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Hubstaff founder Dave Nevogt shares how to test your startup idea by analyzing model, market and concept. Valuable insights!
I really liked this post - particularly the stuff around looking at the market.
I would add 2 things (both are sort of covered but I find in B2B these are so important I would call them out).
The first goes with the idea of "value" - I would add differentiation to that. You not only have to be valuable but you really have to be clearly differentiated from alternatives in the market to get traction.
I loved the bit about "easily identifiable customers" - I would add a test around how hard it is to reach them. In B2B some buyers are very easy to find and reach (they participate in social, they have linkedIn profiles, they go to events, etc) and some are incredibly difficult to reach. I once sold a solution for investment bankers - they don't do any of those things so I could easily identify them but getting to them was expensive and time consuming. We did it, but it was super hard.
Yeah, differentiation is a smart add, and it really works on a lot of different levels. For instance, at Hubstaff we have competitors that are very similar in features, but we feel we have better software. It's faster, and lighter. We've found that in many cases that is not enough. You can also differentiate on brand, which is what we are trying to do through transparency at our blog. And yeah, B2B customers have proven to be extremely hard to reach for us as well. Probably not as hard as Ibankers though...
Sometimes the key to differentiation is to get tighter on your segmentation. Some subsegments might care about your special sauce a lot more than others and getting super tightly focused on them can help. Actually that's how we ended up with the Ibankers - we had a feature that most businesses didn't care about but Ibankers went crazy over. We literally obliterated our competitors in that market so we just focused our efforts there and it changed everything.
Hi guys, this is Dave Nevogt, co-founder of Hubstaff. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have relating to the article.
Excellent post, Dave and great follow-up points on differentiation, April; could not agree more on the value that organizational transparency offers, with regard to engaging users and the community.
To build upon your 'Concept Tests' section, Dave - identifying a clear set of assumptions on how the concept adds/creates value, or what motivates buying behaviour is an effective way of determining the optimal medium for consumption ie. web, desktop software, or mobile. And as a result can give an indication on how unique your differentiation really is. Some 'food' for thought! Haha
PS. The visuals on your post: http://blog.hubstaff.com/test-your-startup-idea/ are fantastic - especially the 'Analyzing A Startup Idea', well done!
Yeah, thats good thinking Danny. Thanks for mentioning that. For the graphics we used piktochart. Appreciated
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