New approaches to validating ideas

This was originally a podcast on the Lunch Pail Daily show. In the episode, I talk about validating ideas and how no-code changes some of the calculus.

Transcript (edited for clarity)
Welcome to Lunch Pail Daily it's your host, Lola. Today I wanted to talk about new approaches to idea validation to idea validation, which I've been having a lot of conversations about recently.

To level-set, I think, for quite some time, your Steve Blank four steps to epiphany, your Eric Ries Lean Startup was very much the gold standard of kind of how you should approach, getting your idea off the ground and building MVPs around that.

I think it's very much still the gold standard today, you absolutely should be talking customers. Customers should be at the center of everything that you're building but it's much easier to do that alongside iterations.

As a byproduct, a lot of programs and classes I've participated in would tout the talk to 100 people, or you earn the right to build after tons of conversations.

Now, you can still have those conversations, but it's more enriched with the quick iteration you can do with no-code. Even though the concept of an MVP( minimum viable product)  has existed for a long time.
Minimum Viable products at one point could still take months to even years to get off the ground. With no-code, we're seeing a lot more actually viable atomic products that can provide real value to customers and take a couple of hours to a couple of days to build.

The calculus shifts a little bit, you don't have to invest as much upfront effort talking to 1000s of people because the effort to get to something of potential value for customers is a lot lower (and easier to throw away).

This process might even impact the traditional UX design process, a lot of tools are closing the gap between prototype and product. In UX design courses I've taken,  you talk to customers, have conversations, and then you build your low-fidelity wireframes then your high-fidelity wireframes.

All along the way you are talking to customers but now I think those tests will go a lot further so I can build v1 of your app, probably in a couple of days with some of these no-code tools have, and it's still not that much effort to change it. If it is just a couple of hours of effort to get your best idea out into the world. Then, I think the best feedback is going to be the reactions of customers to your best idea.

Unlike previously where building an app, probably, either cost you a lot of money and a lot of time and it would be a waste of your time to have to completely throw it away. With some of these no-code options, it's not a big deal if you have to throw it away because it didn't work. You can throw it away and build something else in a couple of hours.

A good way to think about it is if the effort to get something to a value to your customers is high, then you should do a lot more upfront research, if it's low then you don't have to. If you're building a co-working space, for example, your MVP can't be I bought the building and I have a lease, and I'm gonna see if this co-working space works. If you're building a rocket obviously like that is going to require a lot of research to do, but if it's like an app maybe not. You might be able to find some single feature functionality that you can do to even drum up interest, I think blog posts can be MVPs in some ways are ways that you can test that there's even any interest.

You can go beyond the I have a landing page with some nice copy and get some signups and that's now that I've got a few signups I'm gonna spend six months building something. You can ship a lot more quickly and iteratively and I think that's one of the exciting effects of the whole no-code movement.

Seeing a few people now, who have employed this power-law strategy that you see in VC to building their own product, so they're launching 10,12, whatever how many iterations, in a space, and one takes off.

For more Lunch Pail Labs articles, thoughts and ideas
subscribe to our  newsletter.