Quantifying and qualifying your validation milestones will help you create a roadmap and benchmark … [+]
If you have been gearing up to launch your startup app for quite some time, chances are you have given a lot of thoughts to the viability, validation, and potential of your idea, especially when it means the difference between success and failure.
Quantifying and qualifying your validation milestones will help you create a roadmap and benchmark by which you can evaluate your path while reducing your uncertainty, hesitation and doubt. Here are 8 of the most common signs indicating whether you have validated your startup app idea.
1. You Have Identified A Problem Worth Solving
A startup idea is simply a solution to a problem. Therefore, the two key pillars of any startup are the existence of a problem and a solution. However, a solution without a problem is worthless, no matter how innovative it is. But a problem without a solution is still a problem that customers will figure out a way to solve even if it requires creating or hacking their own solution. Yet, not all problems are big enough for customers to care to solve. Thus, you have your first validation sign if you identified a problem worth solving.
Conducting market research, observing competitors’ customers, and interviewing potential buyers to understand their needs and expectations can help you refine your app idea and develop a better grasp of the problems or challenges that your app will solve for them.
2. You Know Who Your Competitors Are And Why They Are Different
Before you commit to developing your app idea, it is critical to study your competitors and understand the value they are offering. You may then choose to differentiate your solution through radical innovation, segmentation, or by simply repurposing an existing successful business model.
What matters is that you know your competitors’ value proposition and have proposed a differentiated and compelling one for your app. Online research is the first step, interviewing customers comes next.
3. You Have Interviewed Your Future Customers
Customer development is an ongoing process for every startup, small or big, however, it is particularly important at the pre-launch stage of an app. It entails speaking with your future customers and users of competing solutions.
If you have taken qualitative validation measures and developed insights about market potential, customer expectations, and product attributes that are worth developing, you are on the right track.
4. You Have Identified Your Ideal Buyer
As you utilize the interviews with future customers to develop useful market and product insights, you will also see your ideal buyer’s characteristics emerge from the data set. Simply put, the interviews will not only help you segment the market, but also identify your primary target.
5. You Have Sold An Irresistible Offer
One of the simplest and most effective ways to validate your idea is by testing and measuring the urgency of your customers’ need for your solution by offering your product for sale or pre-sale. While cash is generally the strongest validation signal, your experiment doesn’t have to require payment, especially if a pre-sale campaign doesn’t make sense for your target customers or revenue model.
The idea is to test if your future customers are interested in committing to your product or startup, whether it is through a contract, prepayment, or other mediums of commitment.
6. You Know How Your Idea Will Make Money
It’s not enough to have identified a problem worth solving, you also need to figure out your revenue model. What is best suited for your app can only be determined during the earlier qualitative and quantitative validation stages.
7. You Have Built And Tested Your Core Features
Email is one of the most used applications. Think about all the features your email platform has and the features you actually use. What if those two or three key features are removed, and you’re now left with all of the other ones. Would you still use the product? I sure won’t. The core features are must-have and the reason all users use the product. If those fail or don’t exist, the product fails.
The first version of your product should focus on testing those key features, which will help you test the riskiest assumptions about the problem and your solution. Furthermore, this first version doesn’t have to be fully automated as it can use a concierge approach, as long as it solves the problem and tests the key features.
8. You Have A Vision Where Your Startup Can Go
Most of the time, your idea will change, and so will your vision. Clarity can take time to develop, but when it does, you will be able to map your growth plan and path to wherever you want to take your startup. This sign will develop early on in the venture as you start gaining traction with your app.
Even the greatest app ideas can fail to translate into profitable and valuable startups. Remembering this and validating thoroughly can save you from several avoidable mistakes and provide you with a roadmap to launch your startup app successfully.