Plain and simple: Don’t offer what people don’t want.
Often people (especially technical people) start building their idea spending months of time an resources in a product that is not viable or worse, is something that people don't want or doesn't solve the problem from which it was designed.
Validation is the most important step to create a business. It corresponds to the activities to prove the assumption that the problem that your aiming exists, that enough people are facing the same problem and finally, that the solution that you are proposing is wanted.
Many different methods exist to validate your idea, from Web pages, Surveys to MVP's, each one of them with specific purposes and for different scenarios.
After reviewing and testing different methods in Cobuild Lab, we have chosen the Validation Board by the Lean Startup Machine
The validation board is a canvas or a model built with a set of necessary elements and tools to validate an idea, based on testing, learning and pivoting.
First, we describe our audience or target customer in terms of the problem that they are facing. Gender, income, housing, location, position, etc.
This is the assumption that the Customer has that you can solve.
In this part, we provide a brief description of our product and how it solves the Problem defined.
These are all the assumptions about the customer, problem and solution hypothesis that require testing.
After we reviewed the assumptions and hypothesis, we prioritize putting as the most important one the one that represents the major amount of risks. (most amount of money or time spent)
The Lean Startup Machine proposes three possible types of Methods to validate your Riskiest Assumption: (you can use more than one)
We can add to that:
Here are some of the ideas we had (geared around identifying and learning from new technology managers):
Define what's gonna probe that your Assumption was Validated or Invalidated