Updated: Sep 3, 2021
One of the early stages of each startup is to through ideation and validating the idea before committing to building MVP. The question is how to validate my startup idea?
90% of the businesses and startups fail within the first year of their operations.
Do you know why?
The main reason is the business idea has been drafted in an isolation environment, potentially in a founder's head and then it never left the room!
If you are solving a problem that nobody cares about, that's what you get; a failed business.
Please note that we are not getting to the money stage of the business.
We heard all these stories that a bizarre idea turned into a unicorn and some very brilliant ideas on paper failed miserably.
The reason is only one word: Validation!
If you do not validate your idea early in your startup user journey, chances are very high that you fail to build a great product.
I know how you feel when you come up with ideas on how to change lives or even shape the world.
You probably love your ideas and even accusing everyone to be stupid enough not to understand them.
But get this; the idea is a commodity, execution is gold.
In this post, I'll take a look at idea validation from the perspective of validating a new business idea, concept, or product. Here I will refer to all of these as ideas. We’ll also introduce some tools that you can use to discover whether or not your idea has real potential.
What is idea validation?
Idea validation is the method of collecting proof around ideas through research to make fast, educated, and de-risked decisions that benefit everyone, including your customers.
It's a procedure that starts from an idea and typically ends with a paying buyer. The aim of idea validation is to expose the idea to the practicality of the real world before you build and release the final product or offer.
New ideas have unstable components and if some of them go wrong, it can damage your strategies at once. Validation lowers the risk, speeds up the delivery of a value-creating service in the market, and minimizes the costs.
An idea should be validated before investing a significant amount of time and resources in developing it to avoid building and launching a product or concept no one wants or isn’t willing to pay for.
The purpose of idea validation is to make sure your idea has real demand, otherwise, there’s a real risk of it becoming “just another cool idea”.
The idea must either be able to solve a real problem, fulfill its intended purpose or appeal to other incentives.
Do not be afraid of dump ideas
One of the key components of idea validation is, not afraid of thinking with the audacity to solve big enough problems so that people are keen to pay you.
One of the show stoppers when it comes to ideation is those founders are afraid to think clearly and then will reduce the potential impact of an idea.
Meaning, because of a lack of confidence, they cannot think big!
I am guilty of this exercise as well.
What happens in these scenarios, the ideas are dying in your head before even get a chance to be tested.
However, the way that you can tackle this issue is to surround yourself with like-minded people that have gone on this path. AKA, previous entrepreneurs, coaches, and business owners.
And please, be one of those founders that think big.
Why not jump to build a product and be an agile founder
How to validate your idea
There are different ways you can validate your ideas.
The first one is to ask your potential buyers that if this is a problem that they are happy to pay so you can solve it for them.
This is such a fundamental step and old-school way of validation. However, it may be the most effective way of validation.
Nothing is more effective than starting a relationship with your future customer from the very beginning. This can be such a solid step when it comes to building a foundation for your business.
Building your customer base from the very beginning can basically mean success or your venture.
My advice is definitely to use this strategy to build your customer base and then you are allowed to get meaningful feedback to improve your product, marketing, and even your sales funnel.
Another strategy is to allocate a small budget and run a Google Ad campaign and forward the traffic to a landing page to see if people sign up.
This is a more advanced strategy and needs a bit of technical knowledge on marketing and copywriting, which as a founder you need to acquire anyway in the future.
So, this means you have the opportunity to start early on these skills and try different ideas on what may work for you and what may not.
There are definitely more ways to validate your ideas and I will talk about them in my future blogs.
Let me know what ways you validate your ideas and what is working for you.