From inside of the flap of The Lean Startup:
“Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage as it is in a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they all have in common is a mission to penetrate the fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.”
The way my work generally goes, there’s a baseline in place.
Some leads are showing up.
Some amount of traction has been achieved.
Some collection of things have been tried in the past, with feedback and results to review.
And that makes my reverse engineering world go round because there’s somewhere to start.
But what do you do when you’re starting from ground zero?
Recently, I entered into a new type of engagement.
One that’s the digital equivalent of a static flywheel we have to somehow figure out how to get moving.
So what do you do when both the initial move and the subsequent strategy involve a high degree of uncertainty?
- Use rapid scientific experimentation
- Keep product development cycles as short as possible
- Measure actual progress, not vanity metrics
- Learn what customers really want
Here’s how I’m doing that:
- Pull from the client’s past experience and intuition with the target market in question to develop an initial direction.
- Create a prototype “LinkedIn sandbox” to test our initial assumptions and measure progress off of the conversations we generate.
- Continue to run the “LinkedIn sandbox” as we collect more market research, conduct cold outreach interviews, and develop the remainder of the strategy (content, website, email list, sales call CTA, etc.)
- Build on those early results by layering on each element step-by-step, measuring our progress the whole time.
This might not work.
But this also might work.
And it’ll be super cool when it does 🙂