Customers as guinea pigs?


Students at last week’s CIBC Presents Entrepreneurship 101 “Lived It” lecture heard MaRS Advisor Harvey Coleman talk about lessons learned in over 40 years of experience in the IT industry, with numerous start-ups under his belt.

Of the many valuable insights he shared, one stands out in my mind: the importance of getting a version 1.0 product out into the market place (as opposed to fine tuning and polishing the product trying to get it perfect).  Yet the launch of a half-baked product could lose the company credibility in the marketplace that would be difficult to recover from. It’s a delicate balance – hence the role of beta customers, a select group of friendly customers who are willing to try a nearly finished product and provide feedback, in exchange for a (perhaps) free product and the opportunity to be first to benefit from the product in their business.

I’m interested in stories of beta trials or product launches that have succeeded spectacularly or failed disastrously

Downloads and Resources

Weren’t able to attend the class? Need some notes or want to look something up? Click below for all of the goodies from the lecture.

Lived It Lecture: Creating and Developing a Sustainable Business from MaRS Discovery District on Vimeo.
Creating and Developing a Sustainable Business
View more presentations from Cathy Bogaart.