There are a few ways in which you can go about validating an idea, whether it be for an app or for any type of business. I’ll give you my favourite ways of going about this but I suggest you check the box for all three and do in this order:
1. Perform Market Research
Probably the most boring part of validating an idea but none the less it will yield the most important details. Contextually speaking, you are analysing the industry with which your app or business will be launched and getting together key analytics along with market specific info, including:
- The size of your market
- Key competitor information – If you can get their marketing info this will be invaluable later down the line
- Gaps & Opportunities – A SWOT would be great
The above will be the basis of everything you do moving forward, from the two points below to creating projects, pitch decks for finding investors and marketing plans.
2. Fill out a Lean Canvas
For those that don’t know, a Lean Canvas is a quick but powerful alternative to a business plan. Instead of writing a 40 page document, you fill out only the most important data.
Whenever I have filled one of these out, I notice that the further down the process I go, the more I chip and change on aspects like my marketing channels or key metric and so on. However the first time you fill it out, you will get invaluable insights into validating an idea.
At this stage is most important that you nail down the first three:
- The Problem – you need to be solving a problem that is prevalent in the industry you want to launch. This is how you get people to use your service/app.
- The Solution – once you have highlighted the problem, you then outline how your app or service solves said problem.
- Unique Selling Point (USP) aka UVP – this is all about what makes you stand out among possible competitors and what makes your product unique
The market research you have preformed should give the way to answering this information. If you have positive answers to the above then you know you are onto a winning idea and are 90% to validating an idea. Next step is to test it.
3. Create a Customer Profile and Talk to Potential Customers
I have joined these two together because I don’t believe you can talk to potential customers if you don’t know the user profile.
There are someout there you can use to profile your customer but in essence, you want to generalise on attributes you believe will be prevalent among the majority of your consumer base. Ideas for this are:
- Gender (could easily be both)
- Tech savvy or not
- Likes and dislikes
- Related product use
You can really go on and on.
Once you know the profile of the customer you are trying to attract, go out and introduce your idea to a few and listen to what they have to say. Its always best to talk to people you trust but sometimes you just have to go out into the greater public and risk it.
Its not just about whether they love the product, its also about the ideas they give you. When you are designing a product for them and they tell you a potential flaw, be gracious and truly consider the feedback. Remember you’re designing something for them not yourself.
Hope that helps!
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