The Problem with Edtech Review Services

Education Week published an article on edtech review services in August 2013 that concluded with the following statement:

As the review sites evolve, observers are watching to see which will emerge as the “go to” resources for educators making decisions about technology tools.

“What they’re trying to do is a noble goal, because I do believe that teachers have an overwhelming number of choices in the marketplace,” said Rob Mancabelli, the co-founder and CEO of BrightBytes Inc., a San Francisco-based learning-analytics company.

“One of the things the review sites need to do better is to base the reviews on data,” he said—for instance, matching a student’s areas of deficiency with technology proven to address those shortcomings.

Mr. Chatterji, who is working on EduStar, agrees with the need for more data.

“We’re all chasing after the same North Star, which is to raise educational outcomes with technology,” he said. “In the ecosystem of [review-site] players, the gold standard is evidence.”

I totally agree. How is an educator or parent to know which math app they should purchase? Which will definitively lead to an advancement of their student’s or child’s knowledge?

After thinking obsessing over this problem non-stop for a few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get this kind of information.

Why?

  1. Which metrics should you use?

    The student’s scores in the app? Not all app vendors will be willing or able to provide this data. Even if you have it, normalizing it for comparison against thousands of other apps is a monumental feat. How about the student’s standardized test scores? Those metrics are already questionable, as any educator will tell you.

  2. How do you conduct a scientifically-controlled evaluation?

    There are many factors that influence a student’s education, from teachers to parents to peers to instructional materials to socio-economic factors to genetics to, well, you get the point. Determining whether a specific app has made a discernible difference is a significant challenge. Some vendors already try this, but knowing how an app will perform in a classroom or home full of distractions versus a pristine laboratory are very different things.

  3. How do you account for individual differences?

    Some students will take to a game and learn a lot from it, others will just learn how to cheat the game. Some will excel with just a bit of hands-on guidance, others will need constant attention. How an app performs depends a lot on the learner. Does this mean the app is effective or ineffective? Unfortunately, one size does not fit all.

  4. How do you account for rapidly changing products?

    Let’s say you do find a way to conduct a scientifically controlled test in a classroom environment using a reliable metric. The likelihood that the developer will read your report and incorporate your findings is very high. Apps are constantly being improved and evolved. What does that mean to your research? It is out-of-date the moment a new version is released.

There are some fantastic and noble efforts underway to solve this challenge, though I think we are all a long ways off. That gold standard of data and evidence is monumentally difficult to get in a repeatable, reliable, personalized, and scalable way.

One solution involves using rubrics through which to evaluate all of these apps. Though the evaluation requires manual work from someone trained in pedagogical assessments, it is a reasonable proxy of quality, if not true efficacy. Many current edtech review services use some kind of rubric, with some differences in breadth and depth.

Another involves in-depth reviews written by an individual with a good understanding of the domain of the app. This is similar to the product reviews seen on popular electronics guides. Such reviews are limited to the expertise and biases of the reviewer, though they can at least provide information from someone who has used, poked, and prodded the app.

One of the weaker solutions is the use of ratings. Since they are relatively easy to get from reviewers, they harness the collective intelligence of the crowd. Ratings are also easy to understand at a glance and to use as a basic filter. However, they fail to provide any context. Some services get around this by offering multiple rating dimensions, but these can also suffer from the problem of averaging out very positive and very negative ratings.

These solutions sit on a spectrum with the wisdom of the crowds on one end and the wisdom of experts on the other.

If you believe the pedagogical value of an educational app could be obtained from the crowd, then try the Yelp model. If you believe the pedagogical value needs to be evaluated by experts, then try the Consumer Reports model. Edtech review services are currently employing strategies all over that spectrum because getting to a true gold standard with actual data and evidence is so difficult.

Will these solutions be enough? Will someone be able to crack the gold standard? I’m not sure it is possible, but I sincerely hope someone will.

How to Be a Product Manager with a Portfolio of Thoughts

I spoke with someone today about being a product manager. He is completing his MBA soon and has little work experience. “Without much experience, how can I get a job as a product manager?” he asked.

Here is what I told him.

Companies want to know if you have the right mindset, critical thinking skills, and culture fit. If you don’t have the work experience, you can do this with what I call a “Portfolio of Thoughts.”

Just as designers have portfolios and developers have code samples, product managers can demonstrate their skills with a collection of essays on how they think through the development of a product. This can be as simple as a blog.

For each entry, I would recommend topics such as:

  • Picking a particular problem and proposing a solution for it, in as much detail as possible. Go through your thought process and rationale.
  • Picking an existing product and offering a balanced critique. If you love this product, why? And if you don’t, why?
  • Picking an existing product and proposing how you would make it better. Again, offer your rationale.

Those three topics ought to provide you with enough material to accumulate a portfolio of thoughts. A recruiter who reads this will get a great sense of your product sensibilities and thought process.

After you have a long list of posts, don’t worry about going back and revising old entries. Feel free to add updates though. Include a note indicating that you have updated the post too. Everyone’s skills grow and evolve over time. What you have written about a product in the past may differ from what you would write now, so an archive of your thoughts can serve as a demonstration of how you have grown as a product thinker.

Also, take the time to follow and read the blogs of other product managers. Read books on being a good product manager. Meet and have coffee with experienced product managers. Pick their brains. Study good products. Study bad products. Study this craft. And keep up your portfolio of thoughts.

In lieu of a job, doing all of this will grow your skills while providing recruiters with a fantastic way of getting to know you.

As an added bonus: This will be a great way to build your personal brand too.

How to Find K-12 Teachers for Edtech Product Feedback

“Every company’s greatest assets are its customers, because without customers there is no company.”
– Michael LeBoeuf

If you are building an edtech product aimed at K-12 teachers, you’re going to need feedback from them. Be it for customer discovery and validation, market research, beta testing, or something else, it is critical to talk to your customers.

You may be surprised to hear that there are many enterprising educators out there. I don’t mean they are profit-seeking; I mean they are inventive, progressive, and oftentimes tech-savvy. Some call them edupreneurs, some call them teacherpreneurs. Whatever you call them, as a startup, you can see them as innovators or early adopters, in “Crossing the Chasm” parlance.

This means they are willing to try out untested software. While they are not representative of the mass market, they can be a good reference customer for the majority later.

So how do you go about finding K-12 teachers who are willing to help you out? The resources here can help you identify and connect with teachers directly.

Use Personal Connections

Chances are, there are people within your own network that can connect you with teachers.

Your own teachers
If you’ve been through the K-12 education system, reach out to your former teachers. Since they know you, they may be wiling to help. Keep in mind that they may not be early adopters though.
Your children’s teachers
If you are a parent with children in the K-12 education system, go to their teachers. Since they know your children, they may be willing to help, and are also likely to be part of the mass market too.
Friends and family
Your own network of friends and family may contain, or be acquainted with K-12 teachers. 2nd and 3rd degree connections may not be as willing to help, but will likely be part of the mass market as well.

Use Educator to Entrepreneur Networks

As the edtech revolution is growing, so are the resources available to edtech entrepreneurs. Some organizations have risen up to complete the missing link between educators and entrepreneurs, though some are not as active as others.

edSurge Tech for Schools Summits
These are a series of local conferences for educators and entrepreneurs. For a fee, you can present demos, offer trials, and solicit feedback. Teachers can evaluate products and suggest implementation plans for their schools. This is more suited for beta and final products than for customer discovery.
Teacher Tech Talk
This is an exciting new effort to physically bring entrepreneurs and educators together. Discussions are focused around the concerns of educators rather than entrepreneurs, making this a great avenue for customer discovery.
edUpgrade
This is a non-profit organization that connections beta products with educators willing to try them out. Products must be in an experimental state and companies must be willing to work with educators on a regular basis. This is not a good avenue for marketing or customer discovery.

Use Online Teacher Personal Learning Networks

A lot of teachers seek to form PLNs as a way to informally increase their professional development. The resources and guides that help teachers do this can be reverse-engineered to find tech-savvy innovators and early adopters. Here are some of the more popular resources.

