At the start of every venture is a ‘thing’. Whether this is an idea, a product, a service, it could be something no-one has seen before, or it could be something that already exists but has potential to add value elsewhere.
It’s a journey of discovery and exploration, and it can be hard to know where to begin and what choices to make.
Our client had their ‘thing’ – a piece of technology they had created to enhance their products. They saw it had applications beyond it’s original purpose, but they needed a helping hand to see the wood for the trees. They’d been circling this opportunity for a while, and came to us with a long list of potential use cases. They were stuck on how to navigate through the list to find the right future fit for their tech.
Translating jargon into value
But before we began, we needed to truly understand what this technology could do for future use cases.
After failing the ‘explain it to your mum’ challenge, we saw how our client was very much in their own world. They were too close to the product itself. They could only explain the product features, missing that vital language of what value and benefit the tech could bring to potential customers.
We needed to add a human lens to their thinking. We collaboratively explored the value of the tech, asking the right questions to help us uncover the potential pain relievers and gain creators of the technology. This helped free our client of tech jargon, and introduced more customer-friendly ways to articulate the value.
Narrowing the possibilities
The second issue holding the client back was a sense of ‘FOMO’ in the team on what they would lose out by not exploring certain use cases. They’d created a longlist of nearly 20 opportunities they’d identified and whatever choice they made would feel like they were sacrificing realising the potential profit from the alternatives. They were paralysed by indecision. But if you don’t take action, there is no value at all. Our mission was to guide our clients through prioritisation of endless possibilities to 2 real-life use cases.
Armed with research, we created prioritisation frameworks and analysed the richest available opportunities, which were also the right fit for our clients tech. After we narrowed the search to 10 use cases we began interviewing industry experts. This helped us identify potential matches between industry pain points and our clients’ potential pain relievers.
This allowed our clients to see the important value of customer interviews. They unlock a depth of understanding that desk research often misses generating human insights leading to real solutions.
We turned this knowledge into insights, and introduced models such as the ‘Horizon Model’ to our clients, who were new to this way of thinking. This helped shape the potential visions for use cases over time
From countless options, to 10 potential avenues, we identified our 2 use cases for further exploration.
Taking a deep dive
Using our Phase One insights, we mapped out our two industry use cases to help uncover more pain points to explore. Before we entered our next round of expert interviews we really wanted to bring the potential solution to life. This allowed us to de-risk opportunity spaces as we funnelled down potential routes.
We collaborated with the client to turn conceptual solutions into tangible value propositions. This gave the experts more context, and us more understanding on the best possible avenues.
Our Phase Two interviews were based around industry questions and feedback on our value propositions. The two use cases had different outcomes – one became more complex and one became more specific.
The feedback from the Phase Two interviews guided us on how we to further prioritise particular areas within value propositions – we were able to validate 6 viable fits for the technology.
Building out the vision
Now our clients ‘thing’ became six distinctive value propositions, and they needed to understand what’s next for them and the product.
Whilst assessing the next steps for scalability and feasibility, we created a realistic roadmap to help facilitate their journey to market. It was important to build this out to keep momentum, because just as at the start of the process, there is no value if you don’t take and continue action.
We looked at the value propositions which can be quickly experimented with stronger access to potential partners and we recommended two use cases with stronger signals of success.
What’s next for this thing?
In 12 weeks we’ve moved our client from potential to actual. From years of sitting on ‘what it could be’ our client can confidently see the future use for their technology. We’ve helped them bring ideas to life in a real and commercial way and they are now able to practically move it forwards.
Next, our client wants us to guide them through the exploration of another use case, working alongside the industry specialists. We will help our client build their MVP, speak to ‘first customers’ and unpack and forge partnership opportunities.
Our collaborative, ‘let’s get started’ approach gave our client the confidence to assist them in building their new product. Working from start to finish, together we will go from that uncertain journey from exploration to product prototype and user testing.
We broke our client out of an endless cycle of ‘what ifs’ to translate the real customer value of a piece of technology, and narrow down the seemingly endless use-case possibilities so they can move forwards and realise the potential of their tech in new industries.
Want to get unstuck and realise the potential of your products? Let’s talk!