The Lean Startup Methodology Edtech Startups Must Adopt
It seems like there are two types of planning styles for educators. The first educator will plan out the entire academic year, beginning at the end and working backward to the first day of school. The second educator flies by the seat of their pants, hoping for instructional inspiration on the way in from the faculty parking lot.
Neither planning style is useful if you decide to take your skills to an education technology startup.
Certainly, having a plan is important, but you will have to stop planning and start doing it at some point. You will need to explore how well the market may respond to your product and then get it into the hands of the consumer. One of the first lessons an education technology entrepreneur learns is that you don’t make any money unless you have a viable product, which requires action from you.
The plan will only take you so far. There are many milestones to meet along the way, but you must keep the journey as simple as possible.
The Minimum Viable Product
The minimum viable product is the many basic iterations of your product.
Rather than spend years designing an education technology product that will solve every known problem in education, it’s better to begin small and see where learner and educator needs will take you. You don’t have to forecast how to respond to those changes in ten years. You just have to solve one tiny problem.
You will experience prototyping and pivots once you launch your minimum viable product. Every MVP needs adjustments and revisions, and that will take some flexibility and skill on your part. When that occurs, you will be glad you didn’t spend all of your time planning. By then, you will have a product that you can sell.
Developing Feedback Loops
Once you sell your MVP to customers, it’s time to find out how they feel about your product. You will have to perform some product validation, which will help you identify your next steps: continue refining the product, and develop a business that supports the product, or both.
Educators use feedback loops all the time, and they work in education technology startups, as well. You will need:constructive criticism that is specific, purposeful, allows for self-reflection, and points toward making corrections.
The theme of lean startup methodology in any education technology startup is to work smarter.
Taking it one step at a time is a smart way to launch an education technology startup. By embracing the journey, you will be effective in solving some of education’s many pressing concerns.
You must place your attention where it is most needed: the current phase in the process. You cannot waste time planning something that might not come to fruition.