Alberto Savoia is an engineer, entrepreneur, and author. His book, The Right It—Why so many ideas fail and how to make sure yours succeed will be published by HarperCollins in February 2019.
Over the years, Alberto experienced first-hand the amazing success and rewards that come when the right idea for a new product is combined with hard work and competent execution. In addition to founding two VC-backed technology companies of his own, Alberto had the good fortune of joining Sun Microsystems and Google in the early days—when the two companies were little-known pre-IPO startups. And as Google’s first Director of Engineering, he led the group that launched the amazingly successful Google AdWords.
But Alberto also learned first-hand the painful lesson that hard work and competent execution cannot save the wrong product idea from market failure. Like most engineers and entrepreneurs, he has fallen victim to what he calls The Law of Market Failure: most new products will fail in the market—even if competently executed.
After one particularly painful such failure, Alberto decided that he had had enough of it. He had been bitten by the Law of Market Failure one time too many—and decided to bite back.
While at Google, he developed pretotyping, a set of tools and tactics designed to help people determine with unprecedented speed and accuracy if their product ideas are likely to succeed in the market. In 2011, after applying pretotyping at Google with outstanding results, he published the ideas and tools he collected in a free PDF booklet titled Pretotype It—Make sure you are building The Right It before you build It right. The booklet and the concept of pretotyping quickly spread from Google to Stanford and started to acquire thousands of fans and followers, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Since the initial publication, the booklet has been translated by volunteers into a dozen languages, and pretotyping is now being taught and practiced in hundreds of organizations worldwide.