In our most recent Lab session, we worked on a product idea that revolves around the process of gathering requirements for a software project. The two other product ideas we had been exploring have been purged from Lab. We did some mini-pitches to build up a pipeline of new ideas and we'll explore them in more depth once we finish this Lab cycle. (My seven-year-old daughter, Louisa participated in the mini-pitch process by sharing a game idea. We're very excited to have a very young woman entrepreneur in our midst!) We're defining a Lab cycle using four main phases:
- Problem This is the phase in which we explore different problem ideas, do some customer interviews and try to find some real felt problems that can be addressed using web or mobile technology.
- Pitch In this phase, small teams or individuals do some initial research around different product ideas that address some of the problems we explored and then pitch them to the team. This may be preceded by mini-pitches in which individuals get initial feedback on their ideas and find team-members to join them in their pitch.
- Build-Measure-Learn This phase is the heart of the Lean process, in which we identify assumptions and hypotheses, test them using MVP's (Minimum Viable Products), collect and analyze data and then reflect on what we've learned and figure out the next steps.
- Pivot-Persevere-Purge-Product Once we've tested our product ideas using some experiments, we decide whether to explore a variation on the product idea (Pivot), continue exploring the original product idea further in Lab (Persevere), abandon the idea completely (Purge), or allow the product to graduate from Lab, devote more time to it and develop it into a more full-featured product (Product).
In our last session, we invalidated the problem hypothesis for our gathering requirements product idea after doing some customer development interviews. We determined that the problem we had identified was not a real felt problem for any of the people that we interviewed. However, through the interviews, we did discover some new ideas about how to improve the requirements gathering process for our service business. There did also seem to be some other potential problems to explore, so we worked on some pitches for a couple of pivot ideas. I'm excited to hear the pitches next week! Stay tuned...