Get to Market, Get to Cash

The importance of getting to market fast centers around first, getting user feedback and continue to remain on target to serve customer needs, and second, getting to revenue as quickly as possible. Bixly now has two new offerings to help our customers do this: the design prototype and the rapid prototype. These are in addition to the MVP. Let’s check them out!

Full Transcript Below:

Andrew:

… Is to gather user feedback quickly, so that you can validate your business idea and that you are going in the right direction.

Cris:

Getting to market faster, is that necessarily cheaper for me? If I get to market quickly, it’s going to be inexpensive to do that?

Andrew:

I gather user feedback more quickly, and then I’m able to realize what mistakes I made in my assumptions, correct those, and get to market again.

Cris:

But I don’t have the users, Andrew. Can I go slow now?

Andrew:

Then you probably shouldn’t be making the product.

Cris:

Oh, okay.

Cris:

Today we are going to talk about how do you get to market fast, or get to market quickly with a product or project that you’re trying to launch?

Andrew:

Great topic.

Cris:

It is a good topic. When is it important to actually get to market quickly with something, and why would you want to go quickly to market with a project or product of some sort?

Andrew:

It’s a good question, but it makes me think, when is it not important to get to market quickly?

Cris:

Okay.

Andrew:

I’d have a hard time coming up with that particular scenario. So I feel like it is typically important to get to market quickly. So, why is it important to get to market?

Cris:

Yeah, why is it important?

Andrew:

I think that’s a good question that we should talk about. There’s a variety of reasons, chief of which is to gather user feedback quickly so that you can validate your business idea and that you are going in the right direction.

Cris:

But I don’t have any users, Andrew. Can I go slow now?

Andrew:

Then you probably shouldn’t be making the product.

Cris:

Oh, okay.

Andrew:

Right? If you have no idea who users are or who you’re going to acquire them. If you don’t know who your users are, and I don’t want to go off on a big tangent…

Cris:

No, no, no.

Andrew:

Then how do you know what you’re building for them and what their problems are, right? So, we have an idea of whose problem we’re solving. We need to validate that idea. We get to market quickly so that we can validate that idea. Getting to market quickly also helps us raise capital, get ahead of competition, different things like that. But I would say chief of which is to validate our assumptions and gather that user feedback.

Cris:

Gotcha. And getting to market faster, is that necessarily cheaper for me? If I get to market quickly, it’s going to be inexpensive to do that? Or, how does that work?

Andrew:

Well, it depends how you do it, of course, right? If you spend a ton of money to get to market quickly, then it is not cheaper.

Cris:

Okay.

Andrew:

But all things equal, if I get to market more quickly, I gather user feedback more quickly, and then I’m able to realize what mistakes I made and my assumptions, correct those, and get to market again. So, it allows us to iterate very quickly.

Cris:

Interesting.

Andrew:

So, it should save you money and time. If you get to market quickly, as long as you’re listening to users and learning the valuable lessons of what telling you.

Cris:

Yeah. Because if you go to market fast with something that A, you don’t know if you have users for, we already established on that, or you’re not listening to that feedback and you push it…

Andrew:

Or you spend an astronomical amount of money.

Cris:

An astronomical… Yeah.

Andrew:

Or you pay people to use it, right? I mean…

Cris:

Yeah, exactly. And then suddenly you have this thing out in the world and it’s of no use to you while you’re starting over from scratch.

Andrew:

Sure.

Cris:

So how do we, as a company here at Bixly, what do we do when we’re working with our customers to both help validate these ideas, make sure we’re going after what matters, and then also help our customers get to the market and get their project off the ground rapidly? What kind of things can we do, and what kind of things are we looking for from our customers to do with us to make sure we get off the ground rapidly?

Andrew:

Well, it depends what their goals. Assuming their goal is to gather your user feedback, which I believe is the right goal. So assuming that’s their goal, there’s still different paths we can take. And a lot of that is based on what their timeframe is for that.

Andrew:

So, if they’re just trying to get very initial feedback, they’re trying to raise investor capital, but they’re not necessarily in a position to build this thing out, a good thing we like to do is a design prototype. And it looks like using a program like Figma to build what the screens are going to look like and make certain parts of the screen clickable.

Andrew:

So let’s just say that we’re a building mobile app. We can help them with the help of our designers put together a Figma prototype where you can actually see it on your phone, you can move through it, and you can click on various buttons. It’s not “functional” in the sense that you’re not going to take payments and process transactions, but it’s very easy to imagine for an investor or user to imagine what this experience is going to be like. And so, that’s a shortest possible timeframe when we’re talking in the scope of weeks, we need to get something out kind of thing. So, we call that a design prototype.

Cris:

So this is not an MVP, because we’ve obviously talked in the past about MVPs.

Andrew:

Yeah, we go on and on about MVPS.

Cris:

On and on about the minimum viable product, but that is more of an actual full software solution that is both the design and the actual functional backside to the application. It’s an actual application that you could deploy on the app store or put on the web. This is strictly talking about creating the user experience and the design of how your app will function, and basically clicking those screens together. Like you said, in Figma or something of that sort.

Andrew:

And some people might argue that it is an MVP. We more separate the term into separate terms to make it less confusing. The idea with an MVP is it’s a minimum viable product, meaning it’s actually solving your user’s problems, and a design that I can click on isn’t most likely going to solve user’s problems. So, that’s why we don’t call it an MVP.

Cris:

Right.

Andrew:

So you’ve got the design prototype, it’s the quickest, fastest way to get feedback. It’s very much based on design and getting it in someone’s hands so that they can… Requires much less imagination what it’s going to be. And that’s in the scope of weeks to get something like that from the point we start.

