Simple ways to validate the product as we build

In @wrannaman's post he says he's going to stop throwing up cheap crappy MVP landing pages because they don't work. He's right that the world is already full of validation landing pages. But putting up a landing page to test demand should only be one method of validating our ideas, and there are others we can use.

You start with a hypothesis: "people will find & pay for this if I build it". You want to prove this hypothesis wrong as early and cheaply as possible so you don't have to waste time and effort building a failed product. If you can't prove it wrong, then you build it.

From listening to the IH podcast and reading founder blogs I've made a list of questions that have worked for other people for validating (or falsifying) business ideas:

  • Are people searching for it?
  • Is there social media chatter about it?
  • Is there a strong/growing ecosystem with lots of activity?
  • Do I personally know people who need this?
  • Will people give their email to hear more about the idea? <- landing page
  • Do I know how to reach the people who want this?
  • Will the people I can reach pay money for this?
  • Is the solution something niche that I can implement well?
  • Is it a good fit with what motivates me personally?

To find out if people are organically searching for a solution we provide, we can use SEO tools like app.neilpatel.com (thanks to @getflookup for this tip!).

To find out if there is social media chatter we can search Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. I've found that a Twitter search for exact terms in quote marks with "latest" sorting order gives clear results.

If you know people who need the thing you're building then you can talk directly to them.

You can also build a landing page and see if you can get signups for the idea. But don't only do that. Use multiple methods to validate, and follow those ideas which validate on more of them.

What other methods have I missed that are good for helping us validate?

  1. 2

    To contribute:

    • Can I meaningfully differentiate myself from the competition?
    • Can someone use this to product to make money/save money?
    • Are the benefits obvious and the implementation non-obvious? (makes sense to users out-of-the-gate, hard to copy)
    1. 1

      These are great, thank you.

  2. 2

    Depends on what type of product you are building. But generally for us indiehackers
    Is there a community around the problem?
    Are people complaining about it regularly

    Another distribution oriented go to market trick is to automate a much hated but necessary business process. @patio11 has much to say about such businesses.

    1. 1

      I like that last trick! Nice.

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