[59] The Dark Art of Product Validation

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:

Updates

Brian’s update:

  • Big Snow Tiny Conf.
  • Thinking about “what’s next”.

Jordan’s update:

  • 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…

Known frameworks:

  • 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?

Links

 

  • Roy

    Hey Guys,

    Great discussion. I was struggling with this exact question and you answered it perfectly. Now I feel like I have a solid plan to move forward. Thanks a lot.

    Roy

    • Great to hear Roy, thanks for tuning in!

      *Brian Casel*
      casjam.com

    • jordangal

      Awesome, thanks Roy. Hope it’s helpful and keep us updated on progress.

  • Hey, I’m coming back to this episode and going point by point. I like the concept of % validation as it’s a stair-step approach. Super practical, useful stuff Brian & Jordan. Thanks for sharing. Marcin