So the biggest thing I think people get hung up on when they are testing a new idea is that it has to be built. It has to be perfect. It doesn’t. We as humans start worrying and fretting and fear rises up pretty high in our throats at the prospect of showing somebody something that’s have done.
I don’t blame you. Rejection could be perceived as it being ‘not complete’ or ‘not having all the features’. But in reality it’s probably because you are either
- Not fulfilling a real need
- Focusing on the wrong demographic
- Not solving the problem in a way they need it
The latter two are easy to fix, well not easy but are problems most nascent startups have. You think group X would really love this new widget when really they could care less because ‘paper and pen’ is all they need. I’ve made interviewed groups to find out that the thing you think is so terrible and needs fixing they find perfect and have no interest in switching. Jump over to another group and they are more than willing to do so.
Some of it is not as obvious as others. Which is why the prospect of building a game, a social game none the less. Was frustrating to me. I wasn’t familiar with ways to validate the game environment because the value you bring is an experience not necessarily solving a problem for a business who is cognizant of their issue. It’s pretty easy to go to a business and ask questions to problems they are constantly facing. In game development I felt a little lost in the process of starting fast, cheap and with the riskiest proposition.
I knew that the game as a human experience was valid. I had played it multiple times in a ring of people sitting cross legged drawing and writing out sentences but I had not vetted it for the public at large in a digital sense. The first thing I considered risky was “would people play the game?” That was answered over a series of times that it was played and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
The experience was special for several reasons 1. The people knew each other and 2. Inside jokes were a plenty. Knowing this could be the link to attempting to transfer it digital it could also be the reason why it may not succeed either. There is an impersonal feeling when it comes to the digital world. Also the ‘winning’ game mechanics are not really strong. As I’ve played it at parties you never received points the experience was simply to ‘laugh’ or enjoy how the sentence evolved once it was let go.
So I had to keep that in mind, the game mechanics for ‘winning’ had to be more like a social voting for sentence narrative as well as individual competitions.
So now that I had experienced in passing the vetting process for mockups in the real world and observed why it was so fun in person. I had satisfied, partially, my personal mandate of creating customers before product.
I then had to answer the second part, because at this point the only thing I’ve vetted was a board like game in person (when really you just need a few rule explanations and some paper). So digitally it had to be answered “would people be interested in it online?”