In 2009, I helped Dr. Alex Osterwalder write Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. I wasn’t the only “coauthor” though. Dr. Osterwalder invited 470 business people from over 45 countries to contribute to the book.
In short, he crowdsourced the book’s content.
It was a win-win. I was happy to help because Dr. Osterwalder gave me a copy and promised to add my name as a contributor. He, of course, was able to have almost 500 people do research by trying out his business strategies in real time. By having his ideal client (business owners) give feedback, he was able to create a popular product.
The book went on to become a New York Times bestseller!
Are you crowdsourcing your product development, Startup Nation?
You don’t have to do product development all on your own. You don’t need $1 million in the bank to start your business. All you need to do is solve your customers’ problems, and they’ll pay you to develop a product that works.
Here are three tips for getting your customers to fund your R&D.
Solve a Problem
The first step to crowdsourcing your product development is framing. It’s hard to ask strangers for money. It’s even harder to ask strangers for money without offering anything concrete in return.
That’s why you need to promise to solve a problem. If you’re developing a CRM, you need to promise a CRM that integrates with all of a business’s sales platforms. If you’re developing an acne cream for men, you need to promise a free sample that will make their skin clearer than it’s ever been before.
You create buy-in for testing products by promising to solve a problem for your customer. If you do, they’ll be more than happy to help you.
The point of product development is to create something that solves a problem for your customer. The point is NOT to create something that you like personally. It’s a great feeling when your product accomplishes both, but at the end of the day, your customer’s needs are most important.
You need to answer the question, “Does my customer think my product is valuable?” This requires follow up phone calls and satisfaction surveys. It also requires going back to the drawing board to rework your product if it doesn’t meet your customers’ expectations.
This sounds like hard work. It is. But it’s better than spending five years developing a product on your own only to find out nobody wants it.
Final tip. Use these testimonials and reviews to boost your brand’s reputation. Post them to Yelp, Facebook, Google, and your website. One great review can convince dozens of people to buy what you’re selling. Don’t let this marketing potential go to waste, Startup Nation.
Too many entrepreneurs never market their finished products. These entrepreneurs create a website to host what they’re selling… and wait. This is not how marketing works in 2020. You need an active marketing strategy.
Thankfully, many platforms allow for detailed targeting. Facebook, Google and LinkedIn all have targeting advertising systems that let you market to people based on a wide range of demographics. You can narrow your marketing by age, gender, interests, employment, and many other categories.
Use these tools to share your finished product with the world.
Key Takeaway: If you can promise to solve your customers’ problems, then you can leverage them to help develop your products. Test your new product with the people who are going to use it.
Has the global pandemic got you feeling ANXIOUS and STRESSED? Do you wish you had freedom, the ability to live a normal life just like everyone else?
I have a solution to anxiety, and it only takes 5 minutes. It’s my 5-MINUTE Anxiety Reduction Method™. Experience a normal life with the fastest anxiety reduction and reversal method EVER.
Reduce fatigue, release stress, and pain, & improve your mood. It’s worked for my coaching clients. It will work for you, too.
The Best Business Advice & Latest Episodes Sent to Your INBOX...
About Joseph Warren
Joseph Warren is a Christian Speaker, Podcast Host and Spiritual Coach. Joseph Warren offers Spiritual Coaching to Christian Business Owners who somehow find themselves in a spiritual rut. In just 90 days, he helps them avoid expensive divorces, break free from addiction, restore broken family relationships, and start living their Higher Purpose!