Now when you know how to manage your time
properly to achieve better results, let’s discuss the next essential topic — how to develop your breaking innovative idea and bring it to the real-life
? There is no need to explain how challenging it is for a founder to come up with a good idea. It’s even more challenging to evaluate how your idea will really work. There is a huge effort behind great game-changing ideas which cracked the market.
An unconventional approach was suggested by three partners at Google Ventures, who developed so-called “five days sprint”
, more precisely, a plan for the startups which helps them to create, select and test their ideas in only 5 consecutive days. The following process-scheme may be helpful for you to make the step ahead to your successful kick-in idea. Here are some takeaways you should learn from their practice.
Monday. Set a long-term goal and identify your customer
So, start your idea development journey with identifying what you want to achieve in future, how you see your product in a long-term. At this point, try to forget your short-term objectives, you’ll come to them later, don’t worry. Now set the challenging questions which you have to ask yourself to bring your long-term goal to the real life. You should take into consideration potential difficulties and their consequences, try to imagine negative outcomes and analyze their reasons.
After having a rough long-term goal in mind, and possible various questions, it’s time to dig deeper and benefit from the diversity of your team. Share your best competences with each other, - no one knows everything
, you have to share knowledge with your team to further develop and evaluate your idea. You may also share potential challenges in the corresponding fields of competence of each other and then choose the strongest ones to take into account.
So, your team
is important. We were already talking about the value of the team in the previous articles, but we are highlighting it again because your team with diverse skills and from various backgrounds is a keystone to a successful idea.
Now, concentrate on identifying your customer. What matters a lot is the moment when your customer meets your product. The outcome of this interaction basically determines the successfulness of your idea on the market. The biggest trouble at this point is that customer behavior is so unpredictable now, honestly, more than ever before. That is why you have to pay much attention to specify your target group — the more precise and narrower your target persona is, the better you will be able to communicate your product with him or her, and, eventually, the higher will be the unique customer experience.
You are now one step closer to your idea. Excited? Take it away!
Tuesday. Create solutions sketch and generate the best ideas
It’s time to come up with the real solutions for the long-term goal you’ve just set. There is an exciting approach to do that, and we want to share it with you. Now you and your team members are going to work individually for a while. Your task now is to think of the inspiring business cases from which you might take away useful ideas, which then may be potentially considered to be a part of your solution. Please, don’t just senselessly copy from some other companies, but rather think of how you can make them better in order to implement relevant solutions in your final decision-making
. Indeed, don’t just consider your industry, but create a bigger picture from different areas. Write everything down in your notes and keep them.
So now, it’s time to draw your idea sketch! And you are going to do it alone again, and then present to your team members. Don’t be scared of drawing. Even if you don’t know how to draw, you can make a sketch, believe us. So what should be there? Try to describe a real solution in your notebook, be concrete, your idea has to be real, not abstract!
Include the following steps in your sketch:
Wednesday. Pick up the best solution and make the storyboard
- • Use general notes you took during your first individual brainstorm;
- • Create your idea (remember: keep it real; don’t just write down buzzy words);
- • Extend your idea to 8 possible variations (it’s your chance to develop your idea even better);
- • Finalise your idea intro the last sketch.
Each of you did a really good job so far. You all have some ideas which may potentially work out, but before that, all of you will go through your sketches to choose the best idea for your future product. To make this decision, you are not going to present your pitches in front of your team, but rather rewrite your sketches on the whiteboards, walk around, and choose the parts of each idea which you like the most. You may put a dot next to this part, or put a sticky note, there are no restrictions on that.
Just a small remark. Why not presenting your idea now? Well, briefing your team members mostly biases the decision-making process as it brings considerable subjectivity, simple human factor. You may be more charismatic than another member of your team, and emotionally attach others to your idea which is, for example, worse than that of your colleague who is not that charismatic. Also, you may think that one of your colleagues always generates the best ideas, and rely only on that when choosing the best one. We don’t want that. Rather we want you and your team members to make honest decisions
So, as soon as you are done with picking up the most outstanding ideas, you are ready to create the storyboard for your product. Here are some recommendations on how to make it realistic and coherent:
Thursday. Prototype your best idea and test it
- • Choose the opening scene, meaning think of how your customer starts interaction with your product.
- • Remember, you put sticky notes on the whiteboards? Don’t forget to include them, they are your important assets, making the storytelling stronger.
- • Keep your storyboard clear and explicit. Also, details are important — make your story real, not a fairy tale.
- • Make sure, you are answering all questions referring to your long-term goal.
- • Try not to come up with new ideas, you already have a lot of them!
So what is going to happen now? The most challenging parts of your “sprint” are over. Now you’ll be prototyping it, basically, creating your product and imitating the real life. Use fast and flexible tools to visualize your product. Again, you are completely free in choosing whatever tool you want - KeyNote, PowerPoint or just a Word file. Cooperate with your team and divide responsibilities to prepare prototype elements, images, chose the right wording, put in all together and finalize. Negotiate your final results and define a stop for it. Finally, test it with your team, make some final corrections. And… Congratulations, you are done!
That was a long and challenging journey, but you made it. In only a few days you managed to create and give your product a test-drive. Others spending months for that. As the last step on Friday
, you’ll have a real interaction with five potential customers which you choose, and see their reactions
. Be genuine about your product, and you’ll motivate them to give you a trustworthy feedback
The approach provided in the book “Sprint: How to Solve big Problems and Test News Ideas in Just Five Days”
gives really useful insights about how to brainstorm ideas and choose the most promising one.