helping small teams in product management



What to expect at your first startup-Part 1

Now that you have decided to build your venture, with a lot of excitement to solve real customer problems and add value to the lives of many, it can always feel a bit overwhelming given now that it's you alone with your co-founders who need to build things from scratch. This includes:
Building a product vision
Evaluating the product features, and services you are going to offer
Identifying a correct set of a target audience that you would be first reaching out to
Building a team to assist you in reaching your goals
Making short-term and long-term business plans,
Working on marketing, and branding strategies
Create a pitch deck if you are looking to get investors on board
Talking to compliance, CAs for various registrations required to set up a company
Wearing multiple hats, from product manager to developer, to investor relations manager, marketing head, branding head, design, UI/UX, social media, front-end end development, back-end development, cloud hosting (GCP/AWS), technical architecture, etc...
That is a lot of things to do and this list is still quite incomplete. As a first-time startup founder, it's extremely important to plan out things in detail, from validation of idea to execution. First things First: Validation of idea/service:
If you remember, in school days, there were monthly tests for all subjects and then there was an exam at the quarter end. Consider your startup as an examination, where there will be different questions from different subjects in a high-tension environment. The monthly tests are your practice tests, i.e.these help you in answering questions from different subjects in a smaller, granular form and the stakes are also not high. The better you perform in tests, the more likely you are to score well in exams.
In startups, no one takes tests, you would have built the questions yourself and given in answers. The subjects are Product, Marketing, Compliance, Team Building, Funding etc. Build your questions and your answers before actually building the product.
PS: This test is open book, you are to talk to customers, industry experts and Google to get your answers.
Example: How much money will people will pay for your product
Answer: I talked to x potential customers, and explained then why my solution will help them. Out of x, 20% would pay INR 1000 per month, 60% would pay INR 700 per month and 20% won't pay anything. So in total, after talking to potential customers, the first and second set would pay.
As you answer many more such questions, you will slowly be getting an idea of how valid or how apt your solution can be. It's extremely important to do this exercise. This will help in setting a strong foundation and you would be quite confident on how to target, who to target and when to target. Identifying similar services and learning from them: The only thing that humans think is unique is themselves. Unless the Aliens arrive. It's of great probability that some version/ variant of your idea or product has already been built, tested out or already up and running well. Out of over 6 billion people on Earth, there are hardly any unique ideas. What's still unique is the localisation. What's new in New York might have already been a race in Boston.
Founders need to look for services and products that are similar to your upcoming startup. Search within your own country, outside your country. If there is none, you haven't searched enough. The advantage this will provide is to guide you on what and what not to do. Competitive analysis helps in learning what the practical execution of your concept has been and how you can add more value by covering the gaps.

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