How to validate a product idea

“Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is everything.”

If you interact with VCs or people who have built product businesses,

They will confirm this.

Of course, like everything that is catchy, this is only partially true.

Biggest problem lies in how people vet and validate their idea.

Coming up with ideas could be easy and fun

But validating and vetting is hard work and also takes time.

If you are an entrepreneur or even someone driving a new product initiative in a larger company – a product manager,

You are likely to fall in love with your idea.

It will feel like everyone in the world will want your product.

Most of this comes from playing it out in your head.

If you don’t want to shut down your idea or #startup,

And blame “stupid customers” in the future,

Here are some simple things to do: (SIMPLE is NOT = EASY)

Define your audience and have clearly defined target segments

Go out and interact with these potential customers

Seek to refine your understanding of their needs

Ideally define an ICP – Ideal Customer Profile

A narrow segment that you will focus on in the early days

In addition to having the problem or need

Early adopters should also be DESPERATE for a solution

– need is urgent and important

– whatever is available does not work well for them or at all

– have the time and budget to try your solution

– existing solutions may not work for them because of cost, complexity, fitment or anything else

If your solution is indeed a better fit then such customers will be willing to try out your solution.

Even if you are a startup or a new product,

This is easier said than done.

Many customers will say NO.

And those who don’t meet your criteria

You should be willing to say NO

Your list of potential early adopters could be short

But the more it is validated and refined

Greater your chances of converting to a pilot or paid trial

If they have the money – they may also co-develop

Most of this will work for B2B targeting mid to large customer.