Validate Your Startup Idea in 5 Minutes or Less
“Got a startup idea? Great. Now all you need to do is to figure out if it’s worth investing untold hours and years of stress to make it a reality. … You could turn to Kickstarter … You could build a minimum viable product (MVP) … But maybe there is a simpler initial test you should do to see if your idea merits even this level of effort.
Find Yourself a Napkin and a Pen
The suggestion comes from Justin Jackson … He builds his idea upon the commonly accepted startup wisdom that a genuine passion for and connection to the space you propose to enter is generally a prerequisite for success. … how can you know if both your grasp of the niche and your depth of both knowledge and connections is sufficient to really have a chance of success? Jackson suggests you find yourself a pen and paper …
‘Write out the names of five people who need your product. Just five people,’ he suggests. … ‘this is an effective test because it makes it real. If you built this thing, who would buy it? Can’t think of five people? That’s a red flag. Are you targeting a product at a group of people you don’t yet have a connection with?’ …
‘At the beginning, when you’re deciding what to build, knowing a few potential customers by name proves something. It shows that you’re involved in their community; that you’ve been listening to their problems. When you can name your first customers, the people you know need a solution, you can build your product with confidence,’ he writes.
If you can’t name a handful of living, breathing people (even if you only know them online, not in the flesh) that want this thing, it’s unlikely you understand the market well enough. Those who can’t cross this first hurdle may want to invest more time in research and relationship building before they actually start building their businesses.”