Chapter 8. The Solution Interview

Test the solution with a “demo” before building the actual product.

What You Need to Learn

Armed with a prioritized problem list and an understanding of existing alternatives, you are now ready to formulate and test a solution.

You will start by double-checking your learning from the Problem interview, then look to test the following additional risks:

Customer risk: Who has the pain? (Early Adopters)

How do you identify early adopters?

Product risk: How will you solve these problems? (Solution)

What is the minimum feature set needed to launch?

Market risk: What is the pricing model? (Revenue Streams)

Will customers pay for a solution?

What price will they bear?

Testing Your Solution

The main objective here is to use a “demo” to help customers visualize your solution and validate that it will solve their problem.

Most customers are great at articulating problems but not at visualizing solutions.

I use the term demo loosely to mean anything that can reasonably stand in for the actual solution. The assumption here is that building the “full solution” is time-consuming and could lead to waste if you build the wrong solution or add unneeded features. You want to build just enough of the solution (or a proxy, like screenshots, a prototype, etc.) that you can put in front of customers for the purpose of measuring their reaction and further defining the requirements for your minimum viable product (MVP).

For software products, mock-ups and videos are a great way to “demo” ...

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