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Requirements and hypotheses2:45 with Tomer Sharon
People in the real world have real needs. Let’s see how these needs are manifested in businesses and organizations who develop new products.
Whitney Hess, "What’s Your Problem?"
Stephen Corey, "Professed attitudes and actual behavior"
Ron Cutler, "Why are the British so bad at washing their hands?"
Josh Seiden, "Replacing Requirements with Hypotheses"
Eric Ries, "The Lean Startup"
Brad Feld, "Problem Solving Versus Empathy"
Indi Young, "Practical Empathy"
People in the real world have real needs.
Let's see how these needs are manifested in businesses and
organizations who develop new products.
This section is inspired by and based on the work of
Josh Seiden who highlights the difference between requirements and hypothesis.
In many organizations, both big and small.
Product development and business owners introduce needs as requirements.
Sometimes a lengthy spec document is produced to detail those requirements.
These requirements are an excellent tool to use in production mode based on
known and agreed upon standards.
An example for requirement is develop a smart shopping cart for
grocery stores that will help people scan and pay for
their product as they walk through the aisles.
A requirement is a way of framing a need by a product or
business practitioner to manage the work of a team.
Requirements are perceived as necessities although they are based on
thinking done by a person who does not always have access to users' needs,
behavior or problems.
Hypotheses are a better way to reframe requirements.
They are much more effective for developing new products under
conditions of extreme uncertainty as Eric Reese has noted.
A hypothesis is a proposed explanation of the way things work
that includes both an assumption and a test.
What happens if we frame the requirement I just gave as an example of a hypothesis?
[SOUND] Let's see.
We believe that moms who visit grocery stores with their kids will pay for
a device that makes their shopping experience faster and more fun for
We will know this is true when 1) moms use our prototype efficiently, and
2) kids are having fun during grocery shopping.
It's easy to see how an hypothesis includes both an assumption and a test.
It is also clear that the hypothesis does not specify the solution.
It leaves room for the team's creativity to solve a user problem or
meet a real need it describes.
This hypotheses can be easily tested.
Test results will give the team a very clear answer whether or
not the hypotheses is validated are not.
When you try to understand whether your target audience has a certain problem,
it is extremely beneficial to develop assumptions then test them.
This validated learning is key to developing empathy with your
future potential customers.
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