The traditional approach of building a product is to create firstly a 5-year business plan full of assumptions. Afterwards, founders go out and try to find a budget from an investor. Only then, they execute the 5-year plan. But such a business plan is hard. Evidently, it is close to impossible to predict the next 5 years. Above all, environments are changing to much.
Authors such as Alex Osterwalder or Ash Maurya suggest product managers to use a faster approach. They use a Canvas to make their assumptions visible. With that, product managers can easily adjust the assumption based on their learnings over time.
A better product through Build - Measure - Learn
Additionally, a cycle through building, measuring and learning gives product managers the opportunity to quickly develop a prototype. Important is, that they measure their success with data. Only then, this cycle combined with the Canvas will help the managers to understand if they should persevere, pivot or quit the assumption. They choose their next assumption afterwards. Founders consequently will spend much less money before they know, if their product will be succesful or failing.
The product manager will ideally find a solution for a customer's problem. More importantly: a solution, for which customers will be also paying. The first paying customer signals the Minimum Viable Product, after which it is time to scale the solution to more and more customers.
9 out of 10 startups fail. The unreported numbers of failures in established enterprises is probably even higher. Apply the cycle to build, measure and learn on top of a canvas. This lean mindset either decreases the time to market or will reduce the cost of failure. Your money will be spent more wisely.
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