How do you test your idea with people? There are a few ways.

  • Release it to a small group. Find a group of loyal customers or colleagues you can trust. Show it to them and see what they think. People who give good feedback are a valuable resource – if you find people who give great feedback, hang onto them.
  • Release it for a short amount of time. If it’s hard to gather a small group of customers, release it to everyone as an ‘early release’. State up front that it is a trial to test the idea. Gather feedback while it is out there. Then stop, make changes and go again.
  • Release it and update it over time. A favourite of the software industry – code can be patched easier than most products. Release the idea and tweak it in response to feedback.

There are other approaches but even just with these three, you can see how different they are from each other. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. The first option – trialling it with a small group – is popular, as any mistakes can be handled before too many people see them.

The second option gets a full sample size but it’s hard to ‘take back’ something once it’s out there. And not everything can be refined. Something like an advertising campaign can be changed after launch, but physical products are difficult to modify for everyone.

Releasing the idea then adapting it based on feedback is has its advantages. With this approach, the idea is steadily refined over time. The disadvantage is that the idea has to be good enough to release. Any major problems will turn people away and large fixes are unlikely to have much success.

Which of these approaches is most suited for the birthday party planning? Justify your answer in the comments below.

< PreviousNext >

Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Defining the problem
Module 3: Researching the data
Module 4: Imagining possibilities
Module 5: Designing the solution
Module 6: Experimenting
Module 7: Case study: This Course
Module 8: Where to from here?

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