Expert Insights: Cindy Lim on how to De-Risk through Experimentation

Today we post our next article in our Expert Insights series! Through the Rainmaking Expand programs, we invite various speakers with different specialities to offer dedicated workshops and coaching to the companies in the program. Afterwards, we invite these speakers to share their insights for this series.

This week we chat with Cindy Lim who ran the workshops on how to run experiments to de-risk market entry. In our chat with her below, she shares some key insights into how companies can do this.

Thank you for joining us today and for the workshops you ran on experimentation to help de-risk market entry. Since the readers here haven’t met you yet, would you be able to introduce yourself?

Cindy: Hello. I am an experience designer at Rainmaking; building digital ventures. Earlier in my career I have worked at organisations that change the way we think about finance, manage our travel around the world, immerse in music and live healthier. To design for these experiences and products is to design for people, and it starts with understanding the needs of the people who are or will be engaging in these experiences. I’ve learnt a lot through the creative process, talking to people on the street, sharing a day in their lives, collaborating on ideas and bringing it all together as a product that people use. It is a bit of engineering, technology, design, psychology, business and emerging spaces. Beyond putting care into the craft, it is ultimately caring about people. Every day is different, challenging yet rewarding at the same time, and I love that what I do impacts people’s lifetime at an intimate level, and daily well-being on a national and even global scale.

Thank you, your passion for people-focused design is really amazing, and I thought so too during your workshops. With this focus, and from your experience, what is the biggest mistake startups make, and how do you recommend they avoid it?

Cindy: Startups founders believe in and love what they do, and sometimes that blinds them. Having tasted success starting out in one market, what tends to happen is replicating the same formula in the second market with the assumption that it’ll work. If you dive ahead and just do it, sometimes it works, but often it doesn’t. If it does, beware of the hot hand fallacy. If it doesn’t, it is not an indication of perpetual failure. That’s one mistake that can be avoided from the get-go. Perceptions do not necessarily reflect reality. If you have a question on whether your solution is going to work for a new market, you can easily find a proxy answer through research or get early signals through experiments.

Absolutely, that research is incredibly important, and strongly advised to do. Based on the workshops you ran for Rainmaking Expand: South Korea, what is your advice to startups on the topic of experimentation for de-risking their market entry?

Cindy: Instead of guesswork, test and learn to get real market signals. While planning experiments to run, you can:

  • Keep CALM and test It – Run experiments that you can Conduct, Ask, Launch, Map or Intercept with minimal effort first to get you the most evidence quickly.
  • Consider your customers from start to end, and beyond ****– think like a pirate, say “AARRR” as you plan experiments with measurable and observable metrics about your customers (AARRR for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, Referral).
  • Test anywhere, any time, and with anyone – Any way that helps to validate that you are going to market with business models and products that matter. As long as you plan it and measure it intentionally, you can even conduct an “experiment” over dinner or a drink!

Thank you so much for your insights Cindy!

Read more in our Expert Insights Series

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Written by
Meghan Bridges
July 26, 2022
Marketing Director, Rainmaking Expand

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