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Build Better Products 
How to Identify & Validate Assumptions
Laura Klein 
laura@usersknow.com 
@lauraklein 
www.usersknow.com
Research (If you’re lucky) 
Define 
Ideate 
Prototype 
Test 
Waterfall 
Design 
Develop
The Problem 
Meh 
Research 
Define 
Ideate 
Prototype 
Test 
Design 
Develop
Illustration by Kate Rutter
Image Used Without Permission of Any Sort
Lean Startup is NOT about… 
spending no money 
releasing a crappy product 
just throwing something against the 
wall to se...
Lean is about learning
Why is it better? 
By using Lean Startup, we identify assumptions 
before we base our whole product strategy on them.
So, what is an 
assumption, anyway?
Types of Assumptions 
Problem 
Solution 
Implementation
Types of Assumptions 
Problem 
Is there a problem? 
Solution 
Is this the right way to solve it? 
Implementation 
Can you ...
Problem 
“People who have pets are upset by cost.” 
Illustration by Kate Rutter
Solution 
“People need a marketplace for pet jobs.” 
Illustration by Kate Rutter
Implementation 
“Pets can work!” 
Illustration by Kate Rutter
For Example? 
DropBox
What’s The Problem? 
Do people have trouble accessing 
files across multiple devices?
Problem Assumptions 
People Have Multiple Devices 
People Want to Access the Same Files Across Those 
Devices 
This Is Har...
For Example? 
DropBox
What’s The Solution? 
Are people willing to download multiple 
applications and trust storing files in the cloud?
Solution Assumptions 
People Will Download DropBox on Multiple Devices 
People Will Trust the Service with Important Data ...
For Example? 
DropBox
What’s The Implementation? 
Can we sync files across multiple devices 
quickly and accurately enough?
Implementation Assumptions 
We Can Build a Product that Syncs Files Across Multiple Operating 
Systems 
The Product Will S...
Your Turn
Here’s The Template 
For Product to succeed, it 
is necessary that 
___________________.
10 assumptions, 1 per sticky
Categorize Your Assumptions 
P 
S 
I
Divide into “Will Kill” 
and other 
Will Kill Other
What Makes an Assumption 
Risky?
So, What’s Yours? 
Devastating 
Unlikely Likely 
Annoying
Building is NEVER your 
Riskiest Assumption
Ok, Almost Never 
Illustration by Kate Rutter
Targets Change 
Illustration by Kate Rutter
Now, Identify Your Biggest Risk. 
Turn it into a Hypothesis Statement. 
Will Kill
A hypothesis statement 
should contain: 
1. What you believe 
2. How you will know if you were right
Problem Hypothesis Example: 
We believe people like customer type 
have a need for (or problem doing) 
need/action/behavio...
Solution Hypothesis Example: 
We believe people like customer type 
will solve their problem by solution 
behavior. 
We wi...
Implementation Hypothesis 
Example: 
We believe our company can provide 
solution by implementation method. 
We will know ...
Now You Try It 
Write Down: 
1. What you believe 
2. How you will know if you were right
Build Your Test
Various Types of Tests
Identify the Best Method of Validation 
Problem Solution Implementation 
Landing Page 
Audience Building 
Concierge 
Wizar...
Questions? 
laura@usersknow.com 
@lauraklein 
usersknow.blogspot.com
Build Better Products: How to Identify and Validate Assumptions
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Build Better Products: How to Identify and Validate Assumptions

Learn how to identify the assumptions that are most likely to kill your product. My talk from the Lean Startup Conference 2014.

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Build Better Products: How to Identify and Validate Assumptions

  1. 1. Build Better Products How to Identify & Validate Assumptions
  2. 2. Laura Klein laura@usersknow.com @lauraklein www.usersknow.com
  3. 3. Research (If you’re lucky) Define Ideate Prototype Test Waterfall Design Develop
  4. 4. The Problem Meh Research Define Ideate Prototype Test Design Develop
  5. 5. Illustration by Kate Rutter
  6. 6. Image Used Without Permission of Any Sort
  7. 7. Lean Startup is NOT about… spending no money releasing a crappy product just throwing something against the wall to see if it sticks a/b testing your way to success changing your business model constantly
  8. 8. Lean is about learning
  9. 9. Why is it better? By using Lean Startup, we identify assumptions before we base our whole product strategy on them.
  10. 10. So, what is an assumption, anyway?
  11. 11. Types of Assumptions Problem Solution Implementation
  12. 12. Types of Assumptions Problem Is there a problem? Solution Is this the right way to solve it? Implementation Can you build & sell it before running out of money?
  13. 13. Problem “People who have pets are upset by cost.” Illustration by Kate Rutter
  14. 14. Solution “People need a marketplace for pet jobs.” Illustration by Kate Rutter
  15. 15. Implementation “Pets can work!” Illustration by Kate Rutter
  16. 16. For Example? DropBox
  17. 17. What’s The Problem? Do people have trouble accessing files across multiple devices?
  18. 18. Problem Assumptions People Have Multiple Devices People Want to Access the Same Files Across Those Devices This Is Hard to Do
  19. 19. For Example? DropBox
  20. 20. What’s The Solution? Are people willing to download multiple applications and trust storing files in the cloud?
  21. 21. Solution Assumptions People Will Download DropBox on Multiple Devices People Will Trust the Service with Important Data People Understand How DropBox Folders Work
  22. 22. For Example? DropBox
  23. 23. What’s The Implementation? Can we sync files across multiple devices quickly and accurately enough?
  24. 24. Implementation Assumptions We Can Build a Product that Syncs Files Across Multiple Operating Systems The Product Will Sync Quickly and Accurately
  25. 25. Your Turn
  26. 26. Here’s The Template For Product to succeed, it is necessary that ___________________.
  27. 27. 10 assumptions, 1 per sticky
  28. 28. Categorize Your Assumptions P S I
  29. 29. Divide into “Will Kill” and other Will Kill Other
  30. 30. What Makes an Assumption Risky?
  31. 31. So, What’s Yours? Devastating Unlikely Likely Annoying
  32. 32. Building is NEVER your Riskiest Assumption
  33. 33. Ok, Almost Never Illustration by Kate Rutter
  34. 34. Targets Change Illustration by Kate Rutter
  35. 35. Now, Identify Your Biggest Risk. Turn it into a Hypothesis Statement. Will Kill
  36. 36. A hypothesis statement should contain: 1. What you believe 2. How you will know if you were right
  37. 37. Problem Hypothesis Example: We believe people like customer type have a need for (or problem doing) need/action/behavior. We will know we have validated this when we see quantitative/measurable outcome or qualitative/observable outcome. * *This text was almost entirely stolen from Janice Fraser.
  38. 38. Solution Hypothesis Example: We believe people like customer type will solve their problem by solution behavior. We will know we have validated this when we see quantitative/measurable outcome or qualitative/observable outcome.
  39. 39. Implementation Hypothesis Example: We believe our company can provide solution by implementation method. We will know we have validated this when we see quantitative/measurable outcome or qualitative/observable outcome.
  40. 40. Now You Try It Write Down: 1. What you believe 2. How you will know if you were right
  41. 41. Build Your Test
  42. 42. Various Types of Tests
  43. 43. Identify the Best Method of Validation Problem Solution Implementation Landing Page Audience Building Concierge Wizard of Oz Fake Door Selling
  44. 44. Questions? laura@usersknow.com @lauraklein usersknow.blogspot.com

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