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Pretotyping vs Lean startup vs BootStrapping vs Scrum method ?

A long time, I didn’t write in english ( which is definitely not my native language and I apologize in advance for all the mistakes ) but as I will speak about a video in english, let’s be international.

pretotyping or prototyping
Quick testing to fail at no cost

A few days ago, Dan Epelman, Director of Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business suggested me to look at—the-book , after I mentioned than one of my last project which is a eco-friendly printer software was built ( idea to product including the mid term communication strategy ) using some of the methods I discovered when I was in Stanford ( class of  Strategic Marketing Management , Class of 2010 )

I liked a lot this video of Pretotyping, but my purpose isn’t to explain what it is , because the video and the book are there , but the question is why I liked it ? and  why I would like to share it ? and what is the link with my current activities or practice.

In short, from how I understand, the pretotyping approach is to validate a concept with a very small test before launching the prototype. Most of ideas fails, and the only way to ask to somebody if they agree and like the idea isn’t enough. and it’s sooooooo true ! ask if they would like a service and they will probably say yes, if they don’t need to pay, or even just use it regularly.

Once I watched the video ( I didnt read the book yet ) , I was thinking about all the other methods arounds to compare, what is the difference with bootstrapping ( = make a project with no or few ressources ), the lean startup, or scrum methods ? that’s all the same and all different methods, depending what is your background , what is your current project status, and your past experience about it.

What I like about the Pretotyping manifesto is the fact is make sense, but it feels so much what and how I works already, so I will be part of the people who like it because it gives fundamentals, basement, canvas, theory to what I think I m doing already.

The definition of Pretotyping by the authors :

[pree-tuh-tahy-ping], verb: 

Testing the initial appeal and actual usage of a potential new product by simulating its core experience withthe smallest possible investment of time and money.

But I prefer much more the tagline :

Make Sure you are building the right “it” before your build it right

And that’s true, most of the ideas aren’t so good, or people will not put the energy ( or money ) to use the service or the product, that’s why things like is a great way to validate an idea in a very short period of time ( 2 days )

In my own experience, I never hesitated to use “fake door” method, which is for exemple to put a button in your app, and even if this button makes nothing you track how many people are using it.

if people doesn’t use it, it could be because :

1 – it’s not visible
2 – not well explained ( wording in the button, or explanations )
3 – People doesn’t have any interest in it.

it requires some experience to know what to do in each case, and when to give up. Your idea is great, your product is great, but you just don’t know how to access people who could use it.. it’s the most common problem I could see.

Another notice, I am member and investor in the local business angels association of my area, so I have seen dozens of pitchs and presentation, so I know how much it is valuable to not only have the idea but to also to know how to validate them, then convince investors, then .. make it profitable ! As said in the video, no point to spend 1.2 Millions in communication to make 1M in profit, unless you have really a good branding strategy.

One last thing…

Finally, the video has been recorded in January 2012 and it is funny to see what they said about instagram now we know the acquisition details

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what is UX – User eXperience – definition and practice

What is UX ( User exPerience ) ? what is the gain, how it works ? what it is covering ?
User eXperience is the term to define how the user of a product or service will feel about the experience to discover, understand, choose, buy and use the product or service of a company.
Everyone is concerned, and feel it as customers, a visitor, a buyer.
the purpose is to “fix” or improve each parts of the whole process to make the experience of the user as positive as possible. but it is subjective, as it may depends on each persons. nevertheless, the art of the User eXperience is to maximize the quality of the user, by both collecting feedback from the users, and offering the best practice.
Imagine a customer in a shop, he find a product filling his need, expectation and just look about how to pay it, but the registers are hidden in the corner of the shop. Do you think he will be happy, will it give up the process, buy or not ?
if he succeed to buy, will it affect his opinion about the shop ?
Buying process is only one sample and one step of a process, but do you know only 20% of the willing purchase process are completed online ?
Why ? it may be because of the buy button isn’t visible, because the purchaser is hesitating, and doesn’t have the confidence in your web site ( we consider he has really decided to buy this exact product ).
With the same product, 2 different web sites may offer a different User eXperience, it can be because of the price, the payment method ( imagine you don’t accept the american express ), the easyness to register a new account, the easyness of the way to remember your account information ( recurrent purchase ), the incentive and special offers you may add and which can confuse the user if they need to make another choice.

there are so many little steps which can make a difference. each step , each details can play on 3% of the decision to continue or not. it is not critical, but if you multiply this small lost on each sales, you will quickly understand about how a UX expert ( the guy which will help you to build a better UX offer ) will make great return over investment on it.

How it works ? that’s the nice part, you have absolutely nothing to prepare on your side, the less information you give, the best return and benefit you will get. Simply give the web site, or address of your real shop, and the UX expert will do both a testing and a review of the process.
The UX testing part is here to check how it works , what part are easy to use, and which one require additional information, or update to be suitable to the current standards.
Once he will do the full experience of the product usage, or product purchase, he will provide a list of things to improve. At this step you can continue alone to fix the problems, and submit a new validation with the same expert or another. Or.. you can work with the UX consultant to improve each part. It’s where ergonomics and design could be consider as tools used by the Usability eXperience experts.

– Could be a new position of information – new layout

– Using different words ( call to action optimization ), it can be as well for the purchase process, as well the product name, or how the user could consider your company from the words and values you promote.

– Create and define the brand. That’s the long term strategy any company should define, but I consider this part more specialized, even if the user experience needs to fit your company values ( … so it means you need to have define company values ). If you promote easyness with a complicated shopping cart.. it won’t let you have the best conversion ratio ( the amount of sales completed over the number of visits )

I can help you to discover all the other aspects of the user experience, just let a comment or contact me, don’t tell me about your problems or what you will like to improve, it is my job to find that, send me your web site link, and an email, and I will return you a link to a video with my live experience of your service, and where I m hesitating, where I m lost, or where I will be convinced to not purchase your service.

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Best Portrait photographers link collection

Morgan Freeman by Andy Gotts
Morgan Freeman by Andy Gotts

Out of usual topic, but because I m doing some personal research ( and it is not far of the usual Neuromarketing approach ) about the best way to build a corporate identity and a personal branding approach by investing some time and money in a good portrait completed by a good photographer

I found these links because of the Elinchrom web site ( a manufacturor of flash light units I am using )

Marco Grob

Andy Gotts

Martin Schoellers
(read interview in Smithsonianmag , Art to buy and google his name for photo sample )

Jeff Vespa
( Google it, the web site is raising a security issue )

Les Studios Harcourt

Peter Yang

Mat Szwajkos

A good sample of different style for Portrait lightning options