What is a valid or invalid startup idea? How to get results before spending all the resources for the software development? Get answers for all these questions and more!
It’s natural to have an extraordinary thought and follow your vision. This sort of certainty is something worth being thankful for, particularly when you want to move forward with software development and lead the group.
Nonetheless, according to a business perspective, you ought to be basic about your thoughts, approve thoughts, and listen to your customers. If not, you can wind up burning through a ton of cash, time and mental resources on an item modern market would simply not accept
I have recently referenced a significant expression, so-called “product check.” This is the very first thing assists you with verification of an idea assuming that your thought will prevail in reality.
In the event that it doesn’t sound persuading enough, check the measurements out
In short – the biggest issue is the absence of Product/Market fit. This essentially implies founders didn’t approve the thought, market, or audience demands This article developed to share our team’s expertise on how to approve and validate product idea.
Also, there are examples provided you how we establish approve thoughts process at CloudFlex.
Table of Contents
Let’s get started!
What exactly is Product Idea check?
According to the definition provided here validity is a degree of how good the thing is meeting a reality
In the modern software development world, idea validation is the process of testing product ideas to understand their viability. For example, a founder has an assumption about the fact, that a demand to conduct surveys is present in a market. Through the product validation, it would be possible to proof that people and market not only have a demand but would also have resources to pay for it
Why is it important to understand if your assumption is valid?
When you validate your idea, you investigate the importance of the problem you are going to solve. Regardless of how painful discovered problem is, are there people willing to pay for a solution?
Many business owners fall into the same trap. They exaggerate the significance of the problem they wish to solve. During the idea validation process, you research the market and can meet with reality
If you decided to check your startup idea, you can save precious time and resources, both your budget and mental health. Instead of spending all the resources at once, it’s better to validate using small amounts since this way you can estimate end results more precisely
Whether you’ve got plans to develop an enterprise custom software consisting of many moving parts, or there is a startup planned consisted only from a Android and iOS mobile applications, by product idea check you get to know whether it will work, and market demand is present. This can increase your chances to get the success.
Overall, we at CloudFlex are identifying 3 next purposes:
- Increase you awareness about the market
- Save resources. Your time, your money, your mental health 🤪
- Mitigate possible failures
How to check an idea, Key Stages:
Below, you can find recommended easy to apply steps for the product idea validation process. They are easy to follow but can generate great value. End goal is to understand, whether your startup is likely to work on not. Here they are
- Get clear vision on problem you are trying to solve. It’s important to have a focus so that you know what are you going to offer the world
- Analyze your competitors as well as your potential target audience. To create a high-demand software, no matter if this is a web, app or complex machine learning system, you must first understand the market and needs of your potential customers.
- Select an appropriate user group to provide input on your concept. You should choose a group that reflects your client base profile
- Each member of the user group you’ve chosen should be interviewed. This helps you to get their opinions and feelings regarding your concept. It’s usually sufficient to speak with 5-10 potential users to obtain 80 percent honest feedback on your project idea.
- Make sure feedback collected and maintained properly. Also, make sure respondents are honest. This is a crucial if you want to receive an accurate and unbiased feedback.
- Make sure you have freeform field in survey, so that users can give open answers. This way you can collect their suggestions and new ideas might come
- Make an iteration over your startup idea and apply changes. It may even be necessary to discard your first concept or concepts and return to the drawing board
- Don’t be afraid to listen to your audience’s answers and stay flexible
Per our experience it’s not required to aggregate huge amount of data. 10-20 responds should be enough
This is a reflection on the basics of how to validate an app or web or custom software idea. However, if you are making a start as an entrepreneur, there is a lot more involved in validating your startup idea. Let’s take a closer look at the 8 steps of product validation
- Competitors analysis
- Preparing portrait of your audience
- Target audience snapshot through the surveys
- Visualizing a Customer Journey Map In the software
- Conducting an interview with a group of user respondents
- Ask users to test
- Conduct The Design Sprint
Any entrepreneur should to have a clear vision on the market going to be conquered. This is crucial for the end product to become successful.
