How it Works

Game Thinking helps you validate your product idea, by testing the right early prototype on the right early customers. Here is an overview of how it works, and how it improves your odds of success.


 

VALIDATING YOUR PRODUCT IDEA

You've got an idea for an innovative product. But how do you know your idea is the right one? Is it what your customers really want? Will it keep your customers engaged? The only way to know for sure is to test it on real customers. But prototyping and testing can be expensive and time consuming. Game Thinking speeds up product validation by showing you how to pick the right early customers, and know which part of your product to test. The process is startlingly fast, remarkably targeted, and lets you know with great confidence whether you are on the right track. And if you are off-track, you'll know which way to steer.

 

 

1. Identify your Superfans

DO THIS. Identify your superfans — the group of passionate early customers who need your product so much that they are already trying to get their need met, and will eagerly tell you what’s wrong or right about your idea. 

NOT THIS. Do not start by going after the mass market. Before a product can be a mass market success, it needs to delight a much smaller audience of early adopters. Companies that go after the larger market from the outset waste money trying to scale too early. That's why successful innovators know to start small and focused, before they scale up.

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Podcast: Reid Hoffman

Article: rock band story

Video: how to find your superfans

Webinar on the three pillars

 

2. Plan a path to Mastery 

DO THIS. Clarify what your customer getting better at over time. What is the learning path that will take them from beginner to regular to expert? Plan the path to mastery, and double down on the point where customers have settled into a daily habit.

NOT THIS. Do not ignore this step. Most products have a learning curve, and successful products support customers throughout the entire learning process. 

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Webinar on the three pillars

 

3. Playtest your Core Learning Loop

DO THIS. What is the innermost daily interaction that forms the core of customer interaction with your product? How can you craft that loop so it compels people to keep coming back? Build an MVP of the core loop and test it early.

NOT THIS. Do not start by testing a fake landing page or the initial onboarding experience. That can come later. The most important thing to build and test is the middle of the experience. Often this will be something mundane — like placing blocks in Minecraft or 

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Webinar on the three pillars