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What “Grounded Theory” is and how product creators can be their own worst enemies.

Have you heard of “grounded theory?” Me neither, until fairly recently… Any and all research is “grounded”, it is grounded in the data that forms that research. But very few studies result in a “grounded theory”. Common perception is that grounded theory is a qualitative methodology, in actual fact, it is an inductive one. The process of grounded theory is really quite interesting. It’s basically five stages that would generally be done sequentially and in order, except, they can actually take place at the same time once the first is underway. This makes the process awesome for anyone who is a little entrepreneurial,as we often don’t have time to hang around waiting for all the theories and concepts to be formalised and proven before we move to market.
The stages are:  1) Preparation 2) Research (Data Collection) 3) Analysis 4) Results 5) Review & Outline
Once the first steps have been taken, all the other stages can begin to gain traction as your research data returns results. In short, it’s an exceptionally agile method for entrepreneurial businesses because it gives the most flexibility at the same time as maximum agility, and all in a super short space of time. Many times the most common question from the entrepreneur is “Is this real? Or did I make it up?” and by that I am asking is there actual commercial value in this product, in this service, or is it just value that I the entrepreneur sees in it with no marketplace worth? There was once a meeting of university professors that had put together a software package that they felt had great commercial value, but as the potential investors I sat there listening to them talk about this wonderful product that they were convinced would make them all rich, all they could think was that it was great as an idea, but where was the commercial worth in it? Why would anyone buy that when there are already established competitors in the marketplace doing the same or better? Basically, they had failed at the first hurdle, know your niche! They had no clue that there were products already out there that did in essence what theirs did, its just they were targeted at different markets, so they had never found them. But the end result, was the same they had dropped years into research and developing a product without a market, a more complicated mousetrap. They made up a need for a product that was already real. Note for today, do your research!
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