Make it real

You have a good idea in mind, and you want to test it out in the world but you don't know where to start? Here are some tips to get you started.

To be or not to be?

Creating a start-up involves a lot of risk and uncertainty.

  • First, you risk wasting your time, which is one of the most valuable things you have.
  • Second, you risk losing your money and your investors' money if you execute your idea too prematurely.

Never make the mistake of executing your business idea without evidence of your product/service's desirability in the eyes of your customers and the existence of a viable long-term business model.

Limit the hazard

In order to reduce the risks and uncertainties of your project as much as possible, you should first act as an experimenter and test your idea in reality. The three main uncertainties encountered in the process of creating a start-up are:

  • Who is my customer?
  • What is his problem?
  • Will my solution solve my customer's problem?

The first two questions can be answered through customer interviews, also called ethnographic interviews. It is simply a matter of observing and exchanging with your target in order to understand in depth his needs and his main problems. Then, once you have a thorough understanding of your customers' problem, you can try to answer the third question “Will my solution solve my customer’s problem?” To do this, we advise you to create one prototype or more, to test it on the field. The idea here is for you to be 100% sure of the desirability of your solution in the eyes of your customers (in other words: that your customer likes your product/service and is willing to pay for it) before actually starting to run your business model.

How to ?

Here are some recommended tools and methodologies for you to test and confirm your idea on the market and to reduce the many risks and uncertainties:

Lean Startup: this approach is based mainly on the “customer development” method, which makes it possible to take into account the needs of customers as early as possible during the product/service development process.

Design Thinking: promoted by IDEO in the late 1990s, Design Thinking is an innovative method based on a thorough understanding of the customer’s problems. This process of design is based on iterative prototyping cycles that include tests to collect valuable user feedback and thus make constant improvements during this cycle. The basic principle is empathy, which makes it possible to create more human-centred products or services. Design Thinking uses creativity, idea development, rapid prototyping and testing to create solutions that are more in line with the real needs of users.

Trial & error

As a young entrepreneur, you probably already know that the word “Test” must be part of your daily life. Indeed, as you will navigate through the development of your start-up, you will carry out a series of tests in order to confirm:

  • Your problem
  • Your solution
  • Your price
  • Your acquisition and marketing channels
  • Your business model

In order to put your solution to a trial with potential customers, you need to have something to show them, and that’s where the concept of “Prototype” in Design Thinking comes into play and so does “Minimum Viable Product” in Lean Startup. Your prototype’s main goal is to kick your idea out of your head and confront it with the outside world in order to obtain valuable feedback from your users. Be creative. Depending on your project, it’s up to you to choose the tool (MVP/prototype) that will allow you to better test your idea without wasting your time or money.

Still hungry ?

Find your business model

Getting from business idea to business model.

Vidéo 2 minutes – EN
Explication de l’importance de travailler sur son business model : une bonne idée ne suffit pas !

Top 10 influential business models.

Lecture 10 minutes – EN
Détail des business models de dix entreprises qui ont révolutionné leur industrie.

Blue ocean strategy developing value propositions.

Vidéo 2 minutes – EN
Application de la stratégie océan bleu non pas au produit mais à la proposition de valeur pour se différencier dans son marché.

Shape and test your solution

IDEO shopping cart.

Vidéo 8 minutes – EN
Illustration via un exemple réel et concret de la méthode Design Thinking développée par l’entreprise IDEO.

Design thinking process.

Vidéo 5 minutes – EN
Explication détaillée du processus de Design Thinking à appliquer pour créer sa solution.

Minimum viable products types.

Lecture 10 minutes – EN
Typologie des différents types de MVP possibles, illustrés par des exemples concrets.

Tester son idée avec le test « Wizard of Oz ».

Lecture 3 minutes – FR
Explication de la méthode du Wizard of Oz pour recueillir tôt de précieux feedbacks auprès de ses clients potentiels. Illustration avec un exemple concret.

Challenge yourself

Proving it.

Vidéo 3 minutes – EN
Apologie du test et de l’erreur dans la création d’un business model vivant et viable.

Owlet – IBMC winner.

Vidéo 20 minutes – EN
Détail complet du processus de lancement de la startup Owlet, retraçant les différentes étapes de leur parcours et notamment leurs réflexions sur leur business model et leurs pivots.