A lot of money and time is spent pre-testing ideas before they are launched as new products and services. And still many new products fail. How can co-creation save time and money and increase the chances of success? We are inspired by communities like Kickstarter and Indiegogo - great examples of building a market for a product before you spend money on developing it. LEGO Ideas does the same, even sharing the revenue with its customer co-innovators into the bargain.
100%Open does a lot of lo-fidelity prototyping of ideas in workshops – in other words getting ideas out of our heads and off the page and into 3 dimensions. This can be a great way to get real user feedback quickly and cheaply which can allow you to improve your proposition before you've invested very much in its development. For example see below a connected car we prototyped at last weeks Project Innovation workshop at Nissan, and some techniques for how to do that here.
Alternatively we do a lot of online concept testing where we drive online traffic to choose between variations of a different product concept and see which ones they click on. See a recent example of how that works in practice below and a tool for how to do that here.
In our experience people are likely to give you honest feedback on your ideas if you engage them naturally or listen to their natural conversations or observe their natural behaviour. And by testing your thinking as you go, with your potential customers, you are much more likely to deliver what they want and what they need, without wasting money on extensive pre-testing or failed product launches.
So flip the convention and 1. market your product first, then 2. prototype it, then 3. sell the prototyped concepts, and only once you've incorporated the lessons learned from each of those stages do you build the final product.
Therefore it's time to stop taking ideas to market, rather take the market to your ideas instead.