Let’s start with a large caliber example. Uber, whose market value is about 70 billion dollars, is the result of such a market trial. American businessmen, Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp, have thoroughly researched the needs of Silicon Valley residents and employees. The creators of Uber concluded that the option of requesting inexpensive transportation with an application will be a good alternative to the daily commute by car. Camp and Kalanick tested their product on their own, traversing the streets of San Francisco in their rented car. Today, Uber is a brand that is as enthusiastic as it is controversial, yet there is no denying that its creators’ instincts have not failed. Especially since it was supported by solid tests.
For what and for whom?
Launching a product on the market, opening a store or a catering establishment, or creating applications without a demand analysis is a very risky matter. There are those who would like to jump head first without thinking about the depth of the water, but it is much better to be prepared and save yourself from painful and expensive disappointments. Two simple questions will help: what problem our product answers and who it is supposed to serve.
MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, is when a product with minimum functionality is introduced to the market in order to check the opinions of the first customers. We have already written about this market testing method in one of our previous articles – MVP, that is, maximum benefit with minimum risk. MVP not only gives an answer to the question whether our product is a hit, but also allows you to make specific improvements before the full version is released.
Janet J. Kraus method and Zukcerberg portal
How to check the potential of a product or service? Janet J. Kraus, a lecturer at Harvard Business School, believes that the ideal product combines the qualities of oxygen, aspirin and jewelry. It is therefore worth asking ourselves whether our service is something we cannot do without (oxygen), whether it is the answer to problems (aspirin), or simply satisfies purely consumer needs (jewelry). Of course, nobody claims that a product combining only two of the above elements cannot be successful. On the contrary! Let’s take one… Facebook. Zuckerberg’s platform was created as a space where users (students) could share messages, photos and other materials – so it combined satisfying current needs with providing pleasure. Today – as each of us will probably admit – it is hard to imagine life without the most famous social portal in the world.
Is it possible that a start-up that is at the same time combining oxygen, aspirin and jewelry turns out to be a spectacular flop? Of course! It happens when costs exceed revenues. Therefore, when planning to enter the market, it is necessary to find out if it is not too saturated with similar products or services.
Tester with the weight of gold
It is difficult to imagine an application that enters the market without prior testing. Before the software is launched, the manufacturer must be one hundred percent sure that the solution is made to specifications required and that it works on all mobile devices, browsers and even operating systems. This task belongs to the group of testers.
Testers start their work as early as at the stage of developing the concept of the program. During the so called kick-of meetings the testers are acquainted with the specifics of the project, which allows them to properly prepare for the work, but also to share their comments on the task. According to many specialists, it is good to keep testers close at every stage of the task, allowing them to test the results step by step.
The journey of the tester therefore starts with the analysis of the documentation and goes through the tests themselves to the implementation. Between the first, second and third implementation (it rarely ends with one), and even afterwards, the tester makes sure to keep the application stable. It is up to him to react to reported faults and respond to comments from the client or the rest of the team. The tester verifies all the reports and checks the correctness of the improvements made.
A good tester is a person who is able to look at the process from many perspectives and seek answers in unobvious places. Distributing tasks among the first factors is his passion (although due to the workload he will not always have a chance to use it).
Software released without a tester? This is unlikely to work! Open a business without a market needs analysis? Risky. You better save yourself a headache. As you know, the cautious are always protected.