Concept projects can help startup software companies uncover clues to more distant futures. Once you have the idea and decide on what is possible, it’s time to pull out the camera and start filming – not the whole movie, because that would be expensive and you don’t know the complete story yet. Instead, start with just a movie trailer.
You’ve seen hundreds of trailers. Everybody loves them. Little one-to-two minute teasers. It’s a great way to capture the essence, the core of the emotional experience that you are seeking in your software product. The goal is a visual prototype.
Try writing the print advertisement as you are developing your product. This forces you to crystallize your unique selling proposition. The movie trailer helps you focus your team in a way no design or marketing plan can ever manage to. The other advantage to making the trailer before making the real thing is that if you can’t make a compelling trailer, may be it’s better to back to the drawing board. Use the popular ‘T-shirt Test’: If you can’t make a T-shirt about it, may be you don’t have a compelling story yet.