Once you realize that someone, a customer for instance, has a problem, and your assumption are getting closer to solve the problem of the customer, you have already started your Lean process. But there are still steps and questions to be answered.
It is something customer want? (must have)
To answer to this question, you need to test your product. Questioning possible customers and having feedback to improve the first assumptions.
In our case our Startup wanted to give a service both online and face to face to Chinese customers (more information can be released privately). We have started with an assumption after a previous experience that allowed us to enter in the Chinese market in the event management business. We faced a problem that our Chinese customers, most of them Chinese textiles companies, had. That was the beginning of the creation of the service that answered to the problem of customers.
Will they pay for it? If not who will? (viable)
After several calls and meetings, done thanks to a local collaborator (see previous post), what have come out it was that yes, the service was a must wanted, that yes, they would like to pay for it.
In other hands we faced an issues that do not allow us temporary to get close to the solution. The reason is simple Chinese customers want to meet someone of the Startup, the owner or a representative with decision power, and see the service, so a working website, our registration company, our office, and so on. “Seeing is believing” in China.
Can it be solved? (feasible)
This “must have” request of our customer. put our Startup to evaluate the feasibility of our service. Our service assume the creation of an online platform that connect customers and “resources”.
The cost of the platform is connected to different factors and options.
A first option could be find an UX web developer, or UX web designer, to involve in our organizational chart. This option required time and research. We have tried to find some UX in the past months but our research give no positive result. One of the issue we found with some UX that we contacted was that or they wanted to be payed as external party, and so not willing to be part of the team, or time issue that went in conflict with the project time schedule.
Working with a third party can have other compliance effect. First of all the cost issue. You do not control the price and definitely is a key point of Startup to reduce risk and cost. Second of all having a platform build by an external source make you depended on the use of the platform itself, in case of issue, engages, you may be required the constant support of the third party.
Suggestion, be wary on letting yourself at the mercy of someone else’s schedule, as that can limit your ability to both iterate quickly and learn.
To solve our challenge after the creation of a interface website that allow our Startup to connect with customers, an Chinese UX web developer will be researched during the next months. Those will give to the Startup flexibility in terms of testing and changes, with a reduction of risk and cost.