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Testing Business Ideas

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Testing Business Ideas


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To reduce the risk of investing in ventures that look good but won’t work, test your business ideas.

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Too many business people commit to new commercial concepts prematurely. To increase your chances of a successful venture, test your ideas rigorously. David J. Bland and Alex Osterwalder offer a detailed pathway for testing business ideas and practical guidance on how to conduct a variety of experiments. They suggest how organizations should structure testing teams and where they should focus their attention. The book’s designers Alan Smith and Trish Papadakos make this challenging subject visually appealing.


Testing reduces risk.

To avoid the trap of committing to a business concept that doesn’t pan out, test your ideas rigorously. Testing helps you avoid investing in ideas that might lead you astray with false hopes of gains.

Use design thinking to transform nebulous ideas into well-thought-out value propositions and powerful business models. Careful forethought can boost a venture’s profitability and strengthen your competitive position. To test complex business ideas, break them down into small components. Then frame a discrete hypothesis that tests for three forms of risk:

  •  A lack of customer interest in your idea.
  •  An inability to deliver the product.
  •  Insufficient pricing power to generate profits.

Once you know the risks you are calculating, conduct experiments to test your most critical challenges. Then, modify your ideas based on the test results. You can access a variety of testing tools to try out separate parts of new ventures, for example creating and assessing different website landing pages. Even as you consider ...

About the Authors

David J. Bland is a business adviser and speaker. Alexander Osterwalder is a founder of Strategyzer, which helps businesses design, test and manage their business models.

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