Do you have a great idea and you can’t see any problems?

Recently, we at Discoverfy found ourselves in this situation and that’s why we decided to destroy our brilliant idea. Why? Very simple. Every single person we talked to loved our project and that seemed pretty suspicious to us. 

According to statistics, 90% of startups fail and one of the main reasons why they fail is because their founders are too in love with their own idea. 

As we are a very ambitious group, we want to belong to this 10% of startups that succeed – and who doesn’t? That’s why we set out to be part of “The Idea Roast” concept.

This concept is innovative, but it should become mandatory for any startup or project at an early stage. The Idea Roast consists of exposing your project to a group of people from all backgrounds. Their main goal of giving their most honest opinion about your project.

Your ultimate goal is to get as many ideas, knowledge, insights, etc. as possible to help you not to fail after 6 months. 

With the operation explained in general terms, we are going to tell you how our experience was so that you can draw your own conclusions.

The Idea Roast process

In our case, Noba Ventures, experts in the Prototyping sector and also one of our first investors, organized a 2-hour session that was divided into 3 blocks. Blai Carandell, Partner and Business Designer at Noba Ventures, led the session.

The first block consists of an introduction of the project. In our case, our CEO and Co-Founder, Alejandro Ribó, started with a two-minute pitch where he exposed the general idea so that everyone could understand what Discoverfy is.

After this initial introduction, the attendees asked some questions to clarify doubts about the project. 

After clarifying all the doubts, we moved on to the second block. In this block, all attendees proceed to write down on post-it notes or use Miro, which is an ideal collaborative tool to do this activity remotely and think about the environment at the same time, the possible drawbacks they see with the idea. Let’s ruin our idea! 

Then, group together those drawbacks that make the most sense or those that are the most repeated. This step is invaluable to your company. Realizing that one, four or ten people see the same drawback to your idea can help you solve it as soon as possible. 

The third block consists of brainstorming together to solve these drawbacks. During this block, some of the innovation prototyping techniques are introduced, which are the following: 

  • MVP (Minimum Viable Product): This is a partial version of a product aimed at quickly discovering what the customer is asking for, using the least possible effort. 
MVP roast idea
MVP graphic from Antevenio.com
  • False Door: Without having the product or service developed, you promote it to your customers to see how many react positively. You need a good Call to Action.
  • Smoke Test: It’s a method to determine if there is enough customer demand for your product to justify the creation of such product or service. 
  • Wizard of Oz: Consists of allowing you to test features that have not yet been implemented. The user tests these features in a simulation of your product or service. 
  • Dark Horse: Try to implement the wildest and most different ideas. Experience teaches us that the most reasonable ideas are the ideas that are closest to existing solutions. This method can lead your company to new business models or achieve radical innovations. 
  • Product Hacking: It is about modifying / “hacking” an existing product, adding technology, building that value proposition that differentiates you.

How did we implement the Idea Roast concept at Discoverfy? We have always followed the Lean Startup methodology, so we started with a Smoke Test. We set up a very simple landing page explaining the product we wanted to build. There, we also included the value proposition and many mockups showing our software (which did not exist yet). Then, we went to show it to those we thought could be our potential customers so they could see how it worked. In a few weeks we had validated that there was a problem and that several customers liked our idea. 

After verifying that there was demand for our product, we started building an MVP. We created the software from scratch, as we hadn’t even typed a single line of code before. In this case we came out with very few features, to validate the fewer things the better.

Once our MVP was tractioned, we felt it was time to add new features and make the product stronger, so our UX/UI Design expert, Juliana Roseiro, thought it was appropriate to use the Wizard of Oz method to determine which features are most needed. Juliana creates everything with Figma. Figma is a program that allows you to make mock-ups, videos, presentations, etc. Then, she uses the Lookback program that allows you to record your screen. The recordings give us incredible value to make the right decisions about which features are key. It also helps us understand the user’s problems.

This concludes the Idea Roast process. We hope it has helped and inspired you to submit your idea to this test and prevent your project from dying in the attempt. 

We highly recommend it!!!

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