brian Gladstein briang@gykantler.com @briangladstein @GYKAntler

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