How to validate an idea6 years ago Vishal Dhanuka
The validation of idea is often a very tricky business. Do it right and you can even have some initial customers, do it wrong and you waste your time and money on something which isn’t good.
Why Validate an Idea?
The Short version of it is, it will save you a lot of time and money, plus you’ll also generate some genuine interest in your idea. Because of this, you will also have a place to test your product before putting it out on the market.
By not validating an idea you make an awful mistake of working on an idea without knowing if anyone will use it. The Validation process helps you understand whether or not the idea is worth investing into.
Steps to Validate an idea.
Personally, I have run a few tests, made some checks and used a few methods to understand the best way to validate an idea by throwing quite a few of them around.
Why did I do that? That’s a question for another time but what I found out was interesting. Well, let’s break it down into a few steps.
Searching for a similar idea is the most fundamental thing that one should do. You find a problem, you get an idea then the next step is to google it or any other methods of research that you might have. See if someone else is doing the same thing. Because the chances are that what you want to make is already out there.
Now that doesn’t mean your idea is useless now, is there a way that you can provide a better product or provide more value to your customers? Give it a different approach and do it better ? Then you should probably look at the next step.
2. UnLearn your Solution.
It would seem a little bit crazy but the next step is to keep your solution somewhere in the archives and unlearn the solution you came up with.
Let me tell you why. When you are looking for feedback and start talking about the solution to your potential customers you limit your thinking to that particular solution. Often there are multiple kinds of solution to a single problem and there are often chances that when interacting with people and listening to how they try to solve it you would discover a better solution to your previous one.
The idea here is to keep an open mind, talk about the problem and get them talk about their way of getting through the problem.
3. Finding the right target.
Talking to the right people who face the similar problem as your target audience is crucial. You cannot go on a rampant into just any place in the world and start asking people. Chances are 60% of the people won’t even understand what you are trying to ask and might provide you with incorrect information.
The best way to deal with this is to think like your target customer. Understand where they are mostly and then find them. Once done, prepare a list of your potential customer and reach out to them. The more people you can convince the better.
4. Informal Interview.
Next step is obvious and as a continuation to above you need to talk to the people on your list about the problem you face. Ask their workaround for the problem and collect that data for further analysis while letting them know that if you come up with a better solution can you contact them.
What this does is get you a customer base who are looking for a solution and also feel quite involved with your product.
Once you have collected the data for further analysis, it is time to dig up your archive and then see if your solution can be further improved upon which gives you a chance for a better solution.
Now that you have come up with a solution. Contact your potential customers and get their feedback on the same.
See if they are willing to pay for your solution with the currency you think of making your revenue. The currency can be anything here, money, ads, email subscriptions or whatever your business model suggests.
Got a positive feedback? Are good amount of people willing to pay in your currency? If ‘yes’ is your answer, then congratulations!
While you can go full-fledged after receiving good number feedbacks from a good amount of people in your given niche, It is recommended that you instead start building your MVP(Minimum Viable Product) to further test out the waters.
Remember, it is not easy out there and this is just a small step towards making your product a reality. While I have listed the best method to validate your idea according to me, there are still no 100% guaranteed success for the product that you would like to launch. But using the methods listed increases your chances towards it.
Best of luck out there and if you ever feel the need for help you can contact me as well. Feel free to comment or share this post if you find any of this useful.