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Elaine Chen
MIT Global
Entrepreneurship
Bootcamp
MVP/Hypothesis Testing
March 2016
You are about to get an authentic MIT experience:
“Drinking from the firehose”
On hypotheses
• “A good hypothesis needs to be
written down.” – Ben Yoskovitz
• Basic structure:
– I believe [target marke...
Hypothesis testing using MVPs / MVBPs
• Hypothesis testing using MVP tests the product
• Hypothesis testing using MVBP tes...
Example hypotheses
5
I believe the Frustrated Sleeper will wear a
headband every night to get more accurate sleep
data tha...
Which hypothesis should you test
first?
• Riskiest
• Longest lead time
• Costliest if invalidated
… etc
Pick the first hyp...
Case study: Lending product assumptions
7
• There is demand for consumer loans between USD$100 - $500 in Mexico
• Customer...
Case study: Lending product assumptions
8
• There is demand for consumer loans between USD$100 - $500 in Mexico
• Customer...
Workshop activity: Hypotheses
Define the top 3-5 riskiest hypotheses that, if
invalidated, could cause a pivot for your ve...
Sharing!
10
Example MVPs
11
Fake, non-functional headband
Ugly interactive prototype
Product brochure plus a video clip
Case study: iOS App MVP Test
12
Hypothesis: “I believe users will find the gesture
UX delightful.”
MVP: Functional interac...
Now for the “B” in “MVBP”
13
You can run surveys until the cows come home, but
you won’t know for sure until $ changes han...
Testing willingness to pay before there’s
anything to sell: The concept of “currency”
Short of taking $$$ from your potent...
Example 1: Landing Page Test
15
Hypothesis: “Existing customers won’t be scared off by this new
feature.”
MVP: Landing pag...
Example 2: Kickstarter
16
Example 3: Preorder on own site
17
Example 4: Paid concierge beta
18
Hypothesis: “User will pay for this SaaS visualization service”
MVP: Fully faked via ema...
That was a lot of stuff!
You don’t have to remember it all. Save
this deck and read it as a reference after
this week.
For...
Supplemental Readings
• “Our dangerous obsession with the MVP” –
Bill Aulet, Techcrunch
• “Defining and Building the MVP” ...
End
Questions?
21
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Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Testing

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In this talk we explore why we should document hypotheses for new ventures, how to write a good, testable hypothesis, and explore practical ways to perform MVP/hypothesis testing in the field.

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Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Testing

