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Best Advice I've Read On Validating Ideas

This is a paragraph that I read in the book 'The Mom Test' written by Rob Fitzpatrick.

"You aren’t allowed to tell them what their problem is, and in return, they aren’t allowed to tell you what to build. They own the problem, you own the solution."

Now that you've read it, it seems obvious right?

Ask questions to understand the problems your users may be facing. But don't tell them this is the problem. Just listen and understand.

Then you do what you do best - create solutions to solve the problem.

What do you think of this?

  1. 3

    Great quote. In fact, the whole book is packed full of useful advice. The title is clickbaity, but the content is golden.

    Recommended to anyone thinking about new products, indie or not!

    1. 1

      Yeah, this book is a goldmine!

  2. 1

    Most people ignore the process and simply just into conclusion based on assumption.

    How can we advice more companies follow this?

    1. 1

      Honestly, you dont know you're doing it wrong unless you hear it from somewhere else.
      Best way is to keep learning and reading with an open mindset.

  3. 1

    What is the disadvantage of telling them - perhaps after getting all the info you need?

    Will it not be helpful to tell them what solution you are going to provide to make them ready in advance as they are future customers - may be some of them may wait for you instead of buying some other solution?

    1. 2

      When you tell someone what you're building, you essentially end up pitching your product idea. In such a situation, most people would just say "yeah of course I"ll use it" or something on those lines to not hurt you.

      Nobody wants to be rude by saying no, it doesn't work for me.

      Rather than that, when you validate ideas, just stick to validating them.
      Sales should happen separately.
      In case you do want to tell them your solution, go ahead but take it with zero emotions. Even if they say "hell yes I will buy it", don't take that compliment as validation. Only if they actually use your product can you say it's validated, up until then it's all fluff.

      Read the book if you can, the author goes in length to explain this.

      1. 1

        Excellent explanation. Thanks. I just followed you.

    2. 1

      I hear what you're saying and I thought this way too. I had this great idea once about a solution that I assumed everyone had the problem my solution would remedy. I was so obsessed bout the solution that when I spoke to people and allowed them to critic my solution, I realised I was closing myself off and biased towards other possibilities. But when you start with the problem first, you open your mind up to those possibilities, including the fact that your best solutions may need rethinking.

      1. 2

        Thanks for the reply. It is very helpful.

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