BilthMoment: Understanding the lean startup method with Tabah Baridule

Coming from an underrepresented community, Tabah Baridule was compelled to represent student communities and societies in a bid to educate and inform them of the benefits of technology.

He is the Strategic Project Manager at MEGHEE and is passionate about promoting diversity at the work place as well as developing technical content.

He began his submission by asking the house what a startup is.

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A number of answers were provided, notable among them coming from Sherita Ama Pokua, who said “a startup is a project or company founded an entrepreneur(s) to bring a product to the market.”

“A startup is a process of turning an idea into usable actions that fit the need of the people it is targeted at” Tabah added. 

According to Eric Ries, the success of our startups depends on our ability to learn, re-learn, and teach ourselves how to serve our users effectively.

What is ‘lean’ and what is a ‘method’?

Lean startup method is a methodology. Which means it is a step by step approach to manage the growth of your business or startup. 

Lean startup is a methodology for developing businesses and products that aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable.

This is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.

“I am going to talk about few keywords here and now our startup, ‘Timiun’, adopted this” he continued. 

Business Hypothesis Driven Experimentation:

During our Senior High School days, we often conducted science experiments as groups and individuals.

As a team, my team launched timiun.com as an e-commerce platform without an app, a few years ago.

We first develop our business model and then carried out our hypothesis by testing our business model on campus with students. 

We drove the experiment of our business model by calling on students to use the platform.

We created a means of getting feedback from them; via mail, a WhatsApp group and a Facebook page. 

As a result of this, we there was an increased demand for an app.

READ ALSO: How to get the perfect co-founder for your business

At this point, we are still at the minimum viable product (MVP) level. It is the stage in the life of your product where it is still at its beta mode.

The lean startup method is focused on your business model and you can observe your market and pivot accordingly when necessary.

Once I read a quote that said “the world changes in style but not in principle”

We didn’t change our vision but we change our style of business. 

Why do we need a lean startup method?

We need it to ensure that our product or company hit its minimum viable state. 

It also helps us get our product or company out to customers or clients faster and achieve the beta mode for our business.

Lean Startup method give us the privilege to always iterate the process which is…ideaà buildàcodeàmeasureàdataàlearn.

But this time, you would have changed an idea into analysis because you have built on the idea and it is now a product or a company.

People have used and given you feedback so you analyse the feedback and build on it again in order to push it out and still learn. 

Once our product has hits like 10k active users and goodwill has become our experience, then you could brag of Product-Market Fit (PMF).

READ ALSO: Getting the best out of your market research

There is a bridge between PMF and MVP. Talking to users includes the part where you interact with people about your product, app or website, your company vision and mission; you then observe the reactions and listen to their feedback.

Take note because you may want to effect some change along the line. 

In the Bible, there is this phrase in Proverbs that said “wisdom is found on the street.

Your company or startup or product could be facing a challenge but once you talk to users, you immediately receive clues on how to solve that problem, because someone said something. In essence, a problem shared is a problem solved. 

Your plan is to solve a problem so when you create room for user feedback and ask for users suggestions on how you can serve them better, you are doing more by making feel part of your development phase, and in the process, serving them better.

READ ALSO: Designing a perfect business model; steps to follow

At that stage, you are checking for priorities and asking yourself questions such as “is this what we need now?

Should we add that button or not?

Is it right for email marketing?

How about customer calls; when can we do that?

All these questions give clarity.

Deploy to the market, talk to people about it, be honest and expect negative feedback as well as positive feedback.

Work on it again and continue to deploy. For you to successfully use the lean startup method, you have to be resilient.

READ ALSO: Smart strategies to adopt when choosing a business name and logo

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