Edmodo Communities
Since Edmodo is a social network specifically for teachers, this is a great place to find them. Like any other community, don’t jump right in and start promoting your products, however. Understand the etiquette of the community before making any posts. Or identify specific teachers and contact them directly.
Ning networks for teachers
Ning is a social network platform that allows anyone to create a social network like Facebook or Edmodo. There are many teacher-specific networks out there, though Ning doesn’t include a directory of them all. Some are more active than others.
Twitter
A lot of tech-savvy teachers use Twitter as a means to expand their PLNs. It’s a relatively low-effort way to publish and consume information. Most prefer it over Facebook too. You can often find teachers using hashtags such as #edchat#edtech#education, and others specific to conferences, organizations, and subjects of which they are a part.
Tumblr
There is a vibrant and engaged community of teachers on Tumblr. Their demographic tends to be younger and more tech-savvy. Most tend to use the tags #education#edtech, and #teaching. You can work backwards from these tags to find teachers. Most have some kind of contact form on their profile pages.
Pinterest
According to recent comScore statistics, Pinterest’s demographics skew heavily towards female. Most are in the 25-34 age range and 50% have children. Within this audience is an active community of teachers who’ve been using Pinterest to pin project ideas, lesson plan ideas, and other educational resources they can use. Though you can’t send a message to teachers directly from Pinterest, some include a link to their other social media accounts.
Diigo Groups
Diigo is a popular bookmarking tool amongst tech-savvy teachers. They use it to organize all the websites they use. Many users don’t fill out their profiles, so it’s not always easy to reach out to teachers from this source. But some do include links to their other social media accounts.
Teacher forums
There are dozens upon dozens of online forums for K-12 teachers, though quality varies significantly. Some, like A to Z Teacher StuffThe Teacher’s Corner, and WeAreTeachers have fairly active communities. That also means they moderate their posts and don’t tolerate product promotion posts. Lurk in the community to understand the members and etiquette before joining in. You can also find forums on specific subjects if you search enough.
LinkedIn Groups
There aren’t as many active teachers on LinkedIn as on other social media sources. However, you’ll be able to find a handful of active groups of teachers with some effort. LinkedIn has the added benefit of providing a way to connect with the teachers you find.
DonorsChoose
Here’s a little-known tip that may not be suitable for every startup. If you see a project in which your product could be used, help that teacher fund the project, then send the teacher a free copy of your product. Teachers love free stuff, and if your product solves the problem well, you may have earned a new product evangelist.

Use Face-to-Face Sources

Sometimes meeting with a teacher face-to-face is better than an online interaction. You’ll find them more forthcoming with information, especially about controversial topics.

Craigslist
A fair number of teachers peruse the education jobs section, usually for part-time work. Though it costs money to post a listing in the jobs section, a well-timed listing (i.e. during Winter break, Spring break, a long weekend, etc) may attract a lot of responses. For best results, offer some kind of compensation, such as a free meal (for a face-to-face meeting) or gift card.
Teacher conferences
There are hundreds of conferences for teachers across the country. Most won’t be relevant to you. Identify a few that are worth attending and focus on those, such as ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), one of the largest for IT professionals in education.
Meetups
Unfortunately, not all cities have a large enough edtech community to host meaningful edtech meetups. Silicon Valley has one, but not many others do. These meetups tend to attract more entrepreneurs than educators. But popular ones, such as Ed-Tech Meetup in San Francisco, do host events with educators on occasion.

Innovator and early adopter K-12 teachers are out there, many of whom would be eager to meet you. It’s just a matter of doing the legwork to find and connect with them.

Know of other resources? Please leave a reply and let me know!

This article was originally posted on the Edtech Handbook and has been updated for this blog.

Biz Idea: Real-Time Brainstorm Note Taker

There is often a need to record the notes from a brainstorming session. Haven’t had the pleasure of doing one before? I’ll explain.

What Happens in a Brainstorming Session

If your organization hasn’t done a brainstorming session before, it’s essentially an open-ended meeting where ideas around a particular topic or problem are dreamt up and recorded. There is usually a facilitator to keep the meeting going, and to remind participations that there are no bad ideas. All ideas are accepted and no idea is judged or evaluated during these meetings. The facilitator may clarify, but that’s about it. Idea evaluation happens later.

The Problems Around Brainstorming Sessions

The notes from these sessions are typically transcribed and/or photographed. Then they are stored on an internal repository or simply emailed to each other.

Recording these sessions is just the first step too. After that, someone has to organize the information so it can be properly evaluated later. It also needs to be retrievable. Since brainstorms aren’t generating formal product specifications, some teams aren’t sure where to store these notes. As a result, sometimes they get lost in an abandoned email thread or text document on someone’s desktop.

The tools of choice? Some kind of text editor on the laptop, like an email client, online wiki page, or word processor. For photos, a smartphone with a camera or digital point-and-shoot are usually used. If the photographer forgets to share the photos, however, the team may forget and they are never seen again.

