I have worked on hygrid.io and I realize that I am stuck iterating on the product instead of just testing the market. I built it for me, but feel that it has commercial viability for many many others. The product aims to create a platform that saves time for the hundreds of Excel users that log into other systems for their data. Its a pretty good version 1 - https://goo.gl/TypA8q
You answered your own question when you said "I built it for me, but feel that it has commercial viability for many others."
Other than what you said, what problem did you design it to solve? Who are "many others"? What problem do they have?
Why not cruise the Excel forums on the MS support site and see if others have that problem? Enlist some of them to help you find how to market it?
Taking a spin through the website your product does appear to have some promise. But then again, I'm not your target market.
Before you pull someone in to help you with this, you need to do some legwork:
* Who do you envision your ideal customer to be? Where do they work? What role do they have? What headaches do they have? How do they currently do the job that your product handles?
* Then connect with some of those ideal customers. Face to face is best. Don't ask them about your solution, but ask them how they do their jobs. What headaches do they have? How do they navigate different data buckets when working with Excel? How would they envision a solution?
* Compare your findings to what your product does.
* Complete the Business Model Canvas (https://www.strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas) to get a great handle on how your business might work.
Once you've completed these steps, you'll have much more of an idea on how your product might fit in the marketplace.
And once you bring someone in to help you, you'll have a much better story to tell about your company and its product's potential.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Here is a process (below) you can follow that comes from Lean Customer Development - author, Cindy Alvarez.
I have done hundreds of Customer Discovery (aka Product/Market fit) calls for about a half dozen startups I was involved in. It is more about your mindset more than anything. Think like a scientist. Do not try to prove that you are right. Try to disprove your hypothesis and if you cannot, you are likely on to something. You get into all sorts of cognitive biases if you go the other way.
Good luck - Bill
1. Try to have more than one person at the pre-calling session. Assumptions, hypothesis, target customer profile
2. Mind Map for idea
3. One sentence - create and share
Session work - Looking to get as specific as possible as it is easier to disprove versus something more generic
1. Identify your assumptions
1. Prompts to get started
* Customers have _______ problem
* Customers are willing to invest _______ to solve this problem
* Stakeholders involved in using/ buying this product are _______
* Partners involved in building/ distributing this product are _______
* Resources required in building/ servicing this product are _______
* If customers did not buy/ use our product, they would buy/ use _______
* Once customers are using our product, they will gain _______
* This problem affects our customers _______
* Customers are already using tools like _______
* Customer purchasing decisions are influenced by _______
* Customers have [job title] or [social identity]
* This product will be useful to our customers because _______
* Customers’ comfort level with technology is _______
* Customers’ comfort level with change is _______
* It will take _______ to build/ produce this product
* It will take _______ to get X customers or X% usage
2. Write your problem hypothesis - who, what, how much, when, and why.
* I believe [type of people] experience [type of problem] when doing [type of task]. or: I believe [type of people] experience [type of problem] because of [limit or constraint].
* Made up examples
* I believe that [tech operations teams] experience [wasted time and budget] when [predicting network bandwidth usage for their growing companies]. (Amazon S3) I believe [small businesses] experience [inability to grow their businesses] because [traditional email marketing platforms are too expensive and complicated]. (MailChimp)
* Helpful Hint
* Go Narrow
* One quick tip: All this talk about hypotheses being wrong might lead you to suppose that you should start with something broad and general. After all, if you don’t know much yet, why would you rule anything out? In short, speed. The more narrow your focus, the faster your progress. I state this explicitly because it’s the opposite of what most people expect. You might wonder, “If I start with a very specific profile, isn’t it more likely I’ll guess wrong?” Yes, but that’s OK. If you start with a very broad scope, you’ll find a huge amount of variation between individuals. You may end up doing 20, 30, or more interviews and still not be sure if you’re on the right path. Think about it this way: is it faster to disprove that cats like water or that animals like water?
3. Map your target customer profile
* What is the problem?
* Who is experiencing this problem?
* Draw opposing traits on the board (e.g.,Values cash versus values time, Prefers predictability versus Tries new things, Makes decisions versus follows orders, Low-tech versus tech-savvy, Low autonomy versus high autonomy Conservative corporate culture versus progressive corporate culture, Risk-averse versus risks are rewarded, Values stability versus values recoverability, Prefers turnkey solutions versus prefers best-of-breed pieces)
* Other questions to ask
* What does this person worry about the most?
* What successes or rewards does this person find the most motivating?
* What is this person’s job title or function?
* What social identity (teenager, mom, frequent business traveler, retiree, athlete, etc.) would this person use to describe herself?
4. Starter Questions
1. Tell me about the last time you ___.
2. What tools do you use for _____?
3. When you started using [x tool], what benefit were you expecting?
4. How do you solve this problem today?
5. If you could wave a magic wand and change anything about how you [perform this task], what would it be?
6. How important is this tool to reaching your goals/getting your job done?
7. What do you like most about this tool?
8. If you were designing this tool to solve the problem you described, what would you do?
Hi, I hope you are doing great!
To answer your specific question on how you can find someone to help you, I would definitely use Clarity.fm (you are already at a good start, just change the perspective of the question) you can also look into LinkedIn or Upwork.
Those are the 3 places where I would start... and you might want to frame your question different, something along the lines of...
Are you a specialist on finding markets? Are you a Business Developer? If so, we need to talk...
I created a solution for a common need programmers and Excel users have, if you have expertise in the industry please send me a message so we can talk further...
But please, please don;t try to do it yourself, I've seen many great products that have a lot of potential but have failed because creators don't approach professionals on the field they need help with.
The best of luck on your endeavor