So let's get some things out of the way first. I'm 17 years old, currently studying Communication & Multimedia Design (first year) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and together with a friend of mine we decided to tackle a (design) problem. We aim to provide a solution to this problem through a platform and are currently in the concept development stage. We are both very exited about the idea, yet very cautious not to tell anyone what we're working on because we don't want anyone to run away with our idea of course. So the burning question remains, when is the right time to launch the idea? We have already done user research, analyzed it, defined the problem, developed several ideas to solve that problem and chose one to work out. We are currently working on a clickable prototype, promotional video and a website. Before we launch the website and video we aim to test our prototype (mainly on usability). Is this the right time to launch the idea?
You've been doing all the right things, so you're on the right track. Not sure what you mean by, "launch the idea" though. You can't start selling it until you have an MVP (Minimum viable product), and it doesn't sound like you do.
Your next steps are to make an MVP and deploy it to people with the appropriate personas you identified in your previous user research. Your MVP, and defined personas will most likely be iterated as you do subsequent testing, that's normal.
In order to get people to test out your MVP you don't necessarily need a website or promotional video, but they may help in the recruitment of testers if needed. Nobody other than the people you solicit as testers are going to see the website, so don't worry about that. You don't have to be very secretive, but if you want to be cautious, you can ask if anyone wants to test your MVP (on forums, etc.), and describe it in general terms (i.e. just describe the problem it solves, and maybe generally how). Then for all the people that are interested you can give them the details and show them the device (or whatever it is) and see if they're still interested.
You should have all your solicited testers fill out pre- and post- questionnaires which will help you quantify optimal personas, the functionality of your product, approximate price people might pay for it, etc. I've done many of these myself, and also helped lots of other people design them, analyze the results, and iterate their MVP based on the results. Let me know if you'd like any help, or if you have any questions relative to the specifics of your product.
best of luck,
There is no better time than now.
If you have already done the customer validation and figured out your value prop then the next step would be to build a quick and dirty landing page on something like instapage or leadpages, direct people/testers to this page, and make sure that your copy is clear, the benefit/value prop is easily understood, and that your main CTA is making sense.
At the same time, since you are building your clickable prototype (I assume on a tool like invision), take the same user tester through your 'mock app' and get their feedback.
One you've done this at least ten times (you should be able to do this in a day), you are ready to get a pre-registration page up, direct some traffic to it, and hopefully see people request early access to your tool. this will buy you some time to get your app up and running. And believe me when I say this, it does not have to be perfect right now, just needs to work and solve the pain you've identified already.
You should also look at bolting a tool like Intercom on the backend of your app to guide your new users, provide them a quick visual tour, and collect their early feedback.
Like Elon Musk says, be bold, take risks, expect to fail but do it anyways.
Best of luck!
After drinking a ton of whishkey... Seriously, let's set up a call, I can help.
It would be nice to know if this is B2B or B2C; and if B2B is it a complex sale or a transactional sale? (The difference is that a complex sale has at least more than one person involved in the buying process.)
Don't confuse something that YOU think is viable with what the market thinks is viable. The last thing you should do is to keep it a secret.
My suggestion is to find at least 25 and 50+ is a better number, people who you think might be viable customers for this idea and talk to them. (Note, I did not say PITCH it to them).
The first thing you need to do is to figure out what the specific problem is that your problem solves.
Then, figure out if people are willing to pay for it, and how much. (There are lots of problems that people just deal with daily that are not worthy of fixing).
Then, figure out what the best method is to reach that market, i.e. the people with that issue.
The key here is that you don't have to figure it out for yourself. These 25 - 50 people will give you the answers.
If this is a complex sale then, I respectfully disagree with Lee. Yes, you need "testers" to make sure the product works, but you need to find the "Economic Buyer", i.e. the people who will be the buyers of your products. Testers are "User" buyers and can usually say "no" but they rarely can say "yes" and the sale is done. But, if it's a simple sale and the EB and the UB are the same person, then, Lee is correct.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
There is no right time to launch an idea, every time is the right time. Both the contradicting statements stands true. It is like asking a question which train to board for reaching London from Paris? The trains which starts at 10 am or the train which starts at 11 am?
What would you answer? In fact both the trains would take you to London, however it depends upon the time when you wish to reach there. If you wish to reach early, then start early, if you wish to reach late then start late.
Now don't wait, just go for it, ideas have no value unless executed. I can help you, let's setup a call.
There is never a perfect time to launch. I started a global marketing firm 16 years ago and recommend that first, make sure you have a strong idea:
When real customers are willing to pay real money for your product or service, you have a real business. If you do research with friends & family they may not want to tell you the truth in fear of hurting your feelings so make sure the research is valid.
If the days (and nights) fly by and you have more ideas than time to address them all, you're moving in the right direction.
When you believe in your core that a bad day on your own is better than a good day at your desk job, you've got nothing to lose.