Module 5: Your First “Prototype”
🎯 Our Goal in this Module is to create a visual sketch of your idea.
First, let’s get your idea out of your head and down “on paper”.
This can be as simple as drawing a picture of your product/service/business. Or, if you already have a prototype designed, or even a working version built, that’s great.
Be as creative as you like. The goal here is to go from idea to something more tangible that you can modify and play around with.
All you need for now is “something to look at”. This is for your eyes only at this point.
After you have a sketch of your idea, you can begin to describe it in writing.
Imagine that you are talking with a potential customer about your idea. You will need to tell them about it, how it works, and why your product/service/business would make their life better.
Write down what you would say to a potential customer. Again, this is just for your own private reference at this point, so don’t worry about how it sounds. Just get your thoughts down onto paper (or in a text document):
- Features—describing what your product/service/business is, what it does, how it works, etc.
- Benefits—what your product/service/business will do for your customers, how it will solve their problems, make their lives better, etc.
Important: Creating an initial sketch or early “prototype”of your idea and a written description will:
- Help you to clarify in your own mind exactly what you have to offer
- Enable you to communicate your offer in a consistent, coherent, compelling manner to others
What you are really doing here is creating the first draft of your Value Proposition.
Your Value Proposition is a description of what you have to offer to your customers and why they should choose you and your product/service/business over what the competition is offering.
Again, you are the only one who will see your Value Proposition at this stage, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Feel free to go into as much detail as you like when you create your sketch, but, at the very minimum, make sure to incorporate these three key elements:
- Your Value Proposition
- Your Customer Segments (whoever you think will want to buy and use your product/service or engage your business)
- Possible Revenue Streams (how you think you will make money)
The next two modules will take you through the process of modifying and refining this first sketch (or “prototype”) of your idea and your initial Value Proposition.
In the meantime, here are several simple examples to get you thinking:
This example was created in Miro (a virtual whiteboard software with a free trial version). Click Resources (in the right column of this page) to learn more.
Here’s another simple example using pencil and paper.
This example was created in Microsoft PowerPoint (took around 20-30 minutes). You can also view the Google Slides version of this sketch here.
Here’s another example created in Microsoft PowerPoint. You can also view the Google Slides version of this sketch here.
Now take some time to create your own visual sketch or rough "prototype" of your idea.
You can use the examples from above for inspiration, but feel free to be as creative as you like.
You can use any materials or medium you like.
Check out our “Resources” section below for some options.
Remember to incorporate your Value Proposition, Customer Segments, and any possible Revenue Streams.
Scroll left-to-right across the table below to view all columns. Click on any item in the leftmost column to open that specific resource page.
Online slideshow presentation software (Google app)
Free Version AvailablePaid
Fun, easy-to-use virtual whiteboard
Pencil & Paper
Good old-fashioned graphite and notebook paper (or ink & papyrus, if you prefer)
Free Trial AvailablePaid
Slideshow presentation software (Microsoft app)
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