With about 20 years experience in software development, I am familiar with the challenges.

Companies in general often buying best of breed software to solve a problem. Often the software doesn’t exactly solve the problem and besides of that users don’t want or are not able to work with it.

A more convenient but also more expensive solution is to create custom made software for the problem and hope the users are going to use it. As it is more expensive it takes often much longer to earn it back if it is delivered at all.

A solution for should be to create software with more companies that invest and provide immediately the users of the software. In other words create the software in a restricted crowd sourcing environment. It is restricted by the investors which are the some kind of crowdfunding the product.


Now how to start?

Most important is to find a problem which more users of more companies have more or less simular. You need to find a problem customer fit before looking for a solution.

To create the plan I advice to use the Lean Canvas. In this phase most important is to add the problems and the customer segments. To make more sure you expect to earn more than the costs will be in the future it is advised to add this to the canvas too.

Customer interviews are within Lean Startup the best method to discover the most important problem for a group of users or better clients. With a customer interview you the define the top 3 problems you expect and you let the interviewee rank them. The interviewee is in the ideal case client as well the user.

Preferable direct after the interview, you present your plans which can be based on a pitch deck as used to convince investors. Probably you need to have some kind of a solution (based of example on previous interviews).

The meeting is a mix of sourcing and funding.

The challenge is to get a meeting. In my previous post Experiences with Customer Development there are some suggestions.

Now you need at least 10 interviews to qualify the highest priority problems. If the problems are serious enough and your interviewees had a budget you will already have commitment for the first funds.

Based on the highest priority problems, you probably need to improve the solution presented and present it again.

Now it is time to present the solution to the interviewees and collect the funds to build the prototype or Minimal Viable Product (MVP).

Based on the prototype you can easier get more participants who add all more funds.

Within this corporative model you need a way to easy handle the investments without husstle without shares.

Probably in my next post Another way of crowdfunding/sourcing: The Software Cooporation there is a solution for that.

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