Before I spent a dime on building anything, I assessed my startup idea’s feasibility and viability. I had to learn how to do it first. To see whether I should forge ahead with confidence, pivot, or go back to the drawing board altogether. This should always be the first step for every Founder considering pursuing an idea, and it’s not an easy one.
As a Founder, chances are you’ve experienced the “AHA” moment. That exhilarate feeling when you suddenly strike upon an idea that has you yield “F*#$%” and run to tell someone.
Please don’t do it. Please keep it to yourself for a while, study, research, study again, and only then share it. No one will steal your idea, but you also don’t need to validate your idea before working on it a bit.
Trust me, you’ll find more people to help you give it up to your idea then people willing to help you build it.
Nine out of ten times, the “AHA” moment is immediately followed by an overwhelming urge to jump straight into the building process. Because you know in your heart of hearts how incredibly fantastic your idea is. You’re hellbent on getting it into the wild as fast as humanly possible so everyone else can see how awesome it is, too.
Before you know it, you find yourself months later having spent many sleepless nights and thousands of dollars building a product that nobody really wants.
Putting the Horse BEFORE The Cart
For too many Founders, their idea ultimately winds up dying on the vine. Simply because they didn’t take the time to pause, take a step back, and look at the key indicators that tell them whether or not that specific version of their idea is worth doing, or if any understanding of their vision is worth doing for that matter. It’s the startup equivalent of putting the cart before the horse. We’re going to do it the other way around.
That’s where idea validation comes in.
Like most engineering companies that devote tons of cycles to mapping out every possible risk, alternatives, technical specifications, and a ton of research. You’ll work to build the right information, evidence, and feedback you need to walk away with the best possible understanding of how to proceed (or not proceed) with your idea.
But unlike rocket science, I’m going to break this up into super digestible steps that you can tackle one at a time and actually get done:
STEP 1 - Create a research plan
Creating a diligent research plan will help you identify and understand your tackling problem and any solutions that may already exist in your market.
STEP 2 - Get expert validation
Connecting with experienced, relevant leaders in your industry will help bring clarity and insight into your project’s feasibility. After all, these are the folks who have been there and done it before.
STEP 3 - Engage in customer discovery
You have to directly engage in constructive conversations with your ideal customers to comprehend better the pain you’re willing to solve. Only then how your solution fits into your market and proves or disproves any assumptions about your customers.
STEP 4 - Craft your elevator pitch
I’ll cover the best ways to boil down your idea’s most significant value propositions. And show you how to mold them into a succinct elevator pitch covering all the critical pieces of information potential investors look for.
Proper idea validation is all about putting in the necessary legwork at the beginning to ultimately save you a ton of time, effort, and money in the long run. Once you’ve crossed this milestone, you’ll have checked off a few critical goals along the way.
- Understand who’s operating in your market and how to evaluate them properly.
- Refine your idea based on feedback from industry experts and customers.
- Articulate your idea in a way that sparks interest.
Let’s do this! See you next week.