2 Reasons Why an Animated Explainer is good for Testing Your Startup Ideas

January 26, 2015


I have a question for you:


Have you ever considered testing your minimum viable product before you build your business?


If you’re savvy about 21st century entrepreneurship, you probably have. For those of you who don’t know what a minimum viable product is, here is a quick explanation below:


A minimum viable product (MVP) consists of absolutely minimal amount of necessary features that customers are willing to pay for. Intelligent entrepreneurs and founding teams tend to create something barely minimal for a really short time, and test it out in their prospective market. Their goal is to learn as much as possible from people who first use the MVP to develop better iterations over time, resulting in a far more superior product. Sometimes, the MVP may not be an actual product at all, but a form of invitation to gain insights from people who are interested in what you could potentially offer.


With this explanation out of the way, you’re probably wondering the many different ways you could make an MVP. The biggest return on investment for testing the viability of your startup idea is with an explainer video, for two good reasons:


Video is being viewed by more people than ever


This is a given. But according to Demo Duck, it is expected that by 2016, the number of people watching online videos will increase to 1.6 billion people. 


The fact that there are more videos being watched by more viewers means that video is a big medium of the internet today. 


Having video also means that people could process information much more quickly and efficiently. As we are living busy lives, having a 1-minute video to explain your concept or idea is ever more crucial. 


Since more internet users are spending more time viewing online videos than ever, this is where you could attract a lot of loyal early adopters if you managed to achieve a product-market fit - not to mention social shares.


Get the word out about your potential idea before you could afford to build.


One of the benefits of animated explainers is that the costs of producing one are much lower than those of a live video.


Whatever initial vision you may have had about your startup idea, you could conceptualize it in illustrative form, push the video out to potential viewers, and gather feedback very quickly.


As written above, having a short video can be very effective in explaining your concept to other people - potential prospects or otherwise. Besides simplified message, viewers could see first-hand how your MVP could work. Before you even start building, show your idea in animation to people who might be interested, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn more from them by the time you’re ready. 


Besides your target market, an animated explainer could be a great way to attract investors and venture capitalists. If your idea requires more resources and funding than a bootstrapper could handle, having a clear, short video along with animation that illustrates your product idea could put you in the radar of the right backers who will your project, and possibly get you on the right trajectory towards building a truly sustainable business.


Your viewers and investors could point out some other use cases that you and your team have never imagined before - or give you hints that your target market and assumptions may change. Of course, you will learn more as you build and iterate your product, but by sharing your animated explainer in the beginning, you will have learned so much before you could confidently build your startup - using real data.


The challenges of starting a startup is much different than it was 20 to 50 years ago. To build a successful startup firm, it is imperative to begin with a small, testable idea that you could rapidly use to gain real data before you invest your time, energy, and money into building your vision. 


By recognizing that video is a highly used medium and that conveying your ideas through an animated explainer, you could increase the odds of improving the viability of your business idea rapidly.

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