Business Development · Entrepreneurship

What is the most reliable way to test out your product idea before actually building it?

Nikhil Bangad Aspiring Entrepreneur in the IoT Space, with an innovative product in the making

Last updated on October 12th, 2017

We have been working in the IoT space, developing a product to make day to day lives easy across different setting. We are currently building an MVP that we plan test out with early adopters and iterate from there, but that will be a couple of months down the line. Is there a reliable way to test out the hypothesis in advance?

Logan Herzog Facebook/Instagram Lead Gen For Startups

October 14th, 2017

I would use facebook as a market research tool. People think facebook ads as just a marketing platform, but it's really just a way to reach specific groups effectively.


If you have a few hundred dollars, I would run a small fb ad campaign with the goal simply being reach. Create an audience that is specific, but not too broad (I like to keep my audiences larger than 500k in early stages). The goal of the campaign should be set to Reach (number of people who see the ad).


Run a few different ads with various value propositions in the headline. Then send any traffic to a simple landing page with a brief explanation of the product, and then ask them to "join the wait list."


The goal here is not to grow a wait list. You are trying to do the following:

1. Test which value proposition generates the most interest

2. Establish baseline cost-per-metrics for top funnel engagement. CPM, CPC, and CTR help you determine how responsive these groups will be, how competitive the audience is, and what audience is ideal.


It only takes a few hundred bucks to get an initial feel for a market and their interests. Good luck!

Jessica Milan Entrepreneur focused on IOT

October 15th, 2017

I'm tackling a similar issue and considering this approach:

1) Identify target customers.

2) Reach out and ask if they would be willing to participate in a survey to inform the development of a product that we want to benefit them.

3) Formulate survey to validate specific assumptions like needs, mvp success criteria, budget, buying process, etc.

4) At the end, ask if they are willing to participate in follow up interviews.


I'm on step 1 right now. :) Would love any feedback on this process!

Diego Cabrera Cofounder and COO, Entrepreneur, Industrial Engineer, Hiker.

Last updated on October 14th, 2017

Create some content that is related to the product. Use blogging, images and videos to attract people to the concept you are developing. This will help you attract the early adopters because they value the information that surrounds the idea behind the product.


Let people subscribe to your newsletter and follow you in other social media platforms. Start running polls with the people that you have managed to attract in your platforms.


Get some feedback from the potential customers and try to connect what they said with tangible solutions and improvements. I use some sort of tree diagram to solve this. I write down the feedback, then I start writing down possible solutions for everything they said. Later on I connect the insights I've identified through feedback and analyze the solutions I've written to discard the ones that are not logical or don't apply in order to solve the problems I've identified through insights.


Try to get endorsements from your customers, every customer has a circle of influence so achieving endorsements from early adopters can help you reach the early majority faster.


I suggest you to test your ideas by creating beta versions of your product. It gives you a better understanding of the pros and cons. I have found beta testing a more accurate tool when I want to validate an idea or product.

Joanna Beer Cofounder, Social Media

October 12th, 2017

Conduct a series of in-depth customer interviews to uncover customer pains and gains. Have a look at the following articles for more details:


For interviews:

https://www.generationfocus.com/single-post/2017/09/27/How-to-Understand-Your-Customers-Pains-and-Gains


MVP:

https://www.generationfocus.com/single-post/2017/08/15/The-Importance-of-Finding-Your-Companys-MVP

Michelle Yagelski

October 16th, 2017

Look into MIT's systematic approach to entrepreneurship & the book Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup by MIT Professor Bill Aulet. Basically, you can run through every part of the startup in a simulated way without spending a ton of time, money, and resources to find out if and how you should move forward on it.

Tejinder Jassal Cofounder and Chief Technologist

October 13th, 2017

You need to do rigorous testing on the desk first! There are enough simulation tools available to help test the concept. Prototype and test before going to the next stage.

Rajesh Nerlikar Product exec from Opower (IPO), HelloWallet (acquired) and Hitchsters.com (acquired)

October 18th, 2017

I've been thinking about this myself for a couple ideas I'm working on. I think the best way is to talk to prospective users and gauge excitement. In particular see if they're telling other people about the product. Then you know you're on to something. If they're not, get ready for expensive marketing campaigns.


The fact that you have a concrete concept (wireframes?) is good. But don't forget about discovery/adoption. How will someone find out about your product? What makes it better than their current solution? What's the first time experience like? I've written a couple of blog posts about this (I'm a big Jobs to Be Done / Switch method fan):


https://theproductcoach.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/how-jobs-to-be-done-can-help-you-get-more-users-to-switch-to-your-product-or-service/


https://theproductcoach.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/you-only-get-one-chance-to-make-a-first-impression-3-tips-for-a-great-first-time-user-experience/


Hope that helps!

Nikhil Bangad Aspiring Entrepreneur in the IoT Space, with an innovative product in the making

Last updated on October 14th, 2017

Such fantastic responses from you all. Highly appreciate it.

Definitely gives me a direction to work in.


Thank You once again!

kelvin maina CEO @beatske

October 16th, 2017

comment from other people might vary and actually are dipressing to listen to especially to people who are not so into what your talking about but its the best move talk to people but dont expose to people

the feed you get back shows you how far your product will recieve in use

for example

"What if i gave you a toothbrush that never requires toothpaste and will last for ever and you can only dump it if you get bored of it or you think its too old??? ", you might ask people and the feed you get you'll know whether to create the item or not ,

kelvin 18,KENYA

Shyam charan Pathapati Founder and CEO @ becoming an entrepreneur !

October 13th, 2017

In my research so far I gotta know that, firstly, we need to sort out into two categories - #needs #gaps

Focus on :

Are we meeting the customers requirement ?

Are they(customers) looking for something even more comfortable?

How could we differentiate us from others?

Trustworthy?

Easy go, user friendly ?

Value Proposition.

Quality.

Most importantly interviewing them personally.

I'd like to have a conversation on this and get to know your strategies too as well!