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Richard Pridham

Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs

I'm looking for feedback on ways to validate your business model and market need prior to MVP build. I have a concept that I believe is valid and for which there is an important need but I want to be sure before I invest in funding the start-up. 

The product platform being considered will be marketed to enterprise clients in the consumer products manufacturing sector. It also involves a consumer app for the whole thing to work. Adoption and usage of the app is the key to the whole thing. 

I am validating on 2 levels:

1) I am seeking direct feedback from companies in the target market to gauge their receptiveness to the idea and need for such a product. So far, the feedback is very positive. Most have expressed interest to be part of a beta program. This feedback will be very valuable in terms of informing product direction, feature set, market penetration strategy and value proposition development. My goal is to talk to about 15-20 companies in a few key sectors.

2) I also need to validate the consumer side of the model. I can talk to friends and people in my network but it's highly anecdotal. I need more data. I was thinking of having a research firm conduct a gen pop panel study (n=1000) to assess consumer proclivity to use the app and maybe get some suggestions. Is this a good idea? Some say it's dangerous as the study may indicate high interest but users don't adopt. We see this a lot in research: what people say they will do and what they actually do are two very different things. Is it worth investing (approx $6K) in this and taking the results with a grain of salt in the hope that there is some valuable insight to be gained. Are there other ways to validate consumer needs?