Prototyping Your Idea

There’s a saying that the enemy of the good is perfect. The longer I am in business, the more sensitive and skeptical I get of perfectionism. When I hear fixation on some endless detail that is not necessarily going to prove an idea, the less I want to invest in the venture or the person.

Ultimately, when perfectionism that results in diminishing returns becomes the focal point, the more a deal can go sideways.

When there is ambiguity and uncertainty, the goal is to find proof that your idea is valid. Designing a solid prototype that tells you whether you should refine, scale and go forward with your idea is the best strategy to hedge the risk of failure.

A little planning can go a long way. But, here’s a sequence you can use. Go small and get more information so you can go bigger as you overcome the uncertainty.

  1. What is the concept you are trying to sell? See if you can pitch the idea to ten people and see what the reaction is.
  2. Pre-sell the concept and see if you can make a few people happy with a prototype of the idea in in your product or service.
  3. Develop the use case around your delivered prototype.

The goal is to take marginal risk and get massive insight and information from each step. Then invest more as you see how people like or dislike what you are seeking to deliver.

This is true for customer service, business processes and delivered products.

How can I deliver a prototype?

Designing this first phase and watching closely on the adoption of your idea will tell you the next step. You can gain comfort in investing further or killing your idea altogether.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I grow businesses through partnerships and executive coaching. I work with partners and clients on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

2 thoughts on “Prototyping Your Idea

  1. Hey Don—I recently read this book, which this and a lot of your posts remind me:

    Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time Book by Jeff Sutherland

    Maybe you’ve read it already. If you haven’t it may not add a ton to your knowledge base because I think you’re already incorporating these ideas into your work and posts.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: