Tips On Validating Your Startup Idea

What an idea sirji!

It takes someone else to feel and exclaim an idea than the one who ideated it. After you have your Eureka moments leading to a startup business idea which you feel is great to work on and you are inspired to kick start, hang on! Stop and breathe.

Here are some facts about “what kills a startup?”

A research was done by a reputed global marketer firm using CB insight analysis for finding 20 reasons of startup failure. “No market Need(42%)” was found as the most common reason followed by “Running out of cash(29%)” and “Not the right team(23%)” among the 20. The good news is that the major reason for failure “whether the market needs the product or service or not” could be gauged or predetermined to some extent.

So how can we check if our startup idea is not falling in the major reasons of leading to failure – the answer lies in validating where your head and heart is driving you.

In a broader sense, validating could be finding answers to the questions related to what you’re building. For example, clarity on what problem one is solving. Is there anyone solving it already? Who are the competitors and how are you going to differentiate? What is the market size and if the market is overcrowded. So finding clear answers would lead you to initiate your validation steps. Doing a SWOT analysis could be another way to aid the validating process as you can understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that your idea has and you will gain a better understanding of the chances of success or failure.

But there is “outside the building work” to be done as well.  It could be reaching out to a specific set of a target audience in search of an early set of consumers for your MVP. Feedback from your family and friends could be helpful too but should not be the exclusive reason to confirm your decision to launch. Facebook groups or other online communities you are in and your twitter followers could be a handy playground to seek validation. Is there acceptance of your product or service and what are the reviews and feedback based on customer purchase or after using the product or service?  It’s like creating a first feedback group for your product or service.

Steve Blank advocates on leaving the office to validate, and his customer development model would be a good tool to tune your thought process when you are looking for product market fit. It uses a series of checklists to ensure that you walk through the customer discovery and validation steps. So give some time to it, it may be worth a read.

Customer Development Model

Customer Development Model

To quote an example, Let us look at how, an online on-demand cleaning service wen through a process for validating what they wanted to build. Alex Brola, co-founder, and president says,

“We actually validated [the idea] without having any cleaners to do the cleanings. We threw up a site, a booking form, a phone number, and ran some [pay-per-click] ads through Google and Bing, and saw what the conversion rate would be had we actually had cleaners.”

An apt validation as per your product and market may not guarantee you a scalable business but getting those hard statistics makes the path easy to plan further.

Also Read: Boostrapping Demystified

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