What does it mean to go lean?
Going lean means to minimize your product
as much as possible
to the point where you can solve your customer’s problem with your solution and get the maximum amount of customer feedback
with the minimum product possible.
Ideally if you can solve your customer’s problem with very little technology, very little user interface and very little design
then do it.
I wish I did that for my first start up, MyFitSolution.com
But instead I took the MBA strategy. I wrote a long business plan, took surveys, made a list of features a mile long and outsourced it all.
How going lean could have helped me with my first start up
MyFitSolution.com was my first start up.
The purpose was to connect amateur fitness gurus with fitness beginners in the gym
and let them manage their work out sessions on MyFitSolution.com.
The beginners pay MyFitSolution to be able to connect to these amateur fitness gurus.
The majority of the fee would go to the amateur fitness gurus.
Instead of spending a year
- writing a business plan for MyFitSolution
- months raising capital
- a year doing the wire frames and development
We could have set up two html forms and had amateur fitness people fill one out and beginners fill out the other
then my partner and I could have manually connected both those people together by calling them up and emailing them.
Then we could have kept doing this until we understood the process.
After showing this process to technical people, we could have made a simple web platform around this already working process.
Going lean could have saved us a lot of time, money, head ache and put us on the fast track to success.
How I’m taking the Lean start up approach with BloggersCompete
BloggersCompete lets advertisers connect to bloggers by launching blog post contests.
Bloggers get paid whether they win or lose by participating in these contests and bloggers also get their blogs promoted to a larger audience for free.
Advertisers get higher search engine rankings for their chosen keyword phrases from the links they get from the blog posts.
In addition, Advertisers get targeted traffic, branding, buzz and an increased Google Page Rank.
For BloggersCompete, I didn’t write a business plan or make complicated financial forecasts, but only focused on building a very minimalistic product that fixed my target customer’s problem with a direct solution.
After I figured out how the site should work, I talked to as many people as I could about the idea.
After that, I made a basic wireframe for the website, hired a user interface/graphic design person to make the html/css/graphic design pages of the website, and then took those pages along with a product back log to a PHP developer to turn them into a live working website.
While my developer built the product, I constantly showed the product to potential customers and asked for their feedback so that I could validate my solution to their problem.