Take a breather. It’s time for you to understand how and why you are about to go through a 7 day process known as the Design Sprint.
The Design Sprint is about to become your very best friend as you explore the world of entrepreneurship and focus on creating a product customers actually want. A Design Sprint is a focused, week long process created to quickly gather empathy interviews from your customers, analyze key insights, brainstorm new concepts, prototype ideas, and validate through customer interaction. A Design Sprint is the greatest way to conduct the initial discovery or ideation phase of any project you might be exploring.
Going through a Sprint will help you create a product or service that people will actually use. The Design Sprint allows you to test market-fit for your product or service in just a few short days.
The Sprint will lead you and anybody else joining you, in the creation of a rapid prototype that can be tested with users and receive immediate feedback without spending thousands of dollars. This is an enormous advantage for any entrepreneur because it helps avoid receiving user feedback too late.
Going through the Design Sprint will allow you to break down different boundaries throughout each level of the creation of your product or service. The breaking of boundaries starts at the very beginning when you start uncovering user insights and further research from your target audience. By unpacking all of the user information at one time, you will have visibility into data points that you would have never known existed. These insights are incredibly important when aligning your product or service with the needs and wants of your future customers.
Many companies today lack a key aspect needed for sustained success: innovation. Believe it or not, every company in today’s constantly changing market is searching for tools that will allow them to discover the next big thing. A Design Sprint is that TOOL. Whether you are creating a new product or service, or improving something that’s already out there, the Design Sprint is a light-weight tool that delivers contagious outcomes.
As mentioned earlier, companies around the world have discovered the importance of interviewing real users, brainstorming new ideas, and rapidly prototyping; but due to a variety of reasons (company is too big, the culture is wrong, processes aren’t created for change) still don’t implement the strategies internally. Choosing to start your entrepreneurial journey with the Design Sprint engrained in your company culture, will allow you to send a clear message to future employees, investors, and customers that you encourage an innovative culture.
One of the greatest fears when starting anything is whether you are headed down the right path. Creating a new company multiplies those fears 10x. With the Design Sprint, you will be able to determine if you are headed in the right direction without wasting enormous amounts of time and resources through idea validation.
Another related benefit is the amount of ground you will be able to cover in a week-long Sprint. The amount of information you will gather over seven days is easily equal to what most startups complete in their first 3 or 4 months of existence.
If you hold yourself truly accountable during this process, you will come out of the Sprint with a mind-blowing amount of momentum surrounding your project. You’ll have a clear direction and a group of users that are genuinely in love with your future offering. You’ll even end the week with a tangible prototype that will serve as the spec you can use to bring your product or service to life.
Design Sprints can feel overwhelming at the beginning, but trust the process no matter how daunting the task may appear. You aren’t alone. Every individual exploring their first Design Sprint has felt that same level of anxiety, and every one of those individuals ended the process saving an unmeasurable amount of time and money. If you have any doubts, just ask yourself these simple questions: How much risk is really associated with trying a 1 week process that may lead to a beloved product or service? What if you skip the process and you build an offering users dislike? Are you really willing to “trust your gut” by creating a product or service based sole on your likes and dislikes? How much time and money will it cost you to develop an offering that doesn’t become nearly as successful as you hoped? Design Sprints aren’t easy, but as an early stage entrepreneur you can’t afford not to do it. So let’s get started!