Ideas and Validation February 18, 2020

Talking directly with small companies for idea validation


I have chosen the general market I would like to work with.

Now I would like to identify the main problems in this market.

I am talking with people who would be using my software, but ultimately it's supposed to be a b2b solution, so it would be super-valuable for me to talk with actual businesses about their issues, problems and current solutions they are using?

Has anyone here did this successfully? That is establish firm business contacts without even having the product in the first place? Any suggestions how to approach that problem?

I have a fear that I will not be treated seriously without some kind of "organization" being behind me, or established portfolio.

Currently I have cold-emailed few companies as an experiment. It's too early to know what will be the results.

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    Hey, I'm working on a program to solve this specific problem. What do you think

    This is a prototype by the way, I'm going to start building the actual website very soon

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    If you were a B2C business I'd recommend Kickstarter. If you google that idea you'll see a lot of entrepreneurs are asking for something like that but can't find anything ideal. I echo the comments that say build something that solves a problem you have experienced.

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      In recent months I became desperate to start something on my own.

      And I guess this desperation really stifles my creativity. For the past few months I was unable to come up with any idea.

      I don't feel like any new software is needed, there is already a software for every corner of my life, I don't have any specific needs or pain points.

      People say "scratch your own itch". But what do I do if I don't have any itches...

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        Might I say the obvious and say you have an itch right here. Build a B2B Kickstarter.

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    Hi! You can try to use your networking (linked in, for example) ask to connect you with your target audience. Your friends are working somewhere, many options in front of you)

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    “ Now I would like to identify the main problems in this market.”

    Playing devil’s advocate here:

    Why don’t you just pick a market you’re already familiar with. Either because of your professional career so far or as a customer. Then you can skip this part altogether.

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      Well idk. I joined here about 3 months ago and that's what I tried to do at the beginning.

      I was however unable to come up with anything. I seem to be chronically unimaginative.

      It also does not help I am almost never paying for software, unless I really really have to. In fact I don't use too much software in general.

      So in my case asking a question "what I would pay for myself" ends with a clear answer: "nothing".

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        I like doing maths, but I like to do it with books, not software. I can ask questions on reddit or math exchange, so this is covered.

        I like going to the gym, but I don't need some bodybuilding app. I am ok with writing my progress in excel, if anything.

        I like traveling. There are already apps for booking and finding tickets that work just fine. I am covered here.

        I seem to have extremely hard time finding something that would be of value to me or some market that I know.

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          You're a customer of literally hundreds of things. Even the services you enjoy for free are not entirely free, you give them your data.

          Ideally, you will want to build something that a) serves a need (others are willing to pay for) and b) is of enough interest to you to fuel your motivation to build it and run it.

          If such thing does not currently exist in your mind - relax. Continue working on improving technical skills in the meantime.

          EDIT: and adding to that - and maybe lend your technical skills to someone else's vision you genuinely believe in.