Test to Impress

Posted: January 21, 2011 in product testing, Uncategorized

I find it a little disturbing when people challenge the traditional notion of testing products or business models before they are launched. Whilst the most obvious response is to verify functionality against a set of requirements, in reality this is possibly the least of anyone’s problem. Sure, testing mitigates the risk that what we think our target market wants may not match reality, but usually we’d have a pretty good hunch, by way of conducting preliminary research on the web or talking to family and friends to verify that gap in the market.

The answer could be a host of other potential reasons:

~ It builds brand awareness:  sites branded ‘Beta’ typically signal a work-in-progress product, a type of status that brings in technology enthusiasts who in turn are most vocal about their product experiences. Free press!

~ It enables collaboration and buy-in: anyone who’s worked in large corp will know that you’d be sentenced to a life-of-foolishness if you don’t first test with your stakeholders. By stakeholders I refer to not only customers (who could ultimately become advocates of your product), but also senior management whose influencing power will help keep your business idea or product alive in a large organisation.

~ It could help you win more moolah: venture capitalists take calculated risks, and would potentially view your actions as sensible, building a pretty solid and measurable case to consider investing in your product or business model.

Test just enough though, then move on quickly. There’s definitely the need for speed…or else you might see the opportunity dissipate or be taken by an unforeseen rivalry.

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