90% of all start-ups fail within the first year after launching. The ‘fun’ fact is… they could have known beforehand.
A common mistake founders make, is getting so thrilled about their own idea they lose sight of what customers need. Therefore, it is of huge importance to make your idea testable, in order to collect evidence. To continue or not to continue, that’s the question and you should not decide on that before collecting data. Afterwards, you can commit to building your solution, if it appears viable.
Validation is the process of testing an idea or a product in different phases through a set of experiments. You investigate the feasibility of your product, whether there is a (sufficient) demand for it and whether your solution is what customers desire to fulfil their needs.
Experimentation allows you to collect data and facts, which will be helpful when deciding to go on with your idea or to drag it down the trash folder. Furthermore, you will know where to add some spice to your business idea thanks to validating, it allows you to change course at a very early stage if things turn out to be on the wrong path.
Another benefit of validation is that it will only be possible by getting in touch with real people, which makes it the best learning process you will ever know. It will allow you to get informed about your users, how they feel about your solution and their willingness to pay for it eventually. Interviewing these people for instance, allows you to collect a lot of data and very interesting insights about their needs.
You are a proud business idea owner, so assuming is in your nature. You assume people want something that you can provide to fulfil their needs. To make your business idea testable, you should not only be ‘thinking, wondering’, you should generate clear assumptions and thereafter, convert them into hypotheses, which you will test by experimenting.
An example; you might be wondering ‘How do people workout now that fitness centers are closed due to Covid?’, but a question is never testable. You should formulate an assumption, which you think is true, but you do not know for sure since it is not a proven fact. For example, your assumption is ‘People need sports equipment to workout at home’. Then, you will have to convert this assumption into something more specific, something testable, namely a hypothesis, in order to collect data. For instance: 25% of people who have a fitness subscription (which they can’t use at the moment), need sports equipment to workout at home.’ See? Measurable, testable.
Now, you can test this hypothesis using different experiment methods. A very common one here is a landing page because it allows you to measure if 25% of the visitors on the web page click on the ‘call-to-action’, this being a click to learn more about buying sports equipment, and therefore being interested in your solution. This is how you find out whether your hypothesis (and consequently your assumption) is true or false, and whether your idea is desirable.
After collecting data and facts through different experiments, evidence-based decision-making is made possible. The shorter the cycles for testing, the lower the risk of losing time and money. And that is why you should always validate your idea…