Andrew:

Another one we like to do is, we just call it a rapid prototype. And that’s where we actually are generating code. So, we’re stepping beyond the design, but it still is only partial pieces of functionality. So, maybe you just want to test a very small portion of your app with users in order to get feedback. But other parts of it are either not there or they’re just design based. They don’t do anything, kind of placeholders.

Andrew:

So, that’s really like a subset of the MVP. And so, that’s when you need to go beyond, again, a design, but you’re not going all the way to…

Cris:

A full application.

Andrew:

A fully viable product. Yeah.

Cris:

Got it.

Andrew:

And then the last one…

Cris:

So R&D, it’s a bit of R&D in a way.

Andrew:

It’s R&D. It’s probably more along the traditional lines of a prototype, right? A prototype isn’t designed to be fully function or a fully solved problem, or even super reliable, right? If you have a prototype, right, like Ironman’s prototype suit…

Cris:

We’ve all seen the Marvel series.

Andrew:

He still takes it out fight it and he’s always advised against it, yet he does it anyways and somehow he seems to win. So, this is not necessarily designed to be this scalable, reliable thing you’re going to get out to a bunch of users. It’s just, again, another tool for gathering users feedback.

Cris:

Sure. Sure.

Andrew:

And then lastly, we have the MVP or minimum viable product. That actually is code written to address the minimum problems that your user has identified. Not the full thing, not the thing that’s going to take a year to build, because you’ve got all these different aspects of the thing to it. This is again, a very paired down, but it actually is solving those problems and code written too.

Cris:

Perfect. So, it really seems that, and what we’re trying to do throughout the conversations that we’re having with our customers and going through these processes with them is determine, “Do you need to build a prototype because you’re trying to get some quick feedback from your users and potentially investment, or do you have either that investment already or enough feedback to create the first version one minimum viable product version of your app?” And help guide the customers is really where we come into play. So what kind of things do we need from our customers? Questions, insights from them, reliability on showing up for meetings. What kind of things do we need from our customers to go down this route of either a prototype or an MVP?

Andrew:

Well, asking questions is how we help our clients identify which of these things is best for them. And we used to just have a one size fits all with an MVP, but we realized that we were having people who had real problems. They had budgets, but they needed a step before that.

Cris:

Sure.

Andrew:

They needed more than just a roadmap and a plan. They actually needed something that people could see and use and play with. So, we asked them questions about, “What are your objectives with doing this? How is this being funded? Is this something you’re trying to raise capital for? Is this something you’ve already raised capital for? Are you funding it yourself just until you can get capital?” Things like that. So, based on what your capabilities are in your timeframe, that’s a really big factor.

Andrew:

Also, what are you trying to learn from this? If you’re just trying to get some very basic ideas, whether this is solving problems or a user is going to like the flow, then maybe a design is completely appropriate. If you actually need to do testing with a larger subset of users, or you need to solve a specific problem, and maybe you’ve already gone through the design phase, you’ve worked with another firm, or you have a designer in your firm who… Or for whatever reason, you just know what you want. Maybe there’s a competitor product and you’re trying to build a subset of that.

Cris:

Gotcha.

Andrew:

Then in those cases, maybe we can go right to the MVP. So, as far as your question as to what sort of involvement do we need from the customer? Up front, we need heavy involvement to really convey your vision to us about what it is you’re building.

Cris:

We’re building your prototype.

Andrew:

Right.

Cris:

We’re not creating the prototype of what we think you want.

Andrew:

Yeah.

Cris:

We really do want to build what you’re looking for from us. Right. And if you don’t give us those answers, we are going to work to build what we think is going to be useful for you and get the feedback that you’re looking for. But it’s always better if you can tell us exactly what you’re looking for.

Andrew:

So, I hate to give the answer, “It depends,” but it does depend which of those routes we’re going down. But the time we need from you varies anywhere from days to weeks.

Cris:

Perfect. Well, it’s good to know for our customers as we’re wrapping up this prototype mindset and shift that we have started to build out here, and this idea of getting to market quickly by building prototypes, it’s good to know that these are opportunities and options that we have as a company, that our customers and working with us. Any final thoughts, any closing remarks?

Andrew:

Well, just that we’re really here to help guide you through this process. So, we don’t expect clients to come in and know, “Oh yeah, I need a design prototype, or an MVP.” That initial call that happens with you, you ask the questions and we really just help hold their hand and point them in the right direction. And by having these different options now, it allows us to accommodate more timeframes and budgets.

Cris:

Yeah. And by being honest, with the answers to the questions that we ask of our customers, that is going to be the best way for us to discern this road of MVP, prototype, stair step hierarchy.

Andrew:

And that’s a good point because that’s really, I feel like that was a lesson we’ve learned with talking with more and more clients is, the need to really… There’s not a one size fits all, and the need to be really honest with them about, “Okay, what you want in the timeframe you have, isn’t realistic, but here’s another way we can…” Because we understand your goals, “Here’s another way we can achieve those goals in an incremental step that ultimately gets you to the full expression of what you really want.”

Alexandra:

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Tech Tuesday, where Cris and Andrew were discussing how to get your idea to the marketplace fast. We shared some ideas of different options of how Bixly can help you do that, and just why that’s important in the first place. If you have any questions at all about what they talked about today, go ahead and leave them in the comments section.

Alexandra:

And don’t forget to check out our description box down below. We have a bunch of really helpful links for you guys, including a link to our free custom software guide and a link to our website where you can actually access Cris for a free 60 minute conversation. You just hit that button, Start My Roadmap, right up at the top, to be able to have a conversation with him about your next app idea. Until next time, this has been an episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday.