Sign up FAST! Login

To build a successful online-to-offline business, you need to validate the market with a Minimum Viable Transaction

children giving

When I was in DC, I met a woman working on an interesting app idea: a marketplace bringing together piano players and piano owners who rarely use their expensive instruments. The idea was that pianos could be listed on the marketplace and players, who often couldn’t afford a piano of their own, could play their instrument. When I asked this woman what her current plans were for the project, she said she was trying to wireframe the marketplace for a web and mobile application, figure out payment processors, etc.

She was thinking about a minimum viable “product”, assuming that the product would be the biggest risk factor. When in fact, it was whether anyone would be willing to actually “do the deal”.

Would a piano player actually fork over cash to go to a stranger’s house and play the piano? Would a home owner allow someone they didn’t know into their house and potentially bang up their precious piano? The only way to find out is the make the transaction happen, manually if necessary.

Introducing the Minimum Viable Transaction A Minimum Viable Transaction is the simplest possible exchange of goods, services, or cash that allows an online-to-offline entrepreneur to extract maximum learning. After you execute a few MVT’s, you’ll have a way better idea of the market need for your business and how difficult it will be to execute. Often the “product” is nothing more than text messages, emails, and web forms. The real work is bringing the various parties to the table to do the deal.

Stashed in: Lean, startup

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Makes sense. eBay is a place to experiment with MVT's.

You May Also Like: