Updated: May 7
At the beginning of the design process of your concept, all of what goes on in your startup is motivated by passion and by this great idea that you have been obsessing about; however, in order for your concept to be adopted by the general public, greater probing is required. That where concept validation comes in, you want to test your assumptions through real-life experiments.
A clear understanding of your product and market from the outset will stir you in the right direction, offering you the perspective that you need to serve your target customers. You want to validate your key assumptions about the solutions you are bringing in the market, your target segment and your competitors.
The validation should de-risk your product testing and help you establish the most effective ways to reach your customer segment and refine your business model and overall offering. Trends in the market are constantly changing, shifting; relying on historical information might be costly to your startup. This is why concept validation is invaluable to the overall strategic management of your startup.
The experiments that you will run should help you answer these fundamental questions:
· Is my offering needed on the market?
· Who needs it?
· How unique is my offering on the market?
· Am I really serving my customer segment?
· Who else is implementing this solution? What are they missing?
These real-life experiments became prominent with the lean movement, by allocating few resources to the testing of your concept you are able to quickly identify loopholes that were missed during the creative and design sessions. You will then refine your concept, fine-tuning it to properly address the problems that you are solving.
What you don’t want is to launch a product or service and find out that no one wants it or that it is not suited to your target segment, we have seen countless instances in the past. It is often referred to as a learning launch, you are trying to assess your solutions vis-à-vis demands and market readiness, and you want to run your experiments are smoothly and efficiently as possible.
You then get to iterate your offering as much as possible until it meets all the required standards and needs in the market. Your startup will benefit greatly from the informed decisions that you will make throughout the validation process; establishing a loyal customer base by thoroughly investigating the gaps in the market, the unmet needs.
Have you started your validation process? What metrics are you using to test your hypotheses? What market research methodology are you going to use? What are the tools and resources required during the validation process? I hope you have the answers to these questions before you start the validation process and embark on your entrepreneurial journey.
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