Secret behind successful startups

After reading whitepaper of Bravo, my eyes were stuck to this statement “iterative development incorporating user feedback” and I thought of doing some digging into this subject. My research from several days directed me to a topic called “Lean startups”. I thought of sharing my learnings about the Lean start-up in this article and why I’m confident that Bravo’s project team will be successful in their endeavors.

Lean start-up is a methodology for developing successful businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.

The central hypothesis of the lean startup methodology is that if startup companies invest their time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers, they can reduce the market risks and sidestep the need for expensive product launches and failures. Teams adopting this approach have more chances of success.

The lean startup methodology was first proposed in 2008 by Eric Ries, using his personal experiences adapting lean management principles to high-tech startup companies. The methodology has since been expanded to apply to any individual, team, or company looking to introduce new products or services into the market. The lean startups reputation is due in part to the success of Ries’ bestselling book, The Lean Startup, published in September 2011.Amazon.com listed the book as one of their Best Business Books of 2011, and by June 2012 the book had sold 90,000 copies.

Ries’ said that his first company, Catalyst Recruiting, failed because he and his colleagues did not understand the wants of their target customers and because they focused too much time and energy on the initial product launch.
The philosophy here is to discover customer personas who could potentially use your product offering and understand from them their needs /requirements with a related or similar product or what is their behavior in related situations. By successfully understanding these needs & behaviors, it helps lean start-up companies to foresee what is expected, what gaps they should address in their product offering and build a product which meets these requirements to standout in the market and win early adopters.

“For every problem, there is a solution, but not every solution can fix that problem”

Lean start-up companies behave in a much unique way to address challenges, they will create a prototype (something which is simple and less expensive to prepare) and run experiments to test their assumptions with the sample customers. This helps to quickly validate the assumptions of the team that how a customer may interact with your product offering, learn more about customer behaviors, feelings about your test product.
These validated learnings help lean start-up companies to reduce risk, failures from their product design. If needed, re-iterate a product design based on learnings from previous iterations.

This cycle of validated iterations continues until teams have found a concrete design which meets customer expectations and validated all assumptions.

One example of a lean start-up company which you might be familiar with — “Zappos”. The founder of Zappos had an idea to launch an online purchase store for shoes. Not sure if his idea will succeed, he decided to do some experiments.

He went to several physical stores in the U.S. and took pictures of some shoes, created a simple website (costing him 1000$) and posted these pictures with an option of “add cart” and “payment”. Did a very small promotion in social media, used Google AdWords (costing another 1500$) to promote his website and decided to observe the behavior.

When any customer placed an order from his site, he went to the respective store, bought the shoe and couriered the package to the customer. He continued observing how many customers would buy products online and after some time, he could not keep up with the orders.
This gave him the confidence that his idea will work and only after that he invested millions of dollars in setting up a contact|service center, warehouse, building inventory, hiring developers for website etc.

This way of experimenting to validate learnings, in the case of Zappos — “whether anyone will be interested in buying shoes online” helped to limit the risk of investing large amounts of project funding in case if the idea was not successful and avoid expensive product launches.

Bravo is another perfect example of lean start-up company who has been successful in their previous undertaking BRAVOPAY “proof of concept”, built for gratuity payments to artists and service professionals. It has been operating in beta as a mobile payment platform for peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions that are seamless, secure and anonymous. To date, BRAVO has a community of tens of thousands of active users and has processed millions of dollars in fiat currency (government-backed currency; e.g. USD, Euro, Yen) transactions.

Conclusion :

Of all the startups, less than 10% are successful and the majority of these successful startups, approach their product launch which follows lean startup principles.

The use of Lean startup principles by Bravo’s project team has more chances of the successful product launch in this competitive blockchain arena, makes sure that project funding is utilized appropriately and facilitates true entrepreneur skills to meet project goals or promises.

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Ashvarya Kharoo

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