At the beach last weekend I picked up the book ‘Sprint‘ by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz of Google Ventures. As I have been involved in many different flavors of ‘Agile’ Software Development, the concept of using a ‘Sprint’ to bring product ideas to life caught my eye. This book is an easy read even though process-oriented books are not really my thing. Here are some of my key take-aways from the book:
- The authors note that Slack was created using this process.
- One week is not much time to create a product from scratch, and this book recommends only one day for actually prototyping product ideas, with three days set aside for product planning.
- Your objective (ala Noah Kagan) should be to get customer feedback about your product idea, and maybe even sales, before actually even investing in building the product.
- Apple’s Keynote software is purportedly a great tool for product prototyping, although I’ve never used it. Microsoft PowerPoint is also good for this purpose, which I have used for UI prototyping.
- The last day of the Product Development Sprint should be devoted to soliciting feedback from anonymous users of your product prototype in one hour sessions.
- You only need to conduct these user feedback sessions with 5 participants. Fewer than 5 participants is not enough to establish a baseline pattern of usage from; any more than 5 participants results in diminished returns from the exercise.
Now, let’s go forth and build something great!