The FIRST Framework

This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Sam Mallikarjunan is currently a university professor at Harvard University. He also worked with HubSpot. He helps people learn how to speak, especially entrepreneurs so that they know how to convince their clients. Also, helps with consulting, and teaching. He was present with us on numerous occasions, this time, it was during Startup Turkey 2016 where he delivered a speech entitled ‘The FIRST Framework For Growing Successful Products.

When it comes to entrepreneurship and building a new company, it is a crucial part to conduct some pieces of research in order to know whether people will welcome your product or company and start using it or not. That is what Mr. Sam Mallikarjunan discussed during his speech entitled “The FIRST Framework For Growing Successful Products” that he delivered during Startup Turkey 2016.

Before building your product, you need to validate that it is worth it, and that it is what people need. One of the ways that you could use in order to determine whether it is going to be a successful product or not is organizing crowdfunding campaigns. That is a very efficient way to know whether you should carry on with your project or not if people give you money for your product, then they want it. This way you could get both the validation, and some money to kickstart it.

Step 2 of the FIRST Framework is to Iterate. By this, Mr. Mallikarjunan wants to say that small changes do matter and that you do not need to chase big deal fast cash. You need to decide who you want to be, and stay really focused on that. Another tip is to accept the help of the others and ask for help too. Some people are better than you when it comes to certain fields, that is why getting some pieces of advice from them could be helpful.

The way you iterate your product matters, at first you need to give a product that serves the main goal; like for instance a skateboard. Being a means of transportation, it helps the ultimate goal of getting people from point A to point B, what follows is your effort to develop that product and make it into something more useful and comfortable, which still serves the same purpose, that is the car. This is the correct way of how to iterate your product, you give a complete product, then develop it.

Step 3 in the FIRST Framework is Retention. You need to define your goals as a team and as an entrepreneur yourself and focus on what your product will offer to the customers, and have everyone agree on it. Then, you can focus on retention through working on building a product that will keep people engaged and get their loyalty as customers.

Step 4 of the Framework is to Scale-up; you want to build something that is perfect and which would make people keep using it while growing at the same time. The thing that will make you successful is the community and the market place that you build.

The fifth and last step of the Framework is Test. You need to always be testing those hypotheses that you make, and bring them back to step zero in order to try and validate it which is part of this circular process of the Framework.

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