Using an entrepreneurial approach de-risks concepts via in-market research & experimentation.


The Market-Experiments 101 Handbook

A primer on how to setup and launch in-market experiments to test concepts for new products, services and business models – quickly and affordably.

Step 1: Listen to Needs

In early human-centered research, the focus is on needs finding and identifying jobs-to-be-done via ethnographic research strategies, like user interviews.

Step 2: Prototype the Solution

The focus remains on confirming user desirability assumptions with user reactions to low-cost, low-risk prototypes.

Step 3: Experiment in the Market

Once we have confidence in a concept, we de-risk it via an in-market experiment (IME).

At this stage, we still ask ourselves, “What’s the least expensive, most effective way to see if this thing really works?”

Why not just build it if we can?

  • In-market experiments protect your organization from over-spending on developing a solution that won’t fly. They allow your firm to place more small bets and learn at a fast pace.
  • Piloting before developing anything lets you test the offering and the business model simultaneously – why wouldn’t you want to learn about viability sooner?
  • On top of that, the process of building the IME reveals a lot about your technical feasibility assumptions (e.g. we can operationalize this service), and helps to inform future design criteria for the experience at scale.
  • You’ll learn about what it takes to scale effectively and successfully (e.g. ideal customer recruitment channels or ideal fulfillment partnerships). Testing them out at smaller scales reduces the risk of early service delivery frictions.
  • You’ll continue to refine and get-to-know your early adopters(s), which helps to inform future feature sets (anything on top of the initial commercial version of the product/service) and seed the market for the early majority.