In modern world, there are millions of apps to purchase on Google Play or at Apple’s App Store, and not less of custom websites. What makes you to believe your custom software likely to succeed? Analysis of existing market players can help you to answer this question
It’s really lot easier when you know your competitors. This way you can analyze their weaknesses and strengths and eventually hit your target audience with their exact needs
You need to understand what your competitors are offering and area of improvement, key features in the niche. This helps you to understand where your mobile application/website/machine learning/custom software would stand in the market.
Base plan to analyze competitors:
- Collect the data on who your strongest competitors are
- Determining the way competitors have covered a request. If this is an app, does it look similar on different platforms? If yes – most likely it’s cross-platform and done in Flutter or React-Native. If this is a web -would be useful to list key features and unique things
- Looking at the SEO strategy of your competitors. This can help you to see why they are succeeding
- Think on how you can improve your product, based on competitor’s disadvantages. Make sure there is no bigger than 3 features added
When we started to work with our new customer - Yaza - Advanced Realtime App, a US-based startup that was trying to transform into news CMS for managing fake content. We have made a short analysis, it appeared that, the key pain is operator’s camera weight. With the iOS and backend our team has delivered it was possible to overcome that crucial challenge
Target audience snapshot through the surveys
It’s critical to correctly plan the questionnaire and make it simple to use. You’ll get significant replies if you ask clear and essential inquiries. Start with closed-ended and easy questions and work your way up to open-ended and in-depth queries, in my opinion. This strategy will help you keep respondents engaged until the finish of the survey.
Start your survey with close-ended and simple questions. Don’t forget to leave an option for a custom feedback
Examples Of Good Questions:
Which operating system on your phone do you use?
How many did you spent for a paid subscriptions for the last year?
- < 500$
- 500 - 1000$
Would you be able to pay for the problem X solved through the software of our company?
Preparing portrait of your audience
“Perfect customer” portrait is crucial to understand if you want to effectively validate your startup/enterprise project idea. However, keep in mind that portrait of your audience is a document that should be updated as our understanding of our target audience progresses
After all, it should be transformed into a real human as a perfect reflection of your target audience based on user testing and target audience interviews
To create relevant and accurate proto personas, we are recommending you next steps:
- Identify and brainstorm pains for the suggested audience
- Talk through and visualize the data. Don’t forget about other information you have
- Give an identity to the persona or personas you have created.
- Grab all available information you have about the persona. Collect additional through the search engines. Use it to determine what problem your mobile app or software product (web or maybe powerful AI machine) can solve for them.
Customer profile might be an interesting exercise to execute and that can save a huge amount of resources, including cost reduction by not developing features in your custom software users wouldn’t appreciate
Visualizing a Customer Journey Map In the software
Idea validation and verification is not just about clearly envisioning who your competitors and customers are. You also need to take care of and think what would be the user path during software usage
Many entrepreneurs fail because they have tunnel vision when they start their business. This is due to a lack of understanding of the consumer journey. So, how can you make a customer path map to prove that your business concept is viable?
To begin, let’s define a user journey map as a record of a user’s engagement with your product dedicated team is going to work on. The map depicts the journey from the perspective of the user or client. On the map, every touchpoint along the trip is recorded.
Taking as an example online focus groups case study, the first step of the journey would be starting screen and end point – where user would finish main use case, covered by a product. In this case – it’s survey submission It would be also would be nice to understand, how the users would find your product and what makes them to decide you among other alternatives
Here are the examples of questions:
- Is the website for focus groups easy to understand and use straight away for a non-technical person?
- How long does it take for the user to solve the problem they have, using the software?
- Are there any gaps in the user experience that need to be filled, is there a feedback form?
These questions are all critical when you are trying to validate a startup idea
So, understanding customers, and their journey is important when business is checking an idea. As an aspirant entrepreneur, what else should you consider?
