Why Rapid Prototyping is Critical to Success and How to Do It

by | Jan 23, 2015

One of the principles of The Lean Start Up approach is the formulation and testing of hypotheses, also known as rapid prototyping. This is such a fundamental approach to success for a number of reasons:

  • It puts a stake in the ground that can be measured
  • It allows for decisions - persevere, pivot or iterate - to be made without emotion
  • It allows you to look for patterns that tell you something positive is going on
  • Insights will emerge that were not visible before

Sounds easy? It is really, What we need to do is have a defined success metric - what would the hypothesis be that will allow us to persevere? Something like:

"If we do X, Y% of people will behave in way Z"

where

X= Your solution (the carrot)

Y= Your target metric (the number for success)

Z= The Customer behaviour (the loop)

for example:

"If we present leaders with the opportunity of trying new methods, then 80% will respond positively"

or

"If we present under 20 year olds with the opportunity to click on the "Buy Now" button, then 60% will do so"

So then what? Well in order to persevere with our rapid prototyping, we need a "Leap of Faith". This is the assumption that our hypothesis+perseverance will result in success. The Leap of Faith allow us to continue rather than iterate or perish - and of course, it is just that - a leap of Faith.

The last thing we want to do in today's climate is do the "build it and they will come" approach. Doomed to failure. Rapid iteration around hypotheses is certainly the way to go.

Have a look at www.quickmvp.com. It allows you to rapidly prototype and build landing pages, testing out hypotheses. It will even create the Google Adwors ad for you! I have started to use this with surprising results.

Rapid Prototyping is critical to innovation success, don't be afraid to start small and allow projects to fail when they are small, rather than building products destined for failure

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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