By far, the most challenging aspect of the Lean Startup approach is identifying assumptions, and then turning them into tests that provide valuable data for your innovation accounting.
All I can say at this point, is that it's hard to get people to engage over the Internet. Anyone claiming that it's easy to get an audience, a community, or project to respond and take action is, extremely lucky.
Even though I have a larger social footprint than most, I still find it incredibly challenging to generate true engagement. Any way you look at it, my results disprove some of my assumptions. They also lead me to conclude that I've got to make some changes.
Financing Freedom Statistics 0.1
With what is now version 0.4 of my Financing Freedom minimal viable product, the project has:
- $0 Sales
- No comments
- 1 contact (no attendees)
- Grown web traffic
- Grown Twitter connections
Build Measure Learn
And on and on it goes. Version 0.4 didn't generate the results I wanted, so I've got to look at the statistics and see what went wrong. Why haven't I been able to generate any engagement?
I do have a small A/B test running, but neither is producing any organic results. I've still not setup my own email database and conducted a true A/B test. My plan is to create an email database, send half of them one message, and the other half a slightly changed message. With such a direct approach, I'll be able to capture more data, and hopefully learn more.
Another test needed is to make users/readers see different calls to action on the same page. With enough people clicking through to the see the two versions, I should be able to generate some good data as well. A small little search engine marketing campaign might be useful to implement this test.
It is often quoted, but it really is the crux of this biscuit: "Ideas are easy, execution is hard." Diligently working and adhering to any methodology is a challenge. However, my research on open source and funding both still point to single conclusion. Success is for those who can execute a plan, even after it has crashed into reality. Once reality has it's say, then it is up to a team to lick it's wounds and loop through the build, measure, and learn cycle as quickly as possible.