One of the first failures of startups is not to validate enough their idea. In this article, we are going to guide through steps you can undertake to validate your idea. Say you have recently discovered the problems your idea could solve and build some hypothesis and assumptions that could be the truth. This is the step where entrepreneurs believe their assumptions are truth without properly validating or testing their competitor’s products.
Before starting to build a minimum viable product (MVP), try to see if the idea you are trying to build is something your potential costumers need. To start this process get real-life feedback from target customer.
Phase 1: Know your customer
Define your target customer
Who is going to buy your product? Try to have a clear description of who they are, where they live, age and interests and hobbies. This is not enough but will get you started and refine as you start defining segments within your target group.
Define your customers’ problems
After defining your customer is time to define their pain-points, behaviours
To build an accurate customer experience you need to create assumptive maps from the customer’s viewpoint and validate those makes with your customers. One way to use tools such as persona card, empathy map or value proposition canvas.
Develop customer journeys to organize all the information regarding your customer and to define the steps you are going to do more research more regarding your target.
Phase 2. Plan customer interviews
Once you know your costumers and their pain points, you want to know more about whether your assumptions are correct or if there is anything that can be improved. Talking to your customer is a planned process that helps you establish if the problem exists at all and if so, how, why, when and where it exists and how big it is. There are several aspects you want to make sure you measure during the interviews:
How your customers rank specific problems and what is their biggest problem/pain point/ frustration?
How they are currently solving their problem?
Are those solutions working and giving the expected results?
What are people paying for the current solutions?
It is important to go as deep as possible with the questions and not only grasp part of the problems. You might want to read “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick about how to talk to customers and learn If your business is a good idea when everybody is lying to you.
Phase 3.Analysis of the results and conclusions
The last part of the process is to capture all the results from your interviews and reformulate your hypothesis and repeat this process as long as it’s necessary to generate additional insights and create a better level of confidence around the assumptions you made and make sure your problem is worth solving in the first place.
Finally, this process is not a closed one, it does not mean that if you validated your idea the job is finished. If you want your startup to succeed you will have to go through this process several times during the lifetime of your startup.
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