Looking for fundamental best practices. How to design, how to get useful customer feedback, how to be responsive and quickly iterate. I know it's a huge topic. Looking for great starting points. I'm a veteran and MBA teaming up with another vet/MBA to make breathing masks (health care, shooting ranges, motorcycle riders). Validating cost structure now and then first target market. Considering form factor, fashion, design.
Great question! Here are the basics:
The Lean Startup by Eric Reis
Running Lean by Ash Maurya
*excellent, concrete, super actionable
The Startup Owner's Manual by Steve Blank
Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez
*focused on methods you'll need to use to validate feature and value prop ideas
When in doubt, **stop debating**. You are not your customer. Get out of the building. Don't build unless you're testing what you build, and ready to throw away what you build when you get answers.
Good luck! Books are helpful as background, but for specific advice on where you and your company specifically should invest time, set up a call with me.
First. Frame the problem. Tip: absence of a product or solution is not a problem.
Second. Paint and experiential solution. You know, describe a picture of the future where this problem isn't around. This is the WHY your product must exist.
Third. Figure out HOW you're going to do it. Demand meaning from every feature, technology and attribute. If it doesn't get you to point #2 above? it's fluff, get rid of it.
Fourth. Consolidate and Shape ideas from #3 into concepts. Now bounce it against #1 with some really good criteria. Some of this will have come from #2.
Tip: There should only be several things your product MUST do really well. Everything else is secondary. Focus.