Ideas and Validation July 6, 2020

How do you known when an idea is validated?

Stefano @Conve

Hello indiehackers,
I'm working on a side project.
I created a landing page and started publishing my page on some directories, getting a small number of accesses to my page (about 160), about 10% of the customers left their email.
My question is, when do I know for sure that I have a idea that people are interested in? How do I understand when the time has come to work on the MVP?

P.S. my question is just curiosity. As a software developer I must admit that I started developing the MVP before validation: /

  1. 6

    The old question. And a good one, to that.

    If they pay, you'll have your validation.
    What you could do, to lower the risk even further, is to address people 1-on-1 and ask to get a moment from them. Talk with them (skype?) and explain what your product will do and how it will provide value to them.

    If you already have an idea of your pricing, ask them to pay a term (quarter, year?) upfront and that they'll have early access, support from you and some other benefits that you can live up too and make them appreciate it. If they pay it, you know you'll have your confirmation.

    NB: one paying customer isn't rock solid, but its waaay ahead of no one paying for it.

    Try to see if you can get multiple people to say yes to this.

    1. 4

      +1 to this. The best form of validation is a paying customer. The next best form of validation is 2 of them. And so on. That first customer is like gold though. You should literally spend at least 30-60 mins interviewing your first customers to understand the psychology of the decision they made in purchasing your product or service.

    2. 2

      Thank you.
      Really clear answer.

    3. 2

      THIS. I just want to emphasize how important getting a paid customer is. Also, "i will pay" != "i paid". A lot of potential clients will tell you that they would use it and would buy it, but they won't. Pre-orders are also fantastic for validating the idea.

  2. 4

    If you know for sure it's too late to work on an MVP. You never know for sure untill you ask your customers for their credit card. Even then, you won't know if you can build a cost effective channel to acquire customers. IMO a landing page is good to lower to risk but you'll never know for sure. At some point it will become very expensive to reduce more risk. At this point it might be better just to start building.

    1. 1

      Thanks, I appreciate the advice.

  3. 2

    @natagon made a good point. Adding to that, see if you have enough search volume for the relevant keywords. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest to know the search volume. You can also check other online forums to see if people are looking for solutions for the problem you are solving. Try to get in touch with potential customers and ask if they will be willing to pay for your solution. Search engines & those forums will act as distribution channels to your product and you will worry less about traffic and conversion.

    1. 1

      Thanks Vicke4.
      The tools advice is a nice one.

  4. 2

    When people pay for your product, is the real validation for me. I love buffer trick, they put pricing page on landing page, and tracked how many sign up come from pricing page. It show if people interested to pay the product.

    1. 1

      Thanks natagon, nice idea.

  5. 1

    Hard to say as there is not enough information. What are your goals? Generate an audience or to be paid for your service?

    1. 1

      My goal is to be paid, but the question is specifically generic.
      I want to know the theory behind your decisions.

      1. 2

        Ok, great. If you create a valuable content than start to ask for money right away, if people ready to pay it means your idea having a good sign to be validated successfully. If you are going to monetize through ads or referrals etc. than you have to be sure that your audience and traffic is growing very well. check how much you need to spend to get users vs potential revenue. To summarize: for me the idea is validated when you know exactly how much is your CAC from different channels and revenue per user. Otherwise in can be like this: customers pay but you spend more. Even despite the fact you get money you are still in loss.