Seems like an awful wide range of tools and hurdles for such a seemingly simple task, huh?

A Potential Solution

So how about an app that allows participants to record notes in any media they choose – be it text, photograph, video, or audio? This app could be both a mobile and web app. Notes taken in one app would show up in all of the others in real-time. One participant could be typing in the ideas while another is taking photos of the session. A third could be recording audio or video as well. It would be like a collaborative, real-time Evernote.

The text interface would look like Google Wave (GOOG) – which basically is a rich-text, real-time, multi-user editor. Several participants could be adding notes all at the same time, while photos and other media appear as they are recorded. The media assets could be annotated and tagged for better organization as well.

All of this would be recorded in a single destination. Everyone would know where to look if they wanted to dig up some idea that was passed around. Since note taking happens in real time, the chance of someone forgetting to share a note is decreased as well.

Here’s another way to envision this product. You’re in a brainstorming session as a participant. You have your iPad (AAPL) out to jot down some notes. A coworker is taking photos with her iPhone of all the diagrams on the whiteboard. Each time she uploads one, you view it on your iPad and add some notes to it for context.

The facilitator is recording the audio for this session on his Nexus S sitting on the conference table. Another participant is on her laptop, with several tabs open in Chrome, adding URLs of articles mentioned in this meeting too.

Meanwhile, a coworker who’s sick at home is following along on the web app, watching the updates occur as they occur. He’s conferenced in via Skype. (I’m not sure this should be a feature of this app too, but who knows?) This way, he can see, hear, and even participate in the brainstorm.

All of the notes taken would be stored within the app and accessible at any time. Any note or media file could be emailed. Various levels of permissions could be applied as well. These session notes could be shared with other departments as a jump-off point for further brainstorms.

A Potential Business Model

And how would this service make money? By charging for storage. You could go with a freemium model and offer one brainstorming session free for 30 days. That ought to give users enough of a taste to purchase the premium plan. Or, forget freemium and just charge per session per month.

Potential Initial Target Market Segments

Creative agencies and technology startups could make a suitable beachhead segment to pursue first. They tend to hold such brainstorming sessions more often than other organizations. Once you’ve captured that niche, you can expand to other audiences.

And Beyond

And for future features? Why not hold a brainstorming session – using this tool, of course! What better way to improve your product than by using it yourself? The ideas you generate may be invaluable, and being able to record them in any form may spark other product ideas too.

Product Development Speed vs Product Development Velocity

Ever hear someone say they are concerned with the speed of their product development process? Every time I do, I can’t help but cringe a little.

I’m all for Build Fast & Iterate Quickly. Any technology company not moving at lightning speed will stagnant like a still shark. By all means, go fast.

Product development speed isn’t the right trait, however. It’s product development velocity. For the average person, there is a subtle difference between the two terms. But to an engineer, it is an important difference. Here’s a quick recap of the definitions:

  • Speed is a scalar quantity. It is the rate of change of an object’s position.
  • Velocity is a vector quantity. It is the rate of change of an object’s displacement.

(Confused? That’s okay. Watch the Khan Academy’s Introduction to motion for a quick refresher of high school physics. No one will know you did and you’ll feel all the smarter for it. hehe.)

Or, to put it into plain English: velocity is speed with a direction. If you take two steps forward at 2 mph, then two steps back at 2 mph, your speed is “2 mph.” But since you haven’t changed your location, your velocity is 0 mph. If you took four steps east at the same speed, your velocity would be “2 mph east.”

This is why product development velocity is more important. Your direction matters. You should be moving forward. Or at least away from where you currently are. If you’re moving quickly, but in circles, that’s not progress. That’s a waste of time.

It’s fine to move forward, to the left, or to the right. As a business, the goal is to move somewhere new. Every time you cover new ground, you have an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know before, to capture invaluable data. You need to uncover the Fog of War of your market and understand your landscape. You can only do that by moving in some new direction.

In other words, Build Fast, Iterate Quickly, and Move Forward.

Photo by: Mauropm

Why Entrepreneurs Make Good Product Managers

What makes a good product manager? I once asked this question to a number of product executives. Several of them gave me an answer like this:

A good product manager thinks like a CEO.

What does this mean?

