One of the more common requests I receive from entrepreneurs is for feedback on an idea. Idea-stage entrepreneurs are always looking for external validation of their idea, and it’s often easier to talk to other entrepreneurs as opposed to finding potential prospects. My response right now is that I’m happy to help answer questions once they have 10 paying customers as my focus is on helping entrepreneurs get from 10 to 100 paying customers and not from 0 to 10. Yes, getting from 0 to 10 is where most entrepreneurs fail, but it’s also a good way to filter down to those that are making early progress.
Here are a few recommendations for entrepreneurs wanting feedback on an idea:
- Follow the Customer Development methodology and get out of the building
- Create a Business Model Canvas
- Build a Simplified One Page Strategic Plan
- Talk to 100 potential prospects and ensure there’s an opportunity in the market
- Ask 10 friends for 10 introductions to people that could be customers of the idea
The takeaway is that entrepreneurs need to talk to potential customers of their product and not other entrepreneurs. Customer Development is hard work and the value has been well documented. Entrepreneurs that want feedback on an idea need to talk to prospects.
What else? What are some other ways to help entrepreneurs that want feedback on an idea?