Planning

04 Jan

Planning – Pick your product

Come up with an idea for some good software that people can buy. When choosing your product, the more specific the better. You’re looking for a market that you can target with limited resources. You want a product that is too small for larger companies to go after. Once you’ve proved a profitable version 1.0, you can grow version 2.0 into other markets.

e.g. Screen Logging software that people can use to track their productivity through the day

Create your lean canvas at http://leancanvas.com/. This will give you the opportunity to go over the details of your product.

e.g. The ScreenLog Lean Canvas

You need to specify the PROBLEM, SOLUTION, UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION, UNFAIR ADVANTAGE, CUSTOMER SEGMENTS, CHANNELS, KEY METRICS, COST STRUCTURE, and REVENUE STREAMS.

Print out your lean canvas and get some feedback from a few people. “Hey, would you mind giving me some honest feedback? I’m looking for feedback about a product idea I have. Should spend my time on this? Do you think it can be a business?”

Planning – choose a name for your product

Your product needs a name. Something straight-forward and easy to search for is best. You want a person to know what is is just by hearing the name for the first time. The name of your product needs to be:

  • Easily pronounceable
  • Spellable just from hearing it
  • Descriptive for what the product does

e.g. ScreenLog

Check that the domain you want is available. You can check domain availability at http://www.namecheap.com

If the product name isn’t available as a simple .com, try adding “get” or “buy” to the beginning, or “kick” to the end.

e.g. getscreenlog.com

It’s worth searching TESS here to be sure you will not be infringing on another company’s trademark.

Check out the competition

What kind of competition already solves the problem you’re targeting? Be sure that the name you’re picking doesn’t conflict with any existing products.

Planning – Get Feedback

Get feedback on whether there is a market for your product. You’re looking for validation that there is a market. Don’t be afraid of someone stealing your idea. Ask in a subreddit or on Hacker News; you’ll get invaluable feedback.

e.g. http://www.reddit.com/r/productivity/comments/1dif2i/irecordmycomputerscreenandwatchingitat/

e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5685367

Only proceed if you are confident that you can compete in the market that you’re targeting.

Planning – Do the Math

Start to think about your revenue vs expenses on a monthly basis.

What is your target goal? How much are you looking to make per month?

Profit per sale * number of customers.

What are your expenses?

How many customers do you need to generate the profit you’re aiming for?

Are you happy with your idea?

If not, start from the beginning and try again.

If you’re happy with your product idea, proceed.

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