As we work mostly for Startups we always align our work with the process they face in search of product-market fit. Lean Startup and Customer Development are common practices used by our clients. Our understanding of these practices make StarterSquad stand out against traditional digital agencies and software developers. We understand the process and rhythm of Customer Development and Lean Startup. This is crucial in order to build the digital products that are at the core of all of our clients. I will briefly outline how that works.
As all startups face high uncertainty you want to start reducing this uncertainty from the start. In a previous post we described this as de-risking your Startup. In fact it is all about rapid and intense learning cycles. You determine assumptions and risks and quickly start iterating on them to learn how you can handle them. In our projects we work with clients in determining the right mix of building the product and growth hacking to start testing the viability of a Startup idea. This involves:
- Having the right skills on board: in most cases this means a mixture of design, development and growth hacking. We have specialist teams in all of these areas to make sure you can execute quickly. They work together closely with the founding team to test critical assumptions and build early traction.
- Short iterations: in order to maximize learning you need to work in an iterative way. At StarterSquad we work in weekly cycles. This not only limits the risk (you never loose more that one week of budget), but also maximizes learning.
- Constant communication: although we work remotely we are in constant communication. We use Slack, Trello, Github, Skype and Google tools to be on top of things. Communication about progress is instant. For experimentation we also use growth hacking tools that provide insights into customer behavior.
From Discovery to Scaling
We also support the Customer Development process. For Startups in the first Customer Discovery phase it is important to start investigating the problem-solution fit. You want to spend time here to dig deeper into the problems your customer face in your solution area. Once you have a clear view on the problems and the value proposition you can tailor for it, you start Customer Validation as the next step.
At this point you start building a validation website or Minimum Viable Product. For this you need excellent designers, developers and growth hackers. But, you are not at a point where you can afford an in-house team. You need speed and flexibility. Building your own team is simply too risky in the first two phases of customer development. That why we have high velocity teams ready to help you out in this process. In weekly iterations we help you prove that your Startup idea is worth pursuing. When you have found the product-market fit, then you start scaling your Startup.
You have your first customers and some cash flow. Good for you! You can now focus on building the company. At this point we make sure that the technical capabilities are transferred to your company. We do this through CTO recruitment and paired programming with your first technical team members. A brilliant example is the Dutch energy Startup Vandebron. At StarterSquad we helped them from a Technical Viability Scan via the development of their platform to the recruitment of their CTO. Providing the required agility and speed in the first phases and supporting the scaling and execution later on when validation is done. That is the way we like to contribute to success in startup & innovation.
Any questions on how we can help you run lean and get you to the scaling stage? Have a chat with the Lean Starters team!