It means you know all aspects of the product – its market, its customers, its operations, its team of talent, etc. You know your product’s and your team’s strengths & weaknesses. You know the market’s current state, potential trends, major players, economic factors, regulatory issues, etc. You know your customers and how they currently solve the problem you are trying to solve.

It means you care about the product deeply. It’s not just a job. It’s a calling, a passion. You have a strong, compelling vision and are willing to work hard to make it happen. And you know how to inspire others with your vision as well.

It means you are pragmatic because this is your livelihood. You are constantly gathering & analyzing data to make your decisions. And when you don’t have enough information – which you rarely will – you are willing to make an informed, yet bold decision.

It means you find people smarter than you and spend a lot of time rallying them. They are the lifeblood of your product and the means to bring flesh to the vision, and you know it. Roadblocks in their path are demolished feverishly & quickly.

It means you are flexible. The world is constantly changing. Your product and your team will need to change with it. Mistakes are embraced and learnings and shared enthusiastically. You’d rather move quickly and course-correct often with your eyes open, than to pick a single direction and go forward blindly.

Product manager, CEO, entrepreneur, business owner – in the end, they all share the same basic mindset. They are trying to build a product that people will love, use, and tell their friends about.

Photo by: Joi

The Emotional Adoption Curve

You’ve heard of the Technology Adoption Curve, yea? In Marty Cagan’s book Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love, he references an insightful talk he had with Jeff Bonforte, then a VP at Yahoo! and now the CEO of Xobni.

Bonforte has a slightly different view of Geoffrey Moore’s Technology Adoption Curve. Instead of looking at just the psychographics of each user group, he adds an additional layer: the driving emotions of each user group. Here is how Bonforte’s user groups map to Moore’s:

The Lovers = Innovators
They purchase something new because they believe it is cool and feel passionately about it. Determining product or service offerings on them can lead to misleading results because their motivations are very different from the other groups.
The Irrationals = Early Adopters
They purchase something new because they are very frustrated with a problem this product or service aims to solve. Their purchase decisions are driven by the same emotions as the majority, but with more intensity. This means their purchase decisions are not always economically rational.
The Efficients = Early Majority
They purchase something new because it solves their problems in a practical way for a reasonable cost. Essentially, they are driven by the same emotions as Irrationals, but with less intensity. Thus, their purchase decisions are more pragmatic.
The Laughers = Late Majority
They purchase something because it is proven, readily affordable, and easy to use. Like the Efficients, they are driven by the same emotions, but at a low, muted level.
The Comfortable = Laggers
They feel their current solutions are good enough and don’t see a good reason to purchase new solutions. While they may have the same problems as the others, they don’t mind.

New technologies tend to attract Lovers and Irrationals alike. However, for the longevity of your business, you should target Irrationals and not Lovers. If you don’t distinguish between the two, you might accidentally build features for Lovers, leaving Irrationals unserved and disappointed. Why is that bad? As Bonforte puts it:

Lovers are the worst possible people in the world from a product manager’s perspective. …they mislead you one hundred percent of the way. Lovers buy a Prius because they like the battery technology.

On the other hand, Irrationals buy a Prius because they love the environment so much they’ll spend $22,000 over the benefit of the environment. They could just buy carbon credits and carbon neutralizers themselves, or they could get a motorcycle, but they overspend on the solution because they’re passionate about the problem they’re trying to solve.

…You really need the Irrationals to slingshot your business into the Efficients and the Laughers. Without that emotion from those irrational people you don’t get the passion that carries the product over the chasm.

If you have a new product, does it target Lovers or Irrationals? How can you tap into customers who care so passionately about the problem you’re trying to solve that they’ll pay a premium for your offerings?

Business Idea Evaluation with The Innovator’s Scorecard

Need another way to evaluate your business idea? Thomas McKnight, author of Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings…Before You Take the Leap, has a robust method he calls the Innovator’s Scorecard. This scorecard rates various factors of your business idea to tell you if it is worth pursuing. Each factor is discussed in detail in the book, so if you would like to learn more about this method, check out the book.

An Excel version of the Scorecard is available. I’ve also created this online version of it.

To use this scorecard, type in a score for each feature into the Raw Score column. This score can range from -10 to +10, with -10 being the worst and +10 being the best. McKnight discusses each factor in great detail in his book. Purchase a copy if you would like to know more about any of them.

