Shannon LewisProduct & Project Management expert

I have over 20 years on the front line of Application Development as a Product Manager and Project Manager. I have complete product life cycle experience, from product inception to retirement/end-of-life and everything in-between.

My favorite part of Application development is new product creation. I spent several years running an internal “new product idea creation” pipeline, making sure all new product ideas met set criteria before moving out of the “idea phase”. This set the bar equally for all ideas, and stopped the funding of “pet products” that cost the company money and never went anywhere.

I have a BSEE from Tufts University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Today, I uses all the skills gained over the years to run Panoptic Development Inc.

Recent Answers

Starting a service business is much like starting a product business. You need to validate your idea. It's great that you are talking to beginner entrepreneurs. Sounds like you are a good listener. What are the common pain points they mention to you? Can you build a service offering around that? I would go through the similar process one would do to validate a product idea. Create an Initial service offering landing page (after you have a good understanding of their pain points and a solution), offer a free consultation and some good advice to their problems then pitch your service offering. If they don't want to purchase, find out why. Do you need to adjust the offering etc.

I hope you have validated your startup idea with your target market (and not just friends and family). If you have spent the time validating, you should have a pretty good idea that this is a great startup idea. What type of validation have you done on your startup idea? Did you know that 9 out of 10 product ideas fail and the number one reason is the wrong product was built? Validation is the key to success. I hope that if you are a few months away that you have done a lot of validation and pivoted as needed to make sure you are building a solution that truly fixed a pain point so you know you are building the "right product".

What type of pre-launch marketing activities have you been doing? Hopefully you have been growing your market along the way so you already have folks waiting for the launch. If not it's better late than never.

When looking at the financial model I like to identify at the risky assumptions in the model and assign a pessimistic value, most likely value and an optimistic value. This will give you an idea of the revenue range and the impact each risky assumption has on the outcome.

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