Is Idea Validation important to you?

Conor McCarthy
50 replies
I've been going down a rabbit hole recently around idea validation. In the past, when starting a business of project, I have done everything from blindly pursuing the idea until something worked (often hard) right through to doing a more formal testing of the idea (worth it but harder to be objective). I'm curious.…How do PH people do idea validation? If you have a great idea, what are your next steps? Edit: there have been some really fantastic thoughts and suggestions here! Starting with the end-user in mind is key, in an effort to understand their pains. I'm still curious as to how to ascertain market demand. Where do you go to see potential demand for an idea?

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Founder - Lance for Freelancers
Just the other day I came across this: https://www.producthunt.com/post... by @hvost
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@gilad_uziely Ooh thats really interesting, thanks
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🇫🇷🇺🇸👩🏼‍💻 Creator of Koupi.io
Personally, I solve my own problems. I have a 100% guarantee that there will always be a market of 1. Then I google if someone already did my idea, then I get depressed because there are a billion solutions. So I stopped validating before I start, worst case, it will be a learning experience, best case, it will work out.
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@caroline_chiari Thats really interesting, scratching your own itch! Whats an example of something you built to solve a problem you had?
Growth Marketing @ dashly.io
I am sure you know the Mom Test book - that's what our team always does before putting any effort into development or marketing
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@valeryfenskaya A brilliant read! Does your team have other steps on the road to validation?
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@valeryfenskaya I believe there is someone in here who might not have read it and for this reason alone it is worth repeating it. A great and very insightful book. Also, a quick read.
Co-founder 👉 MoneyMinx.com
In the past I tried the blind build, no validation, quick research, just start and see how it goes. That never worked for me. My current project (https://www.moneyminx.com) is solving a problem I have. I've had this problem for a long time and I solved it with an Excel sheet that I keep updated monthly. It's tedious, it's painful, I would rather do a million other things than update this sheet manually every month. For months I looked around for tools that solve the problem. I tried them all. None worked. I posted in endless forums with people that have the same problem. Asking how they solved the problem. Most said it was not properly solved yet or they are using Excel. Finally over a year from the idea inception I am now finally starting to build!
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@husseinyahfoufi This is brilliant and a great story behind the creation! Of the many creation stories Ive seen, these seem to be the most successful - I had a need, I couldnt find a solution, so I built one. Bravo!
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Head of Product Design at Product Hunt
Most of the time, if I have an idea, I'm going to try to put it out there as fast as possible before investing too much time building the actual product. I'll either talk about it on social media or set up a landing page to check if people are interested. If the idea generates interest, I'll start a conversation with potential users/customers to see what they actually need. It helps build a product that truly helps people.
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@syswarren Thats really interesting Julie> Who would you send your landing page to? Do you find people are polite and say "go for it" rather than give "real" feedback?
@heyitsOlivier on twitter
I look at the existing solutions to the problem, and see what people are complaining about in terms of that solution. Then I see how to solve those complaints :)
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@heyitsolivier Love that :)
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@heyitsOlivier on twitter
@heyitsOlivier on twitter
@conor_mccarthy Keep asking gold questions Conor. You really like sparking deep discussion don't you?
Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@heyitsolivier Haha thanks Olivier, yes I do! And its such a great community to ask questions of :) What have you learned to look out for in your questioning?
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@heyitsOlivier on twitter
@conor_mccarthy PH is for sure a great community. I recently joined and will ask a question soon :)
Visual Innovation Designer
Not really. From the looks of the world now, i reckon putting it out there for someone to try it. If it assists, great. It just takes one person to discover it, be amazed, rave and share about it then the ripple effect that everyone wants a piece of it. Then it becomes the hype for the time being. You'd then see value and try to make subtle iterations and updated features which could make some people happy or disappointed that they leave. But at least you can say you tried, it was good for the time being🙃
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@fiona_yl_lai Love this process Fiona, thanks for adding it here. Yes to getting it out there...ship!
