The classic way in which a product, service or business is developed within a company that already has a functional core business has a well defined and very familiar sequence:
- Strategic thinking at management level in which it is decided that this new product, service or business is a potential blue ocean.
- Detailed market study at current and future customer level to be sure that the product, service or business satisfies a need of theirs.
- Validation of market research at management level.
- Financing of the budget for the launching of the development.
- Development of the product, service or business over an extended period of time, including internal verification and validation.
- Product Launch.
With the speed at which technology, media, products and the competition are currently advancing, what often happens is described in the diagram below:
In the case of startups, following the sequence described above and arriving at the result shown in the diagram is synonymous with the death of the company. For this reason, in 2008 the concept of lean startup was proposed, to apply the philosophy of lean manufacturing to the launching of businesses. This essentially means considering as waste the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer.
By definition “Lean Startup” is a way to address the launch of businesses and products based on validated learning, scientific experimentation and iteration in product launches to shorten development cycles, measure progress and gain valuable customer feedback. In this way companies, especially startups, can design their products or services to meet the demands of their customer base without requiring large amounts of initial funding or great expense to launch a product.
This methodology is based on the development of a technology demonstrator in the shortest possible time and with minimal possible resources that allows the end customer to check and validate the positive points and criticise the areas to be improved.
The first products resulting from the employment of this methodology often resemble some kind of Frankenstein’s monster whose appearance leaves something to be desired, but which the customer has on the table within a short space of time (no more than 2 months). With customer feedback on this Frankenstein’s monster, iterations are performed and the customer response is measured again.
In this way, the development of the product, service or business is optimally matched to the customer’s needs and with the minimum resources required. The probability of hitting the target is maximised.
This methodology, which emerged in the world of startups, is entirely applicable to large enterprises. Who doesn’t want to hit the target when launching new products, services or businesses while minimising their costs?
And this methodology is integrated into the R&D services that the Ikor group offers its customers. In addition, IKOR has the necessary resources for the development cycle of these technology demostrators to be reduced to the minimum. Technologies such as additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping and everything that is needed to reach what is known as the minimum viable product (MVP) are part of our day-to-day work.
In recent years IKOR has supported a number of its customers in the development of minimum viable products (MVP) which have made it possible to reduce investment to a minimum and then maximise sales.