In this short post, I’d like to share a real customer conversation that I held with an acquaintance to model the MVP Experimentation phase of an entrepreneurship curriculum.
In my first year of teaching high school entrepreneurship, I conceived of a business idea that would address a problem related to long distance familial relationships. I felt that for adults with young relatives who live far away, it can be difficult to maintain strong connections. From this problem, HappyGramm
was born—a website that allows individuals to send “coloring book postcards” to their loved ones.
In my MVP Design phase, I decided to build a working version of the website (albeit a somewhat buggy version) that featured several different HappyGramm designs and then share it with the world.
During the MVP Experimentation phase of the course, I instruct my students to obtain 100 pieces of data. I explain that not all data is created equally. Data from a half baked Google Form, for example, is nearly worthless, whereas rich customer conversations are a treasure trove of insight and validation.
I leave it to my students to decide how they’re going to obtain their data and how they intend to share it later on during “shareback presentations” and pitches, but during whole class discussion, I offer one example of a data point in the example featured at the bottom of this post.
Validating Your Assumptions
Lean Methodology encourages startup founders to implement a short feedback loop by building, measuring, and learning to achieve product/market fit. What follows is a conversation I held via Facebook messenger that provided me with invaluable feedback for my business idea.
For Context, “Cait” was my neighbor growing up. We’re friends on Facebook, but we wouldn’t consider each other close friends. I say this to point out that feedback should come from a variety of sources: friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers. Cait also happens to be an entrepreneur in her own right. Check out her branding and design site here: Hold the Cheese.