Have you ever had a business idea that you think is spectacular and have not been able to validate it? Do you want to start and don’t know where to start? Have you created an amazing product and nobody wants it?
Many people -more than we think- have seen themselves in these situations.
We are excited about our business idea, we dream every day – even awake! – about our wonderful project which is going to make us rich.
The next step is to start developing our product or service: we buy a domain, we hire a hosting, we order 1,000 units of boxes to send our product, we pay a designer to design a cool logo for us and we manufacture 2,000 units of that product that we have created that is going to revolutionize the world…
You start to market your product … and nobody wants it! What has been the mistake? Do not validate your business idea and start marketing a product that you do not know for sure if someone will want it.
How to validate your business idea? Creating a prototype, that is, a minimum viable product that allows you to receive the first evaluations of your product or service and that indicates with real data if your idea is viable and sustainable in the long term.
What is prototyping?
In short, prototyping is a process to discover. A prototype helps us to experiment and validate our business idea. The creation of a prototype is a process that every entrepreneur must go through if he does not want to find himself in the situation that we have previously discussed.
The 6 principles of prototyping
Before start creating your first prototype, it is important to know a series of principles that must be followed to make the perfect prototype, and thus effectively learn how to know if a business is viable.
-Prototype only what you need: the key is not to be a perfectionist. Be simple and do rapid prototyping.
-Start small: this is related a little to the above. Don’t bother to make amazing ones, create a simple version and you are improving little by little. Of course, it begins to collect information from minute one.
-Get to know your potential client well before starting: you must understand your client’s problem and see if your product or service solves that problem. There are tools that allow you to get to know your client better. Don’t hesitate to use them from the beginning.
-Make the idea tangible and make everything clear: the objective of prototyping, after all, is to make ideas tangible.
-The mindset is key. You must have an open mind and that adapts to the changing reality. As we will see later, there are many ways to prototype. Get creative and find the best prototyping model for your idea.
-Don’t fall in love with your prototypes. This feeling is very common in entrepreneurs. When we create a prototype of our idea, this makes us very excited, since it is the first time that we see our project in a tangible way, it is like our baby. Well, it was that mentality! Don’t fool yourself and use it to learn.
The basic phases of development
Before moving on to the coolest, which are the best techniques and tools, it is necessary to know the basic phases of development, that is, those steps that we must follow in order to have successful project.
– Understand the customer’s problem
– Definition of the solution
– Develop the prototype
– Test it
– Analyze feedback
– Improve it
The best techniques and tools
Whether you have an idea to develop a product or a service, there is the perfect prototyping model for you.
So that you can choose wisely and in a way adapted to your project, I have developed for you all the prototyping models that give the best results.
Best techniques to prototype physical products outside the online environment
Currently, there are 3D printers for less than 350 dollars, but since we are entrepreneurs and we need to spend as little as possible, you can always do the following:
-Ask an enterprising colleague to let you print on their 3D printer
-Go to a 3D print shop. Certainly cheaper than to buy one.
-Do you have a polytechnic university nearby? Well, that’s your place. Many students have 3D printers which they are rarely using. Surely someone will let you use theirs.
Also a great way to make a prototype. Fast, accurate and at an affordable cost. Since it is too expensive to buy all the machines needed for injection molding, moldall.com has prepared a list of injection molding companies for you, which will make a prototype for you at a great price.
Use napkins, paper or cardboard
The old and simple will never die. Even Leo Messi signed his first contract on a napkin. In my opinion, this is one of the best techniques although at first glance it may not seem like it.
It is simple, it is fast and above all CHEAP.
Prototyping with Lego figurines is another option that you can use. Lego serious play is a tool that has been designed to design physical products or even services. It is a technique that is very fashionable because of the fun that prototyping with Lego serious play is, and especially for the good results that are obtained. In addition, you can use LSP for other areas: strategy definitions, conflict resolution, teamwork improvement, etc.
Below you will learn about some of the most effective techniques for prototyping online.
The storyboard technique is a visual technique that consists of creating a set of illustrations in order to represent the entire sequence of the service that we want to develop.
It is a rapid prototyping model and does not require investment. It has predesigned scenes, objects and characters that we can include just by dragging them.
One of my preferred prototyping models as well as the most widely used techniques for rapid prototyping.
Every day hundreds and hundreds of apps are developed and it seems that the trend is going to be upward. The same trend is found with the tools that allow us to make prototyping models for apps.
Best of all, these tools allow us to design -in both IOS and Android- our own application without having the slightest idea of programming. Most applications are simple and highly intuitive, making the prototyping task quick and easy.
Now that you have all the information necessary to make a prototype, everything else is up to you. To turn an interesting idea into a successful product. We wish you good luck on that endeavor.