At the core of every business is a problem it solves or value it creates. It’s critical that entrepreneurs learn to explain to customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders what the value proposition is and how your product creates that value.
Today we will walk through a series of prompts to help you hone in on the value proposition and do some product walk-throughs. These are questions we ask directly, try tease out, or discuss in all our investment conversations. While some of them may seem obvious, there’s value in clarifying and refining the answers to each.
- What is the story of how you decided to put your energy and focus on this problem? What thread are you pulling? What is your hunch about the world that led you to build this product?
- What is the pain point you’re solving? The classic: Is it a pain pill or a vitamin?
- What is the “job” your customers hire your product to do for them?
- Describe your target market? How big is it?
- Is your product currently (or have a path to being) 5x better (or maybe cheaper) than the existing options?
- Do customers actively seek out a solution for this or is it a problem they don’t know they have? Is there a pull from the market or do you have to push it to them?
- What is technically challenging about your product? Could your customers solve it themselves easily or why not?
Screencasts are an invaluable tool for discovering if your marketing material, landing pages, and product itself properly explains and matches up to your value proposition. I use and love Loom for this. The following screencast exercises might be helpful:
- Read through your own landing pages and talk out loud about the value proposition of your company. Do your landing pages and marketing copy actually match up? If you joined the Founder Summit forums, post the video in #Trailhead and ask for feedback.
- Do a full product walkthrough explaining how your product works and why your customers find it valuable. Under 10 minutes is ideal. If you want to share it with us that’s awesome, but it’s also a valuable asset to have on hand to share with potential customers or employees.