Expert research reveals that entrepreneurs spend on average around 20,000 hours over a five year period in taking their concept to market.
That certainly is not an easy task. It involves dedicating a lot of time, and sacrificing life’s pleasures i.e. family; everything surrounds the goal of seeing the fruition of their idea. Going head on with a project, they run with the very optimistic assumption that there is a market for it and that customers will buy their product. Most often this leads to little or no success! Building a product that you or your peers think is cool, doesn’t mean that consumers out there are going to share your enthusiasm.
Failing to foresee the reality of failure and preparing for it is where most entrepreneurs hit a brick wall. It’s important to know that your product is solving a problem that consumers are struggling with, and that they are willing to pay for a solution. Other reasons for failure include:
- You have not documented what it is you want to achieve – how can you ever achieve it?
- An ill-timed launch to market
- The potential market is actually far more limited than you initially predicted
At mitra we understand this and take a much simpler approach in solving a problem, before spending an unrealistic amount of hours on a project.
1. Design: It is important at this point to keep your client in mind. Focus on real user features and very simple User Experience (UX); is it user friendly? Is it easy to adapt to and understand? Think along the lines of; ‘Can I capture a photo and upload the file in one simple click?’ ’Can I order a pizza within a minute using this mobile app?’
A great example of design is Evernote; their goal was to help people keep track of everything, communicate and collaborate effectively. They thought through every possible angle of consumer needs and wants. Take these sort of scenarios into consideration, along with the right business model, incorporate those ideas into your product and you will be heading towards success!
2. Pilot: A critical stage before full scale launch. Building a prototype and beta testing with trusted clients and partners, provides insight into the feasibility of your product. See what works and what doesn’t, the areas that need improvement, evaluate potential profit. This stage requires rapid and constant modifying of the product until you’re convinced and satisfied that it is ready to be deployed to the masses.
3. Launch: This is the time you’ve been working towards. By now you would have your sales channels and marketing strategies clearly defined. All operations and customer support facilities should be properly structured. You have at least 5 clients who believe in your product and are ready to support and spread the word about your product to others. You are now ready to launch!
It’s not quite over yet. The launch is just the beginning. You’ve successfully taken your idea to market, but keeping it alive is equally important. Keeping up with fierce competition and changing consumer behaviour is a never ending cycle. A true entrepreneur understands this. Constant innovation becomes a way of life for an entrepreneur; cultivating an ‘Innovation’ attitude helps in personal development and creates organizational growth!
Ashok Suppiah, CEO, mitra innovation