4 steps to defining value and vision at a startup

Let’s start with the definition of Vision. In the business world, Vision is defined as an aspirational final goal your company is heading towards. To put it in “startup” language:

Vision is the north star of your company. It defines the goal you’re pursuing and the reason why you’re building your product.

How to define the vision

1. Define the problem your product is solving / the value your product provides to users.

The problem definition should go first before the goal. In order to define the problem, here are a few examples of questions you should clearly answer:

  • What is the problem my product will solve?
    • How? Does it save time/money?
    • Does it create a new more convenient way of doing things?
  • Why is it a problem?
    • Do people spend a lot of time/money on this?
    • Is there a lot of manual work?
    • Current solutions don’t meet the expectations/don’t fix the pains?
  • Is it really a problem?
    • How many people experience it? How often?
    • Are users ready to pay for the solution?

All the questions will help you to dive deep into the definition of the problem and shape it. And based on this will come up the value your product provides.

2. Define the value your product delivers

Since it’s a startup, the value at the MVP stage and in 2 years can vary a lot. Take a look it at from the perspective of MVP, 1 year, 3 years, etc.

3. Define the target audience

By knowing your target audience you can define the must-have functionality and ones that can be skipped for now. So describe it in a way:

  • Age, gender, location
  • Pains they experience (they spend a lot of time, and money, there is a lot of manual work, they use a lot of different tools, etc.)
  • What they do, their habits & interests
  • Cultural & behavioral peculiarities (if any)

4. Define the final goal you’re building the product for / what the value delivers

That’s the moment where you can bring all your inspiration, courage, and freedom — don’t think only on the “operational” level. Think big! You should inspire investors, your team, users, and even yourself.

I guess it’s something that will move things forward and bring a lot of creativity to the process. And as a reminder — it’s okay to adjust!

How to define these 4 points:

  • User interviews/analysis
  • Research
  • Pitch to investors
  • Pitch to your potential users
  • Pitch to other entrepreneurs from the domain

The value you’ll get

The main value you’ll get by defining your vision is keeping focus. During MVP development, launch, and early growth you will get a lot of feedback. Plus your own ideas can be a lot to swallow and hard to prioritize.

Having a clearly defined vision will help you to understand your main priorities. Important note — it’s absolutely okay to adjust your vision based on received feedback, it’s called building a business. Sounds a bit controversial, right?

The truth is that it’s way easier to adjust a clearly defined vision than to get lost in all the ideas and feedback. Long story short — vision is like a compass for your business.

Written by Lyubov Dementyuk.

Managing Director at Paralect Venture Studio

Co-Founder at Mustard