The beauty of product validation

Validating a product idea can save you enormous amounts of time, money and headaches. This reduces the risk of failure, which is great news for startups struggling with uncertainty.

The rule is, that the greater the effort to create the finished product (even prototype), the more important is to validate your idea. So if you’re baking the most amazing cookies and that’s your product idea, sure, you can just whip up a batch and go around to ask people what they think. Starting with a small and low maintenance sample product or a prototype to seek product validation and initial feedback. But if your idea requires more efforts, make sure you validate it before proceeding with development work.

Day in and day out, you can hear people coming up with great new product ideas. ‘Let’s do a digital whooptidoo, this is awesome, I would use it and you would too, so it must be a great invention!’ In product management terms that’s called ‘a product of one’. It’s perfect for one user: YOU.

Let me explain. You get an idea and are sure you would use it. Great! So you are about to create the perfect product for yourself. So now think, are you sure it’s such a great idea to use all the funds and resources to build and develop a product just for yourself? Or are you maybe after a bigger audience of thousands or maybe millions of users? If the latter, you really want to have a good think about validating your idea before proceeding to design or build phase.

Product validation is very simple, yet not many people or even all large organisations do it. If the new idea has spurred from the developer or product manager, or from anyone else than a wide audience of users, validate it first before starting any development work. Yes, really (you’ll thank me later). Just keep in mind that anything that is not validated, is based on an assumption.

So then what, if during the validation process you find out that no one actually needs it? That surely sounds scary, but it’s also great news. This kept you from putting all the effort into something that doesn’t have a market for it. Or maybe you discovered that your product needs another twist or functionality you didn’t realise before. It’s totally okay that your product idea evolves during validation process and through customer development. In all possible situations, you can only gain a positive outcome by validating your idea. So now. Stop everything you’re doing, get out of the building and spend few hours on validating your idea. It’s more than worth of your time. And how to do it? Read more here and let me know what you think.