July 23, 2021
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Calibrating your idea by getting out of the building

There are many entrepreneurs out there who are trying to find their great idea. Help them succeed. Not just that, but make money. It’s very simple, startups need to get feedback from the people for who they are building their product. There’s a great article on Inc that basically says the same thing. They usually end up building a landing page and spend many dollars to get clicks and sign people up before they build their real product. This landing page is the simplest MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that can be made. But the internet is filled with these abandoned landing pages. It’s sad but true. Most ideas die not because they are bad, but because they don’t get to meet a person who appreciates them.

I personally have done many projects that didn’t see the light of the day due to that issue. How do you get people to sign up? How do you find the target customers in the industry you are targeting? How do you know you have the right audience? These are all critical questions that can only be answered by testing your hypothesis. Interviewing people who are willing to listen and are interested in new ideas is what you need. You may think that your customers are Moms, Dads, or computer scientists, etc. There’s no better way than talking to them and asking about their problems and seeing whether your solution answers their problem.

The trick is that you should not simply say “Hey, here’s what I have. Do you want it?”. You will most certainly get a misleading answer. People like to be positive and don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. So, they’ll most likely say “Yes! That’s a good idea!”. But in reality, they’ll never pay for a solution like that. Instead of showing your solution to them, ask them about their problems.

Ask your potential customers about their problems and how they solve those problems today. Ask your potential customers how well those solutions work and are they willing to try other solutions?

What to ask your potential customers

Here’s a five-minute story from Steve Blank about the importance of customer discovery and getting feedback from customers.

OK, long story short, it really is important that you talk to your potential customers before going all-in with your idea. So much money and time have been burnt repeating the same mistake. I personally am guilty of this. We, engineers, tend to start building without talking to people. Let’s not repeat these mistakes and invest early in interview potential customers before launch.