How do you validate a business idea?

Validating a business idea is hard and one of the most common queries indie hackers have.

👉 How do you go about validating ideas?
👉 And do you have any useful resources?
👉 What else would you add to this list?

(To make this post ever so useful for everyone, we'll update the above bullet point list as people add in their ideas)

  1. 2

    I did by finding my core audience in facebook groups, then posting a poll (asked moderators first).

  2. 2

    YC's Kevin Hale has a good lecture about how to evaluate a startup idea, which is highly related to validating the idea. This question is a frequent one on IH and I mentioned in the past that I created a helpful tool (below) that gives you a score for your idea (you need to be honest with yourself and compare between your score and your co-founder's if relevant). I'm posting it again because it was super helpful for many entrepreneurs who already evaluated their idea: https://www.polidoesntcare.com/blog/the-startup-idea-evaluation-meter.

  3. 2

    With Moon I validated the idea by building a "minimum loveable product" and released it as a beta as quickly as I could. To sum it up, the process is:
    0. Confirm there is a viable market for your idea. (I found multiple threads on IH asking if there was an IH mobile client, and heard @csallen mention more than once on the podcast that people want an IH mobile app.)

    1. Build the smallest version of your product that still provides some value. (I built an iOS app that can only read and filter posts but it does it faster and smoother than the mobile web version)
    2. Get it into the hands of your target market. (I posted it on IH and Twitter)
    3. Collect feedback and iterate until you have product-market fit. (In one month I've collected 50+ feature requests from TestFlight, email and Twitter)
    1. 1

      so you launched it and how many clients did you get in the first day/week?

      1. 1

        I'm not sure it counts as a "launch" but when I posted that the app was available for private beta I got around 10 users the first day around 15 in the first week. Currently at 55.

  4. 1

    IH forum posts that I find along the way:

  5. 1

    Focus groups

    Let your potential customers validate the idea for you.

    Get off your computer and talk to real people!


  6. 1

    Admittedly a lot of what I work on is "problems I am directly aware of".

    That being said, I found the book "Who Moved My Cheese" extremely valuable in thinking of things in terms of problem->solution->action. So, I generally think of things where the cheese has move, will move, or is too far away from the mice. I then think of a solution, whether I have the ability implement or not. Finally, I think of my own actions (research further, ask potential users, etc) and the actions others would take (would they pay for it).

    I read something recently, but can't remember where, that discussed an experiment where people were asked to paint fruit and the art pros judged the outcome: https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/why-problem-finders-are-more-creative-than-problem-solvers/
    It turns out those who took more time to consider what the fruit looked like painted better pictures. The participants were tracked down many years later and those who were "problem finders" were significantly more successful.

  7. 1

    I like this article by Lenny Rachitsky. It has a framework that forces one to answer some important questions before diving in.


    1. 1

      thanks for that link. went through it - helped get a more clear vision.

Trending on Indie Hackers
I’m a developer who resisted doing marketing for years. Here’s what made me change. 31 comments Recently sold a bootstrapped B2B SaaS for more than $500k. AMA. 21 comments A Tool to Quickly Scaffold Custom SAAS Projects 17 comments We Built AppSumo’s Partner Experience Team from Scratch (Here’s How It Happened) 6 comments We bootstrapped our SaaS to $50k MRR with just me and my co-founder - no employees 6 comments How to start a podcast in 2021? (Part 1: Idea & Format) 5 comments