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Some time ago, in a local Hackerspace, we started hosting Idea Squash sessions. Anybody with an idea can come to the session. Each person has one idea to pitch and all the other participants (usually coming from different backgrounds) comment on this idea. What are the strong points, what are some week points, what could be improved. Sometimes, people offer contacts to others who could help implementing that. I like this formula very much and that's how I often validate some of my craziest ideas.
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@doomhammer Ooh thats fascinating Piotr...thanks for sharing this! Love the process, seems really useful.
@conor_mccarthy if you are interested, we can host an online version one day.
Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@doomhammer This is a great idea!
@conor_mccarthy OK, we'll let you know once we do it :)
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Innovator / Thinker
Hi Conor, great question, I have a concept called DriveThruCam.com (nothing up). The app would send an alert to your phone when the local drive-thru is down to 4 cars or less (thats the patent-pending side of the app) ....but I need access to the cameras on the restaurant or put up my own cams. I've gotten positive feedback bc of the long drive-thru lines due to COVID but its hard to get in touch with the franchise owners. My second concept is called FastFoodCam.com, this app would allow you to watch your food being made in the kitchen of any restaurant bc in the age of COVID I don't trust a lot of these fast-food workers. But again, need restaurant buy-in for both of these and they would need to put cams up in the kitchen, smart restaurants would use this as a marketing tool to show transparency, like Whataburger or Chipotle, they pride themselves on cleanliness. These are a couple of concepts that I need validating. Neither site is up and I just thought of both of these a couple of days ago. (I hope this posting doesn't violate any terms, not promoting anything, just want feedback on my ideas.)
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@sharpguy1968 Thanks for sharing these ideas Richard! Love them both. I think Dominos started doing this., or something like it and it was really popular? How are you validating this with restaurant owners?
Innovator / Thinker
@conor_mccarthy Hi Conor, thanks for the feedback, Ive reached out to the franchise owner of 8 local McDonalds in my area and waiting to hear back. I would like to validate the idea with a handful of restaurants in my small town and go forward.
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Developer, Wagtap
I think it's a question of how much resources I need to sink it to it. If the scope of the project is wide and prospects of the ideal market situation is huge then yeah, I'll need to validate it. Otherwise, I think I'd try to get something out there ASAP.
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Be a Servant to your Users.
Build a community around the product or problem youre solving. Foster the community and have chats. Get people engaged and add relevant content. Skip cold sales by making your sales way warmer. Sales is a tough game but doesn't have to be impossibly dehumanized by building and hoping someone shows up to your landing page to capture their email.
Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@stephenvincent Love this "people first" approach Stephen. Have you done this yourself? How would you start to build a community around Idea Validation for example?
YC SUS grad 2018
I used to be obsessed with idea validation but after reading lean startup and disciplined entrepreneurship books, I shifted to problem/solution fit validation. Understanding the problems that customers or users have is way important step in the journey of your startup. 1. Understand your Market (TAM, SAM, and NM) 2. Create End users profile. 3. Find your first persona. 4. Validate they have the problem 5. Find 10 like them to make sure many users have the problem. 6. Build MVP and sell it to them. 7. Use their feedback to improve and build the product. (in this stage you should find product/market fit) Usually you need 1 enterprise customer to validate PMF, but for SMB and consumers you need a significant amount. 8. Raise money to scale. I hope this help.
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@youssif_maxzoom This IS super helpful Yusuf, thanks for detailing it here. What would you say is the process for bootstrappers so?
YC SUS grad 2018
@conor_mccarthy thanks man! The king of bootstrapping startup ideas is @noahkagan he has some very good content about that check out his YouTube Chanel. Keep testing and Good luck.
Host of the First 10 Podcast.
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Senior Business Manager
you should talk with the sales guys. We normally known what the customers want or can easily ask our customers about your idea. Give me a buzz a will happily help you +56992997018 (whatsapp)
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@marchant74 Thanks for the offer Alfredo!
