Any product / service development is a continuous phase and is executed throughout the entire acceleration program. Therefore it is an important aspect to measure in order to assess the development of the venture.
The product, at the heart of the venture’s meaning for existence, is continuously developed and improved to find the best product for the customer. The product / service is the company’s heart, the customer is the blood.
Each young venture develops its very own product / service based on the identification of needs of the potential customer or client. This is caused by the product development, just like innovating, maturing over time. The goal of any product / service measurement factor is to complete the development of the product / service, launch it, and eventually reinvent the product life cycle.
What does it mean?
In order to stay alive, any kind of business needs to constantly restart and reinvent the product life cycle. Not reinventing or improving the product or service may lead to the company entering the developmental death / decline phase.
An effcient acceleration program can assist the venture in doing so by monitoring the progress. In order to boost the innovative potential of a new product / service the accelerator should do so without active direct influence into the product creation process, apart from feedback and providing support if needed (e.g. finding beta testers, etc.). Any interference from the accelerator team may lead to a distortion of the innovative capacity of the venture. Sometimes interfering may help (e.g. when the venture is inexperienced or does not fully understand the entrepreneurial aspects of business and the accelerator team has an entrepreneurial background).
However the product / service creation always remains the main responsibility of the venture. During the acceleration, the startup has to at least create a minimum viable product (MVP) or minimum viable service if it does not already exist. The minimum viable product in this case is the most basic working form of any product. The startup attempts to cover a certain need of the customer with the MVP and at the same time tries to measure the products’ potential and performance by learning through customer feedback and interaction.
Any Product / Service measurement factors may help to pinpoint the main characteristics of the product / service and explain the benefits of usage to potential users / customers.
During an efficient acceleration the startup should proactively test the product / service concept by running it against business mentors, board advisors and the accelerator team, receive feedback on it and if necessary modify it. By doing so, the venture receives direct feedback on the user experience, accessibility, and the feel for their product / service. These are essential differentiating factors.