Validate your Product - The 4 wheels [Courtland video]

This is a summary of Courtland's mental model about validating a product

Try different channels

When validating your product, try different channels. The best channel should be the one you can use indefinitely.

For example: validating through ads can be quick and simple, but does your budget allow you to run in the long term?

Besides, Ad is one of the possible channels. If it doesn't work there, it doesn't mean your idea doesn't work. It can be a few different reasons (bad message, wrong audience)

See The Bullseye Framework Gabriel Weinberg - founder of DuckDuckGo

The 4 wheels

To have a good product, it needs 4 things:

  • Product
  • Market: who is buying?
  • Distribution: how to reach that market?
  • Pricing: how much is suitable for that market?

Those are more like 4 wheels on a car. To get the car moving, it needs 4 wheels. Even if those are bad wheels.

Try to figure out the hardest one, then work backward to the easier ones. For example: if you're a tech person, try to figure out the market, then build the product around it.

  1. 2


    Actually I can perfectly do the first and last item (Product and Pricing), my mistake is being not validate my idea and build a distribution plan.

  2. 2

    Really interesting. Thanks for sharing that!

    1. 1

      I'm glad you find it interesting :)

  3. 2

    There is no "one-size-fits-all" marketing platform or technique. Sometimes people forget when reading a "how-to" post of a guy that made thousands of dollars overnight that that same techniques might not work for another product / service. It's always crucial to do your own research and learning.

    1. 2

      Good point, Nico!

      It's depending on many factors. When reading how-to posts, I'd ask what's missing? 😁 Sometimes, they just forgot to mention it, or it wasn't important for him.

  4. 2

    You use some channels periodically, but indefinitely (for example, you could do a launch on ProductHunt each X months).

    1. 1

      Definitely, even though ProductHunt supported to be launched once. I realized this when seeing veed.io keep launching when releasing major feature.

  5. 1

    I'm looking for more content about validation, could you recommend me any?

    1. 1

      Hey @Duk497, what kind of product do you want to validate?

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        As a developer, I would like to know the validation process of an app/webapp idea. I always was used to program before validate, altough I have builded some products that bring me some money, (like this https://ovpnconfig.com.br) it's not enough for the time invested.

        I think validation and distribution are my weaknesses, could you recommend something to improve this?

        1. 2

          I mention the Bulleye frameworks in the post. It was a part of the book called Traction - How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

          I'd recommend if you haven't read it. The book has a good process to help you choosing the best distribution channels, with clear examples.

          Besides, I think it's important to follow to book in practice. Since me too, as a developer, I'm focus more in the product part.

          Also, you can create a post on IH and ask opinion from others. I think it'd be helpful too

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