Conducting an interview with a group of user respondents
You might be wondering how to test all of your hypotheses using the Customer journey map and target audience portrait. A user interview is the right answer
Conversations with your potential audience do, in fact, allow you to conduct a valuable analysis. This information can be used to determine the wants, pains, concerns, and motivations of your market. This is more efficient and time-saving than sifting through all info you can locate
During the interview, all the members of dedicated software development team should take notes and record important points. Then after the interview, there should be always collected notes together to create the combined stickers of pros and cons
Red stickers - are indicating space for the optimization, on the green — what users enjoyed in our software, on the blue — insights received or comments from your audience. It gives the dedicated development team the ability to make sure all the ideas mentioned and everybody is on the same page
Schedule up to 5 user interviews for 1 day
Picking up as a first stage a prototype in place is crucial if you want to get the most data about your startup idea. What is a prototype? It’s simply a primitive version of the product that you have in mind. It’s used so that the flow of the design can be tested and feedback can be gathered. It’s recommended to complete this stage before real app/web/backend development with software team has started You can see how crucial knowledge of the customer experience is when you start to validate a website or application idea that you have.
Now there is an understanding of how important this data is. Prototype can be something really simple and minimalistic, achieved, using Adobe or other popular software. It could be even a piece of paper at this point, our software engineering team is extremely flexible to the format
To simulate what should show on an app screen, paper prototypes are the right decision. To guarantee that paper prototypes are correct, markers and cardboard commonly used
Other elements, such as helpful post-it notes, can be included with the app mockups. Early in the concept and validation phase, many paper prototypes used before end designs compiled
The majority of digital prototypes are created in black and white or in neutral colors, to create a digital product suitable for user testing. It can be a key aspect of proving the viability of a startup concept. The biggest advantage of making a digital prototype is that it appears realistic. As a result, testing is typically more similar to using the final product. If you are looking at how to validate an mobile app (Android or iOS) idea, you may use both a paper prototype and a digital prototype. The sort of prototype we use determined by what we want to test:
- confirmation of an early concept - a paper prototype that can be quickly developed
- user flow validation - using specialist software to create a digital prototype
Ask users to test
Testing at this stage with real users is helping to receive feedback on the app or custom software product planned. You can only do user testing if you have a prototype or an MVP, that’s still sufficient. It’s a great tool for seeing the product through the eyes of the user, testing UI while developing, and, of course, validating your app/web/custom software concept.
The goal of user testing is to provide the participant activities and questions and get the answers. User testing tasks must be realistic so that participants can complete them in real life. Depending on the research type, it might be very detailed or very open-ended. That would help a lot the software development firm and you as a business owner
Conduct The Design Sprint
As a business owner, you may want to expedite the process of validating a startup idea. The Design Sprint is one method for accomplishing this. A startup can greatly benefit from the Design Sprint, which can help to resolve significant challenges quickly, without full team resources allocation The Design Sprint takes up to one business week to complete, based on our recommendation.
Design sprint is an iteration consisting from:
- testing ideas that a business has had
It’s a valuable process when it comes to how to validate an app idea. A startup can greatly benefit from the Design Sprint, which can help to resolve significant challenges quickly
Product owner can validate an app idea even before full cycle of development happens. This means that if your business has an idea that needs to be checked, there is a way to achieve that affordably and quickly. To do this you need to start recognizing your customer profiles and creating a customer journey map. You also need to build a vision on the use of data and create with further testing some simple prototypes We at CloudFlex always making an analysis before starting a job. With the discovery and validation before jumping right to the custom software development process our clients can spent resources in a more reasonable manner and end goals are more clear for all team members. That’s helpful at the beginning, especially to identify key product features and platform, as well as decide right technology Would that be an Android or iOS app, is the product going to be a Hybrid in Flutter or React-Native? Or maybe there is a need to create a website in React to fit project goals better? Should there be a Machine-Learning/AI on the Backend? Are we going to need a business intelligence dashboard?
The feedback and data you collect come in handy when the software development starts. On top of that, by product idea validation, you increase chances to succeed and build a product users love.
CloudFlex has solid experience in checking project ideas and performing analysis, using methods described above
If you have any questions left or looking for a custom software development company who wants to build a relationships and be trusted partner to validate your idea, contact us