Raw Score
(-10 to +10)
Criteria Weight Total
Compelling unserved need

Does your product fulfill a lack of something required, desirable, or useful?

Explainable uniqueness

How unique is your product?

Sustainable differentiation

Can you sustain your uniqueness, or regain it if lost?

Demonstrable now

Can the customer touch, feel, taste, see, sense, or use your product right now?

Good competition

Are there weak competitors that validate your market, yet can be beaten easily?

Bad competition

Are there strong competitors that pose a real threat?

Compelling pricing possible

Could you offer your product at a good price?

Closable customers

Do you have any actual customers right now you could sell to, even before you have a product?

Quality of evidence of demand

Do you have good proof that there is a demand for your product?

Ahead of market

Can you deliver your product at the right time to capture substantial market share?

Ambush exposure

How likely are you to be ambushed by an unknown competitor? How defensible is your product?

“Hot Market”

Is there a wild, almost irrational demand for your product right now?

Attitude: confidence and fearlessness

Do you & your team have enough confidence in yourselves & your product to push no matter what?

Commitment

Can you & your team realistically commit yourselves to this product?

Staying Power

Do you & your team have long staying power, even if your product isn’t profitable at first?

Passion

Do you & your team have true, deep passion for your product?

Management Competence

How competent are you & your team in building and marketing your product?

Honesty and Integrity

Are you & your team known to have high honesty and integrity?

Success Ethic

Do you & your team have a record of achieving significant successes? Are you all capable of doing so?

Looking Good in the Lobby

Are you & your team presentable in fromt of investors?

Cash Flowing Now

Can you earn a cash flow now or very soon?

Revenue Model Swamps Costs

Will your business model allow you to earn real profits (revenues minus expenses)?

Delivery Advantages

Do you have any special relationships or privileges within your intended distribution channels?

Resources available

Do you have access to the resources you’ll need to launch your product?

Preemption & Domination

Would you be able to preempt your competitors and dominate some aspect of your market, value chain, distribution channels, etc?

Strategy to Penetrate Market

Do you have a strong strategy with which to enter into the market?

Strategy for Breaching the Chasm

After you’ve released your product, do you have a strong strategy with which to reach a general audience?

Proprietary Ownership

Can you attach enough value to your product that those who wish to own or use it think of you first?

Partnering Candidates

Are there good partnership opportunities that will give you an advantage without hindering you as well?

Appropriateness of Location

Does your company’s location give you any advantages in resources or customers?

Quality of back-up plan

Do you have a good, realistic back-up plan in case things go wrong?

Unfair Advantages

Do you have any significant advantages in your favor that competitors don’t have?

Manageable Capital Requirements

Do you need to raise an unrealistically large amount of funding? Or is it a manageable amount?

Low Cash Required Prelaunch

In the days & weeks immediately before the launch, do you need a large, or manageable amount of cash?

Visible Capital

Is your funding proven? Is it in the bank, or at least accessible to you with a good degree of certainty?

High Potential Value

Will your business have a high valuation after about five years of existence?

Foreseeable Harvest

How likely will a return on investment be possible for an outside investor?

Taboo

Does your product violate any ethical, societal, cultural, politcal, or environmental taboos?

Lack of Showstoppers

Do any foreseeable showstoppers exist to block your success?

Pretending not to Know

Are you or your team in denial about any threats to your success? Be honest.

High Profile Persons Available

Can you attract any high profile individuals as team members, customers, or evangelists?

Punchy, compelling story

Do you have a solid, interesting, and catchy elevator pitch?

Government Relevance

Can you gain any political standing or supporters in the government?

Low-Hanging Fruit

Do you have any easy wins you can make, such as prospective customers, rock star employees, low-cost resources, etc?

TOTALS

Grade:

After you’ve finished scoring your business idea, your final Grade will indicate the viability of your idea. If your grade is:

  • 80% or higher – You have a good chance of success, and your grade is high enough to potentially seek outside funding.
  • 70% – 79% – You have a decent chance of success. Examine each factor to see if you can improve its score.
  • 60% – 69% – You have a low chance of success. Examine each factor to see if you can improve its score.
  • 50% or lower – You should move on to another idea.

This scorecard isn’t only designed to give you a one-shot assessment of your business idea. As mentioned above, it also reveals the various factors that can significantly improve the success of your business. If you have a low score on any of these elements, consider revisiting each one and thinking of ways to raise that score.