Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Data Provider Partners...

If you are building a new software product, say "changing" the way a certain industry works from being manual to be automated, one of the biggest challenges is to show the value in the product to prospective buyers. It's a chicken & egg problem - "no proven data, hence no customers - no customers, hence no data"

I have been thinking about this & found one possible approach to solve this... read along & give me your comments.
  • Design / Architect the product using as much possible inputs from the industry experts, do user interviews, work in the domain for a while (if you don't have exposure) etc
  • Build a prototype to show, while speaking to the industry veterans, it helps in sharing the idea / concept much easily - than just speaking about it
  • Customers may not signup, because of lack of confidence right? Try to engage them as "data provider" partner, collect all their current manual data & upload into your system
  • Anonymise (remove the company name, demographics etc) the data - as much possible and use this as base to run through various business flows, make sure the software is working as expected
  • Also - use the data collected (anonymous) as suggestions or boundary conditions data to new or trial customers (whom you have been finally able to convince to come onboard) - they would be happy to see, that system is providing some guidance!
It's not the complete solution, but a possible approach that can be useful for enterprise products.


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