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It is a no brainer that majority of startups do not stand the test of the market and fade away. In fact, a Harvard Business School study concluded that about three in every four business startups fail. What goes wrong, typically? After all, nobody plans to fail. We have access to information, data and tools for research to create the right business plan – which is half the battle once you have the idea of a product or service.
Well, the real battle is in the marketplace, not in business plan. You can plan all you want for a battle, but once it starts, things get so unpredictable so quickly that it is not the planning but your adaptability that comes to the fore. And in these times, rapid change is so constant that even established organizations often see red.
This has given rise to the philosophy of the Lean Startup methodology. The strategy draws generously from Lean manufacturing (elimination of wasteful practices with a focus on customer satisfaction through continuous product and service innovation) and Agile software development. In simple terms, Lean Startup strategy is about overcoming the three main challenges faced by startups – inadequate business plan, unconfirmed market demand, and insufficient funds – through one simple solution. Fire the first shot, in a rather controlled environment. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Inadequate business plan:
Workaround this challenge by turning your attention into a getting your product/service into the hands of potential customers quickly instead spending a lot of time on business forecasting.
Unconfirmed market demand:
Traditional way of building a finished product or complete service is time consuming, capital intensive and very often results in something the market has no need for. Buck this trend and go for a Minimum Viable Product – a product with enough features to be deployed for testing to early adopters who can understand your vision from a prototype model and offer feedback.
This challenge needs no explanation in a startup setting. However, if you look at how capital is spent, the answer is rather obvious. The Lean Startup method involves reducing the need for heavy upfront capital investment. This is done by quickly (a) building a basic product (the MVP) for launch, (b) testing the market’s acceptance of it, and then (c) iterating the product or service through innovation and customer feedback.
In a way this is about learning, building, adapting and evolving on the go… a la continuous improvement. It is akin to techniques used in Agile development—applying iterative and incremental steps in product creation.
What does Lean got to do with apps?
At Hakuna Matata, we took this approach to app development to help many organizations, including startups, to adopt a more risk intelligent approach to the development of their product or service. We call it CB4UB (See Before You Build). If you have an idea for a mobile app, we help you live your idea before launching it to understand the strengths, risks, challenges and opportunities.
Our CB4UB lab literally acts as a mini incubation center for your app idea, where you can
1. visualize the end product with blueprints and wireframes,
2. test it for technical feasibility and end customer usability with a prototype,
3. develop a robust project plan to arrive at a reliable financial forecast,
4. and validate it by gathering useful feedback from potential users and investors through mock-ups.
By the way, we are a new age, fast growing, globally competitive company focused enabling enterprises across industries, geographies and sizes through digital transformation. And, besides CB4UB, our services include Mobile Apps, Web Apps, IOT, UX/UI Design, and Cloud.