Getting your Product Started

A layered story map

When starting any new product or business, there are always more things to do than you have time for. It can be downright overwhelming if you don’t stay organized. I use several different tools and documents to help move the vision forward and share with stakeholders. Some of the suggestions below might also help you with getting your product started.

The Pitch Deck

Whether you are looking for venture capital, a partner, or just capturing your idea – a pitch deck is essential. Even if you just want to build something for fun, a pitch deck forces you to examine why the idea is worth pursuing. There are a lot of different opinions on what should be in a pitch deck, how long it should be, who should it be geared toward, but for this example let’s create something simple. It should include the following:

  • Summary – It’s always good to have an Executive Summary slide so you can quickly convey your idea to your audience in 60 seconds. You might put this at the end of the pitch deck or in the appendix if you prefer to lead with the Market instead.
  • Market – The audience needs some information about the setting the opportunity will take place. What’s the size of the market you intend to enter? Can you define the personas who will benefit from your idea? Make sure to tell your audience these important details.
  • Problem – The pitch deck should talk about a specific problem or need. If you can’t clearly articulate this, then what is your idea solving? If you want to make a better mouse trap, talk about the shortcomings of the existing solutions so that you can sell the benefits of your idea in the opportunity section.
  • Opportunity – Here is where you can finally talk about the idea or product. How is it going to solve the problem within the market you articulated? How big is the opportunity? What’s the volume of revenue or visits or conversions you hope to capture with the opportunity? You may also want to include a visionary milestone here. This is a very clear goal or accomplishment you plan to reach while pursuing the opportunity. Example: We’ll reach 100 downloads by this point in the project.
  • Close – Clearly outline what you need. If it’s funding, how much is needed and what will it buy? You need to know all your facts or else you risk losing your credibility.
  • and Forbes also have examples that might be helpful to review.
    Here’s a pitch deck for a link shortening service I created.

    Depending on what you’re creating, some also use an MRD (marketing requirements document) to outline the customer’s needs. In addition, listening to outgoing market RFPs (requests for proposals) will signal if the market might take interest in your product or service.

    Story mapping the Idea or Product

    For my link shortener idea, I don’t need capital or a partner yet, but I need to be able to share specifics with developers to understand how much money and time it will take to build my product. For this, I use story mapping to organize key functionality and milestones. Start anywhere, you’re going to revise the story map over time. It’s as easy as writing goals on post it notes.

    Next page >>

    Next page >>

    Pages: 1 2