Entrepreneur and video strategist
Here is my take - The lens I use is my own personal curiosity. I have a lot of ideas, but only a few that I dive in to really educate myself about the space/opportunity. If after doing some learning I am still curious, then I will create a "Practice" of sorts. I am a sports person so it's like going out and hitting 🏌️‍♀️ (I am not actually a golfer:) but you get the point. The practice includes a prototype (especially if there is a tech hurdle to confirm the idea is actually possible). Practice also includes pitching the concept to peers and potential customers. Does it feel right to talk about it? Are they interested? If the product makes it through this phase, then I quickly switch to growth. Can I get the product to gain traction? Sign early customers, build enough of the vision to have people try it? Are basic metrics trending up? If it passes this stage, then I circle back to education and learning to refine what I encountered the first time through this process. That should lead to more growth and so on... Hope this helps and makes sense. ping me if you want to see a graphic I created to share this concept with my team - Education>curiosity>practice>growth
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@fritzly Wow Fritz, this is super interesting. You have out a lot of thought in to this. Thanks for sharing them here. How do you get truthful statements from people when you talk about it at first? People will always try and be polite about your ideas, so I'm curious as to how you get real feedback? And yes, will ping you for the graphic :)
Entrepreneur and video strategist
@conor_mccarthy At my last company (www.brand.live) we used to say "let's punch them in the face if they say it is cool." We needed a real reaction that helps us identify their need. I think the answer is to interview/demo a range of people from those you know to those your are trying to sell. Their reaction can help but their follow up and initiative to use the product is far better proof. You can reach me at fritz.brumder(at)gmail and the graphic version is on the homepage of my passion project site: https://www.magic-middle.com/
Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@fritzly Love that idea :)) - and yes, such a great point. Follow up is the key here, well said.
Love to create
There is a saying, if you have an idea other people have that idea too. The same can be said that if you have a problem then other people are having that problem too. So if you have a solution for a problem other people will buy your solution...If you market it right. Sometimes a solution is already to market but they have not properly marketed their solution properly so there is still a gap to fill. I'm just rambling though
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It's important for you to list down the use cases of your product. Based on those use cases, reach out to the specific target audience, talk to them about your product, understand what are their pain points and improvise based on their feedback. This could be done for your initial set of beta users. Everyone out there has is facing some challenge which they hope can be fixed. To get to know those challenges, you have to identify them and the best way to do that is to validate it from the end user itself. This will give you a better idea on how to solve the specific pain points in a problem statement. Also, you mind find the USP for your product when you start validating. The feature which has the maximum likes is definitely going to be one adding most value to your product. Conclusion, YES! Validation plays a key role.
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@azharshams9 Love these thoughts Azhar, thanks for sharing! Start with the end-user in mind!
@conor_mccarthy Absolutely, you could also build a closed community for your first 1000 users who are there to provide feedback or add comments and get to be your loyal customers when some feature release is planned as well.
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Host of the First 10 Podcast.
@azharshams9 Thats a fab idea Azhar, and a great way to build a community of like-minded folks
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Healthcare Regulatory Officer
In the business of generic drug manufacturing, not being the innovator brand requires your products to be validated viz your manufacturing process, analytical process. But this can only be achieved with a better understanding of the target market's buying power that will inform choices and regulatory laws. Not following through will result in poor reception of product, not getting the product to the market due to failed regulatory complaince issues, and below par manufactured product. I hope this gives an insight to how valuable Idea Validation is key.
Founder | feral.ai | canopi.app
im going to say that 99% of the time the only way to validate is to get a customer to pay you.
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Maker of jsonapi.co | Developer
Idea validation is like you have a weapon and a target which you want to hit. Now you want to validate whether your weapon will hit the target or not. May be for that target may weapons already available in the market but there is always be a loop hole and you have to fill that loop hole for gaining the traction.
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