Validating a Startup Idea

Continuing with yesterday’s post Make a List of Startup Ideas, the next logical step is taking an idea that resonates and validating it in the market. The key is validating it with a potential customer, not someone who’s opinion you value. Of course, this is hard because the default human instinct is to go to the most successful entrepreneur or person you know and ask them their thoughts. Most friends and acquaintances want to be supportive and will say it sounds like a good idea — fight going this route.

Here are a few ways to validate a startup idea:

  • Go ask 10 friends for referrals to people or companies that might be a good prospect
  • Search LinkedIn for 100 potential customers and send them InMail Messages (a higher response rate shows a higher need)
  • Cold call 100 people and pitch them on the idea
  • Put up a landing page and buy Google AdWords to drive leads to talk to potential prospects
  • Pick the top three potential partners for this new company and reach out to the appropriate people there to assess interest

Be resourceful. Figure out if there’s a real opportunity here. Work hard to validate the idea. Finally, remember that nothing happens until something is sold.

What else? What are some more ways to validate a startup idea?

2 thoughts on “Validating a Startup Idea

  1. Customer feedback in the early stages of developing your idea is crucial to validating the commercial feasibility of your business idea, and it can save you a lot of time and effort. Our advice to clients is to get as many points of validation as possible and crunch some top level numbers to see whether your idea stacks up commercially before you invest in developing a business plan.

  2. Another way to validate is to carry out your idea manually before developing the technology. As an off-hand example, lets hypothetically say you have an idea for a roommate finding platform. You can search yourself for people around a specific area looking for roommates. Become the liaison to connect them, charging them a nominal fee. If you can validate the need for this service enough, along with the ways above, you can start to develop the technology that will carry this task out automatically.

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