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What is a Tech Startup?
A Tech Startup ideally means that the Technology is at the core and services or the product revolves around it. With the technology hacking the execution part of your idea, it becomes all the more easier for founders to build a prototype and test rather than create and invent a product that lacks change.
A Tech Startup is an organisation which is designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. Post the dot com bubble technology becomes a normal factor, the essence of Startups has more to do with innovativeness, scalability and growth.
Internet is the disruptor
Aas more people have Internet access, Internet can be used as a disruptor to enable commerce. As more people have mobile phones, even niche mobile apps can reach lots of users enabling a large enough business model. So earlier doing an Internet based portal for a niche category was not scaled enough but now doing it on mobile enables a wider reach and large enough business is possible.
Increase in computing power is a change that now enables big data and deep analytics. It could not have been done 10 years back. Increase in digital spends makes marketing much more data driven as well, thereby providing another boost to the whole analytics industry.
While many of us worry about being too late to market, in my experience, the bigger problem is being too early. The first time I heard to mobile based field force automation, it was 2001. We are still waiting. Internet itself had a first coming in 2000 and then a second coming in 2009 an now a mobile driven 3rd coming. Hopefully its for real today. Online education is probably still early. Getting the market timing right is critical but very hard to achieve. Many businesses fail because they are unable to get this right.
Why of the Tech Startup?
Before you graduate from your Idea stage of your Startup its essential to know Why would your product work? Identify and answer the below questions to bring in clarity before you pitch in to start creating.
How to build your product
Most entrepreneurs and investors will tell you that the biggest risk in any new venture is some thing called product market fit. Let me give you an analogy from the movies. However big the banner or however big the star, when a new movie releases on a Friday in theatres, that’s where its acceptance in the market gets tested. That’s the product market fit. Everything before that is theory.
Product-Market fit indicates the following:
- There is a need for such a product in the market by a certain Target Group (TG)
- This target group is able to discover the product and engage with the product. This may be through a direct sales channel, or through a marketing channel such as ad etc.
- The TG is taking a decision to try out this product and adopting it. Even paying for it.
The final test is that you are able to make money as well while doing all this, but that’s my next chapter.
The better way to execute your product roadmap is to Prototype it
The better way to deal with the product lifecycle is to prototype it first and then keep the change and innovation cycle on.
Here are simple steps of how you could design the product life-cycle.
- Try and build a beta version of the product with key USP and major features of the product intact. The entire focus should be to give away lesser features but in completeness, to ensure the User Experience is not affected.
- Define your TG to its extreme granularity so that you are able to come up with one type of user who is of utmost need of your product and your product also revolves around problems faced by the same user group. For example if you are building a product for parents, define which combination or type of parent would be your TG. The variety includes First Time Mommies, First Time Daddies, Single Parent (Mother & Father), Urban Parent, Rural Parent, Parent live in joint families, Parent living in nuclear families etc.
- Consumer Experience and Innovation to lead the change. Remember best of the products are build with faster execution of the changing demand of the user. The demands are translated into product feature and innovation is brought to ease the use of product. Hence the ideal way of building a great product is to keep building It with smaller product cycle based on the demand of the consumer. For example Mail Chimp has been an industry leader in email marketing with this approach since its launch from 2001.
- Dont go after perfectness rather try for completeness in whatever you build. While you build the product ensure that you are not getting into the cycle of achieving perfectness. Perfectness is self evolving and it builds on layer by layer with your growing understanding of the product, hence focus more on completing the feature your product has to offer rather than making it perfect.