Ideas and Validation September 26, 2020

Any resources on coming up with ideas / validating them?

Aman Chaudhary @amanfromsolan

This might be a noob question but I couldn't find any handy resources on how to come up with ideas and then validate them.

Personally, for ideas, I've previously tried James Altucher's "Write 10 ideas everyday".

For validation, I'm planning to build one pagers with a waitlists to gauge interest.

Are there any techniques you subscribe to or have found helpful in the past?

  1. 5

    I found talking to people and using questions from "The Mom Test" book to work well for me.

    1. 1

      I've recently heard of The Mom Test book. I'll definitely check it out.

      Thanks, Darko!

  2. 4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrOuiaHL6SI&t=1776s

    This chronically under-viewed webinar by DemandCurve is a great resource, very detailed and actionable! Hope it helps :)

    1. 1

      thanks for sharing

    2. 1

      Oh, this looks interesting. I'll check it out.

  3. 4

    I wrote an article about my experiences validating and ideating GrowthMentor.
    https://www.growthmentor.com/advice/startups/how-to-validate-startup-idea/

    • Big fan of the simple one pager with waitlist method.
    1. 1

      just read your post, very interesting and insightful, thanks for sharing

    2. 1

      Could you elaborate a bit on the one pagers please?

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        Sure. The one pager idea involves doing some preliminary designing and defining what your app would do. Then I build a landing page and explain my value preposition and if anyone's interested, they can sign up for the waitlist.

        This way, you don't end up building products that no one want. You literally only start building once you've enough interested people.

        Plus you can try a lot of different ideas.

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          That sounds great. Actually I was planning to do something like that with something I am building now. And how do you get traffic on this page?

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            Essentially getting traffic on to your landing page won't be any different than getting it on when your MVP is built, therefore what you can do before building an MVP is actually test your marketing channels.

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    A good product idea would have a problem that it is solving. The best way would be to initiate a conversation around that idea, be it twitter or any social media.

    If you get a good response, create a landing page with a beta invite form, and do user interviews with them.

    Shameless Plug: I built Preferral for this same reason

    1. 1

      sounds very interesting and i checked you site but I don't really get what it does.

      1. 3

        Will improve my copywriting skills, I guess 😅

        Preferral is a simple API that you can use to implement an invite list form to your product.
        This also has a referral system inbuilt, so users would be incentivized to refer your product to more people.

        You would require some coding skills to implement this, but you get a dashboard to manage submissions.

    2. 1

      That's a pretty cool way to test things out. I'm assuming you'd need a certain numbers of active followers to try it though.

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        I would say active followers would help but just creating a landing page with a form and sharing it on sites like Producthunt, Indiehacker, Makerlog, and Reddit would also help.

        Being a beta user also gives them a feeling of exclusivity and you get users who are really interested in your product to interview with.

  5. 2

    While the idea of landing pages is sane, you won't have resources to send enough traffic to many. Well, unless you are ready to spend some money.

    It's better to do some kind of research first (market size, competitors, pricing, customer acquisitions, ...).

    1. 1

      Based on my experiences, the other issue with landing pages is that 1) people don't read (I do not read either) 2) if they do they might not internalize what they are reading. Very few landing pages are capable of truly conveying the concept with visual storytelling alone. Kickstarter comes to mind as a place with some decent examples; but generally the experience is "blah" and "join my mailing list".

      If you do not have something concrete to show or do not spend a ton of time in perfecting the landing page, then it will probably not convey the idea very well, and the results are not going to be representative.

      Personally my most effective strategy has been to build fast & small, then release that output to see if it sticks.

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        Yes, that's true as well.

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      Makes sense. I too was finding it a little time consuming, so this is a super helpful tip for me.

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      That's so cool, Gene. I'll give it a listen 🎧

      1. 1

        cool, let me know what you think :)

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    Take a community you care about and / or in a domain you're knowledgeable. It can be UX designers, B2B SAAS salespeople, app development agencies founders, etc.

    Hang out with them actively. Might be in slack channels, facebook groups, masterminds or IRL events.
    Spend dozens of hours engaging with them and writing down any insights they might have about their processes, tools, struggles or challenges. Don't over think it, just put everything down.

    Eventually, you'll find patterns that might result in business opportunities. At this point you'll also have information on who has the problem, how they are trying to solve it and with what words are they describing it.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the recommendation, will check it out!

  7. 2

    I recently launched Product Names to help with ideas 💡

    1. 1

      Thanks Stephen. Looks interesting – I'll check it out

  8. 2

    I have an in progress project here: https://startup-ideas.netlify.app/.
    The idea is to evaluate potential start-ups based on their prospected value, considering factors as market, cost and ease of adoption.

    1. 2

      Whoa, that's super cool. I like all the additional numbers you're providing and basing the ideas in data.

      Will defo' refer it.

  9. 2

    I think that are really helpful the Porter's Five Forces analysis and the swat analysis for both you could find more info on https://www.investopedia.com/

    1. 1

      Thanks Paolo, I'll make sure to check it out

  10. 1

    Create Google Forms survey based on the learnings from "The Mom test" book.

  11. 1

    I run a problem validation platform needgap where people post their problems for startups to solve. Perhaps you might find something which resonates with you.

    There are several products being created now for some of those need gaps.

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    You can spin up a landing page, run some ads, and see if you get enough attention to move forward.
    I built a site to facilitate this: https://iwanttobuildthis.com/

  13. 1

    Personally , my way to validate ideas is through the Fake Door Test/Smoke Test.

    "Without developing anything just yet, you communicate to visitors that the thing exists and ask them to act on it. If they do, you know they want it, and it’s time for you to start working on developing it."

    We validated many ideas using these methods, which I believe it's cost and time efficient.
    If you combine this with user interviews, you are ready to launch!

    We are building a tool that automates every step of this validation process, from finding you audience to optimizing your landing page to launching highly performing facebook ads (to drive traffic to your landing page) .

    You can find it here: https://growthlyapp.com/

    Would love to walk you through this method and hear about your experience -

  14. 1

    You could read this legendary essay from Paul Graham: http://www.paulgraham.com/startupideas.html

    You could also check it out the YCombinator startup library: https://www.ycombinator.com/library?categories=Startup Ideas

    1. 1

      Oh I didn't know YCombinator had a startup library. Thanks for sharing these, Jérémy. I'll have a look.

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