Ah yes, idea validation. The mythical ideal we all know that we should pursue before giving ourselves the green light on a new project. Today we talk about different methodologies to follow, and mix in our own experiences to provide you with a handy guide to keep close to your heart the next time a bright, shiny object passes into view.
Check it out:
- Big Snow Tiny Conf.
- Thinking about “what’s next”.
- Last week we talked about Product vs Marketing and where to spend your time, but there’s another little wrinkle we didn’t mentioned – working on the Business – and that’s where a lot of my focus has been. I heart lawyers.
In This Episode…
- Lean Startup – hypothesis then test MVP (Buffer)
- 30×500 – Sales Safari – easier to find people already experiencing a problem
- Foundation – Idea extraction and pre-selling
The validation process:
- Idea (starts internally) – 10% valid
- Scratch your own itch – WPBids – 37signals (sell your byproducts)
- See a problem / opportunity to solve it – Restaurant Engine
- Seeing others succeed in solving a problem – dangerous!
- Question: Is this the right idea for me to pursue right now?
- Research – 20%
- Research potential competitors
- Early marketing / customer acquisition ideas
- Question: Is this the right market for me to enter?
- First conversations – 30% valid
- Survey your audience
- If no audience…
- Cold email campaign
- Landing page + PPC campaign
- Question: Do others resonate with this problem/solution? If so, who?
- Prototype – 40% valid
- If possible, deliver manually
- Or develop minimal / focused version 1
- Based on the key need discussed in early conversations
- Get it in the hands of early test users (free beta), monitor and get feedback.
- Question: Do customers actually get value from the prototype?
- Paying customers – 50% valid
- See how many of your early test users are willing to become paying customers.
- Start pitching the product to other first paying customers.
- Use intelligence you’ve gathered in your early marketing/pitch
- Question: Is anyone actually willing to pay for this?
- Sustained value – 60% valid
- Will customers stick around?
- Is value consistently being delivered on an ongoing basis?
- Are there any new objections?
- Question: Will customers pay repeatedly (2+ months subscription), or will churn be a major issue?
- Customer acquisition – 70% valid
- Test repeatable customer acquisition channels
- Question: Are you able to reach potential customers at scale?
- Funnel optimization – 100% valid
- Building predictable revenue streams.
- Question: Now that it is validated, how do we grow?