  1. 1. Elaine Chen MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp MVP/Hypothesis Testing March 2016
  2. 2. You are about to get an authentic MIT experience: “Drinking from the firehose”
  3. 3. On hypotheses • “A good hypothesis needs to be written down.” – Ben Yoskovitz • Basic structure: – I believe [target market] will [do this action / use this solution] for [this reason]. 3
  4. 4. Hypothesis testing using MVPs / MVBPs • Hypothesis testing using MVP tests the product • Hypothesis testing using MVBP tests market viability • A proper experiment looks like this: 1. Write down your hypotheses and define your MVP 2. Design and run the experiment 3. (Optional) Set a measurable threshold for the action, and use the results to decide whether you keep going, tweak the approach, or pivot. (This is very good practice!) 4
  5. 5. Example hypotheses 5 I believe the Frustrated Sleeper will wear a headband every night to get more accurate sleep data than a wristband to understand how their night went. I believe users of this iOS app will quickly figure out the intuitive UI to see the layers of data they can unlock with gestures. I believe plant managers will make a purchase decision without an on-site proof-of-concept trial because the price is so low it’s not worth the time.
  6. 6. Which hypothesis should you test first? • Riskiest • Longest lead time • Costliest if invalidated … etc Pick the first hypothesis you want to test – and define a corresponding MVP to test it with 6
  7. 7. Case study: Lending product assumptions 7 • There is demand for consumer loans between USD$100 - $500 in Mexico • Customers most likely to use this product are: • Age: 35-45 • Locality: Urban/semi urban • Education: High school • Income: USD $7,200 – $9,600 • Job: formal salaried/informal entrepreneur • Most customers need the funds for:  School fees  Home improvement  Debt consolidation/refinancing  Auto loan • Customers care about interest rates • Customers will be willing to download our app in order to obtain a loan • Customers would trust an unknown company to provide them with financial services • Customers do not have other attractive options for obtaining these funds • Customers need a convenient method for cash in/out
  8. 8. Case study: Lending product assumptions 8 • There is demand for consumer loans between USD$100 - $500 in Mexico • Customers most likely to use this product are: • Age: 35-45 • Locality: Urban/semi urban • Education: High school • Income: USD $7,200 – $9,600 • Job: formal salaried/informal entrepreneur • Most customers need the funds for:  School fees  Home improvement  Debt consolidation/refinancing  Auto loan • Customers care about interest rates • Customers will be willing to download our app in order to obtain a loan • Customers would trust an unknown company to provide them with financial services • Customers do not have other attractive options for obtaining these funds • Customers need a convenient method for cash in/out
  9. 9. Workshop activity: Hypotheses Define the top 3-5 riskiest hypotheses that, if invalidated, could cause a pivot for your venture. For each hypothesis, use this structure (or at least start with “I believe”): I believe [target market] will [do this action / use this solution] for [this reason]. Pick 1 hypothesis to be tested first 9
  10. 10. Sharing! 10
  11. 11. Example MVPs 11 Fake, non-functional headband Ugly interactive prototype Product brochure plus a video clip
  12. 12. Case study: iOS App MVP Test 12 Hypothesis: “I believe users will find the gesture UX delightful.” MVP: Functional interactive prototype Experiment: Usability benchmark. Users were given tasks to complete that required them figuring out the gesture UX on their own. Duration: 30 min UX test + 15 min debrief Threshold: 50% of users will complete the task. Result: 0% figured it out. We killed the feature.
  13. 13. Now for the “B” in “MVBP” 13 You can run surveys until the cows come home, but you won’t know for sure until $ changes hands.
  14. 14. Testing willingness to pay before there’s anything to sell: The concept of “currency” Short of taking $$$ from your potential customers for your nonexistent vaporware, what are some asks you can pose to collect surrogate currency that is a predictor of future willingness to pay? • Yes to scheduling a meeting to discuss • Actually getting a scheduled meeting on the calendar • Actually meeting you • Giving you the email of someone else you should meet • E-introducing you to someone else you should meet • Providing an email • Providing Credit Card for a pre-order (no charge) • Providing Credit Card for a pre-order (charged, rain check provided) • … etc 14
  15. 15. Example 1: Landing Page Test 15 Hypothesis: “Existing customers won’t be scared off by this new feature.” MVP: Landing page with product concept and webinar offer Experiment: Send to 200 existing customers, tally signups Duration: 1 week Currency: Email address Threshold: 20% of customers who visit the landing page will provide an email (40 ppl) Opens Email Clicks thru to page Clicks “Sign up” Provides email 30% It’s a GO!
  16. 16. Example 2: Kickstarter 16
  17. 17. Example 3: Preorder on own site 17
  18. 18. Example 4: Paid concierge beta 18 Hypothesis: “User will pay for this SaaS visualization service” MVP: Fully faked via emails and Photoshop Experiment: 10 customer, paid beta Duration: 3 months Currency: $199/month, prepaid Threshold: Able to close more than 5 for beta They closed 10. It’s a GO! Extreme example of “get paid from day 1” without a line of code
  19. 19. That was a lot of stuff! You don’t have to remember it all. Save this deck and read it as a reference after this week. For right now: Focus on 1. Define your #1 Use case 2. Identify & define your #1 Hypothesis 3. Define your first MV(B)P 4. Extra Credit: First MVP test
  20. 20. Supplemental Readings • “Our dangerous obsession with the MVP” – Bill Aulet, Techcrunch • “Defining and Building the MVP” – Elaine Chen (Slideshare) • “Product definition templates” – Elaine Chen (Slideshare) • “Validating Hypotheses with Landing Page Tests” - Elaine Chen (PDF) 20
  21. 21. End Questions? 21

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