In startup nomenclature, the term validation means assessment of your startup idea, by various means and factors like validating demand, pain point etc that lets you decide whether you should move forward with this idea or drop it.
The next important question is why startup validation is important? It is important because you will be investing your time and money into it. A startup is just another synonym for risk and that for most, a decision that can break or make your life. It affects everyone close to you. If such is the case, wouldn’t you want to mitigate this risk as much as possible? I trust you would. Starting is tough but starting right should not be overshadowed by enthusiasm.
One simple example of startup validation can be found in the very famous business statement: there is a gap in the market but is there a market in the gap? You could come up with a unique product and think of enjoying first-mover’s advantage but in this excitement do not forget to check if at this point of time or in the future, is there any demand for such a product.
Now, when you understand what startup validation is and why it is important, let’s go through ways you can validate your startup and that too without spending a buck or just a few dollars if needed.
Check if it is a problem worth solving
There could be n number of ideas that are not letting you sleep. Suppose an idea around developing an app around meditation industry is not leaving your mind. You see a huge potential in developing one, seeing the currents trends. Now, take a step back and try to see the problem from a distance. For instance, you shall study how big is the market, who all will be your competitors and what progress have they made. Have they secured enough funding at regular intervals of time and if not then find out why not? Either the market was not ready to accept what they offered or they lacked in execution. If they lacked in execution you can play on that. Find a research report, study their funding pattern at CrunchBase or their profile on AngelList, Glassdoor or LinkedIn. Your aim is to mitigate the risk of your startup failure and if it seems like falling into that category, you drop that idea and move on to the next.
Here are the top 20 reasons why your startup could fail.
You are planning to play big but the question is exactly how big?
When I ask you this question, you should have an answer to this question. You can not just say “I don’t know exactly how much” If you do not then do your research and find the answer. Your whole life and career depend on this change. Suppose after crunching the number you come at a valuation of 10 million in 2 years then an angel round will do. If you are looking at a valuation of 100 or 200 million then it is VC backable. The question is how big you can make it and you should have an exact answer for this with a probable deadline.
Ask yourself if it is a priority problem that could be solved. If it is, you will be rich sooner. If it is not you can switch to another idea.
Now, when you are done studying the idea by yourself, it is time to get it validated by real people.
Join the local communities and meetups with like-minded people and spark a conversation with them on your idea. Tell them what you plan to offer, what problem you are solving and get a better insight.
Fake door testing
A fake door could be the landing page for your would-be-website or it could be Facebook or Instagram ad. Your aim is to find out how many people are interested in your offerings and that you can study with ad analytics and sign-ups. You get to know their demographics or which geography brought you the maximum clicks.
A concierge MVP is that version of your offering where work where all the backend work is manually done by humans. Your meditation app mentoring can be done on a call or on google hangout whenever a customer calls for it on your phone number. This way you can study the problem and your offerings even before developing an app.
I hope after reading this you got a slight idea about what is startup validation is and why it is so important for you to validate your startup idea. Let us know some more and unique ways by which you have validated an idea and what did you learn from it. Over to you.
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