Startups · Entrepreneurship

How can I validate effectively an idea?

Manoj Sahoo Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager at Freelancing (Self Employed)

September 14th, 2016

Many startups fail because they are resolving a problem that doesn‘t exist. For that reason, before even spending a ton of time or resources, I wonder what are the best methods to validate the attractiveness of an idea and to see if there is a need on the market.

David Johnston - 40 Patent Claims Granted in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, NLP, IoT, & Chat

September 14th, 2016

Assuming you don't have an audience but have a small budget. What I always do is buy a premium WordPress template already built for my target industry. I host it cheaply on godaddy.

I read all the competing websites and apps content and study what they think customers are looking for and what is important to them.

I then replace all the boilerplate text content in the template website to focus on my idea and how its better than others. 

I create a simple contact form as the conversion goal and install Google analytics.

I then run a small Facebook and Google Adwords campaign with very low bids. I buy cheap traffic and send it to the concept website to measure a few things.

What is the cost for clicks? (CPC)
How many clicks does it take to get a conversion? (CR)
How much does it cost per converted lead? (CPA)

Once you know these metrics, you spreadsheet assumptions will be much more accurate. 

You can even use WooCommerce or another Wordpress plugin to set up a single product checkout so you can actually measure sales. If you get any real sales it is just a couple clicks to refund the customer's money and apologize that the item is temporarily out of stock and you will follow up when it's ready.

Typically, I can completely validate an idea in any market for $1,000 or less.

Rod Abbamonte Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute

September 15th, 2016

Test your idea with people you trust and believe will give your and honest feed back. Test also with people that you believe your idea is focus on it.

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

September 14th, 2016

Check out Steve Blank's free Udemy course How to Build a Startup 

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

February 17th, 2017

Good MVPs are not always stripped-down versions of your final product. Often they are manual versions of your final application. For example: perhaps you are offering some kind of online financial analysis. Your MVP might be a spreadsheet or paper-and-pencil version of that analysis that you offer over the phone.

I like the model idae --> value proposition --> business model. The purpose of the MVP is to test (and possibly improve) your value proposition, not test the feasibility of your technical solution.

Lean startup, the business model canvas, MVPs and other startup concepts are getting a lot of attention. They work best when the right tool is used in the right way for the right purpose.

JC Preston I help people learn about themselves and their biz

February 17th, 2017

You're completely right, Manoj. Hoping that when you put idea A with idea B is going to yield a great idea C isn't necessarily the best choice of action.

My recommendation is do your homework on the market in a way where you actually talk to your potential clients. Find out what they need. Or, as I like to call it, idea extract.

Get so good at diving deep into their pains - and not just the ones they give you on the surface - but like what actually might give them a headache to deal with each day.

I think you'll find your answer there.

John II Entrepreneur - Technologist - Software Architect. The Code Wookie is focused on helping people get the most out of tech.

September 14th, 2016

I would recommend doing a concept test. For a concept test, you develop a product concept and a set of questions so that people can evaluate the concept. Ideally, the set of questions provide the ability to say what they like / don't like, choose between alternatives (like a rank order list), and open ended questions to gather ideas. You can actually do this through Survey Monkey and other survey tools, where you can also send the survey to a group of participants based on demographics.

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

September 14th, 2016

Paying customers would constitute good evidence. Sent from my iPhone

Michael Meinberg Teacher (iOS Development) at The Mobile Makers Academy (A Hack Reactor School)

September 14th, 2016

Kickstarter. Indiegogo.

Manoj Sahoo Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager at Freelancing (Self Employed)

September 21st, 2016

Thank you all for your valuable comments.

Firat Enderoglu Engineer of Art

September 22nd, 2016

For idea stage, I would recommend reading "The Mom Test" , it's a great book that would help you how to properly validate the need for your idea, not necessarily your idea, but the need for it. 

Also, 'The Spring' by Jake Knapp. That book is an excellent resource for anyone. It shows how easy and simple it is to validate any idea at any time during it's execution.