#4 5 Strategies to Test your Idea

April 1, 2024

5 Strategies to test your Idea

One of the things I want to talk about today, which some of you have asked about, is what minimum and viable are, and there are a few strategies to create an MVP.

Minimum has a different definition based on who your target customer is. An MVP aims to learn as much as possible while doing the least to mitigate risk.

In this concept, the least is subjective.

For a consumer product, you may be able to develop the idea on paper and share it with potential customers and get feedback, and then you may go and build a prototype and then again get feedback to see how they like it.

If you have a business targeting enterprise customers, they may want a minimum usable product so you can get the feedback you need.

You could present a paper prototype or a website landing page explaining your value proposition.

However, to see if the product solves the enterprise customer's problem, you may need to build a usable product with the capabilities an enterprise customer expects. Often, we misconstrue what Minimum means.

The goal of the MVP is to mitigate risks and learn it isn't only to do the least.

Below, I'll outline four strategies that I've used when developing an MVP.

Landing Pages

Create a landing page that teases your business.

With this strategy, you're looking to gauge any interest in your product.

One way to do this is to create a site that showcases your value proposition and your product, and there's a call to action, which could be to join the waitlist, pre-order, or contact us to learn more.

We want to see if prospective customers bite on the landing page strategy.

Check out Launchrock to create a landing page.

Demo Videos

In the demo video strategy, you create a compelling video that discusses your problem and solution in a creative way to pique interest and drive traffic to a landing page.

Check out Dollar Shave Club and Dropbox.

The video can also be animated and doesn't need to have a high production value.

Wizard of Oz

The idea with Wizard of Oz is that it appears fully functional to the user, but in reality, there are manual processes in the background that the customer doesn't see.

Zappos is the classic example, where the founders hypothesized that people would be willing to buy shoes online instead of purchasing the inventory for shoes.

Take pictures and then have the shoes sit.

They decided to build a site, go to a local shoe store to take photos, and when they would get an order, they would go to a retail store to buy the shoe and then ship it to the customer.

Read more about Zappos here


Running a campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo allows you to test whether customers are willing to buy your product before investing in manufacturing or building it.

You can launch all types of products on both these platforms, from tangible products to software.

Software Prototype

You can build a simplified version of your product using no-code solutions like Bubble.

When I first started startuptools.ai, I created a landing page and allowed users to create a Lean Startup Canvas, and I shared it with friends, on my LinkedIn, and other social sites.

I got feedback on what users found valuable and what else they hoped the tool could do.

The initial version was quite basic.

I paid no mind to logos or the user experience and focused on the core value prop - generate a lean startup with your idea using AI.

Several no-code platforms allow you to build products without programming knowledge.

Checkout Bubble.

Choosing the Right MVP Strategy

Factors to Consider

Target Audience:

Know your potential customers.

Consumer preferences vary widely across different demographics, industries, and use cases.

For instance, a tech-savvy audience might be more receptive to a software prototype.

In contrast, a market unfamiliar with your technology might need a tangible, more straightforward demonstration of your concept, like a demo video or a physical prototype.

Product Type:

The nature of your product heavily influences your MVP strategy.

Digital products, such as software or apps, lend themselves well to prototypes or landing pages.

Physical products may benefit from crowdfunding campaigns to gauge interest and secure the necessary funding for production.

Available Resources:

Assess your resources regarding time, money, and skills.

A landing page or a Wizard of Oz setup might require less financial investment upfront compared to building a software prototype, even with no-code tools.

Your team's skills are also a determining factor—can they create a compelling demo video, or would they be better suited to develop a simple, functional prototype?

Feedback Channels:

Choose an MVP strategy that enables you to collect feedback effectively.

The goal of an MVP is not just to test the market's receptiveness but also to gather insights that can refine your product.

Ensure your chosen strategy allows for accessible communication with your target audience.

Importance of Flexibility and Readiness to Pivot

Building an MVP is as much about learning as it is about building.

It's critical to approach this process with an open mind and the willingness to pivot based on your learning.

Market needs can evolve, and your initial assumptions about your product and its users might be challenged by the feedback you receive.

Here's why flexibility is critical:


Be prepared to modify your MVP based on user feedback.

This might mean changing features, tweaking your value proposition, or switching your MVP strategy to meet your audience's needs better.

Iterative Learning:

Each iteration of your MVP should bring new learnings that help refine your product.

Flexibility ensures that you can incorporate these learnings effectively, improving your offering with each cycle.

Market Alignment:

Being ready to pivot based on feedback and market response ensures that your product remains relevant and aligned with market demands.

This alignment is crucial for gaining traction and achieving product-market fit.

Lastly, I'll leave you with the goal of the MVP, which is to kick off the build, measure, and learn cycle, and action is better than aiming.

I would stay caught up in the minimum and do the least.

You are building a business that hopes to solve a problem or bring a net new benefit, and you are the expert at that for your business.

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