I want to build a ride sharing (carpool) app for daily commuters in India. I want to validate the idea first. What are different strategies to validate an idea before implementing it ?
I am thinking of making a mvp and release it a neighbourhood I know personally (where people are already sharing rides). It is a mobile app, do I need to hire a UI designer for the mvp ? (I am not a designer but I can code) Will it make a difference in acquiring users ?
Are 6 months enough to build and validate mvp ?
I would use something like Adobe Experience Design for the MVP. Even though you are not a designer, check Google Images for free stuff like icons and backgrounds that you can drag and drop in to place. Then print it out or save it as a jpg and put it on your phone so that you can take it to the people in your neighborhood, develop a survey, and get their feedback.
It doesn't have to be perfect or even close to a final design. The importance should be on finding out if your service solves the problem and does so better than the competition.
Your MVP doesn't have to work, it can just be a visual interpretation of what users will see while you explain why your service will be of value to your customers.
Currently charging money for ride sharing is illegal. Please check this out before spending time on this app. You can currently only offer it to large corporates for their internal use on licensing basis
Use www.kinetise.com to launch your app in a few days.
Its better to have mvp and show it to close friend and neighborhood. basically to find out whether there any traction for your app from users. if the users start liking and get feedback from them and ask them what they are not liking with the current ride sharing applications. Try to fix those in your app.
The app does not charge money. It simply matches passengers with drivers. If we are able to create some traction then we'll allow passengers to pay drivers directly on the app and keep a % cut from a transaction. Would that still be considered illegal in India ?
search cabr.com. I was going to rent a billboard in the highest traffic area and flood social media. http://createwealthy.blogspot.com/2017/03/mechanical-turk-for-start-ups.html
You need an advisor or a co-founder who really knows how to build a start-up business from scratch, and that specifically has strong skills and start-up experience in:
1) lean customers interview hack,
2) lean marketing,
3) customers growth hack,
4) business idea vetting,
5) how to detect early that an idea will fail, 6) how and when to pivot,
7) climbing the mvp mountain,
8) b2b and b2c sales best practice (because you have no business if you can't sell)
9) psychology of selling
10) financial modelling for startup (because you will need to check the likeliness of your business model to generate enough value and money to be financially sustainable)
You will also need to learn some specific skills related to business idea vetting.
Step 1 : sniff testing
This is the capacity to split your ideas into small parts and assess the likeliness of each part to be a contributor to the overall success of your future business without spending time and resources doing standard market research. It can help you identify winners and looser early and help you save precious time and resources.
Step 2 : customer development and market research
This is the capacity to identify the best people to talk to, the best places to find them, the best way to approach them, how to talk to them so that they are not getting bored, what to ask to get a comprehensive and useful insights for your business.
Step 3 : financial modelling for startup
This is the capacity to check whether or not your idea/customer/market aligns to generate enough value and money to build a sustainable business.
Other important skills :
- Capacity to generate back-up ideas or sub-ideas. As you move further and deeper in customer development, you will probably notice that the current version of your idea is a b*llsh*t. This can lead to panic if you don't have backups. You can be either disappointed and abandon (smart decision) or stubborn and continue (foolish decision).
- Capacity to identify early which part of your business idea is too weak to be pursed
Hope this helps.
Feel free to join me on LinkedIn or send me a private message here if you need further help.