Last month we posted on the challenges for FinTechs in raising seed capital. This month we are beginning to dive a little deeper on these challenges. First off, we look at prototyping.
As a Start-up or Early Stage FinTech there are different frameworks and methodologies that you can use to validate your proposition at each stage of development. At Opus Una we are big proponents of lean start-up, design thinking and the importance of understanding the risks associated with:
- Desirability – Is the market big enough? Will customers want the solution you’ve created? Can the company acquire and retain the targeted customers?
- Feasibility – Can the business access all the resources necessary to build and deliver the product?
- Viability – Can the business generate sufficient revenue and can costs be managed to make a sustainable profit?
To answer these big questions, start-ups will develop hypotheses which they must test. To test, they will devise experiments. There are many different types of experiments which include:
- Simple landing pages
- Website trend analysis
- Split tests
And of course, prototypes. At Opus Una we believe that for a business at avery early stage, a prototype is one of the best types of experiments because it:
- Helps the team better understand what they are designing through a strong visualisation
- Allows for early feedback on the solution and therefore product validation before development
- Massively reduces cost of correction
- Allows you to gain insights on how real users would actually use the product
We often talk about prototyping as both helping with product validation and supporting fund-raising almost as two separate outcomes. But of course, for investors the ability to touch and feel the product (even if there are ducks paddling under the water to mimic the back end), is a form of validation for them and therefore supports fundraising.
A huge number of tools are available, all with the core aim of enabling rapid and iterative prototype build, usually without the need for code. Design tools allow you to create, import or edit sketches, application wireframes, screen mock-ups and user interactions. Large component libraries of templates and styles are accessible to aid real-time design and review. Remote or in person team collaboration is possible through parallel editing functionality, idea boards and online review.
Showcasing finished prototypes with external stakeholders is a critical platform capability – shared with user groups on web or mobile devices and with ability to add commentary and manage feedback. Done right, your users will experience the visuals, interactions, and navigation of your product with a fraction of the investment.
In summary, if you are a start-up B2C FinTech, prototyping is a no-brainer, particularly in validating desirability of your product.