You’re reading this because you probably had one of those Eureka moments. You woke up one day and realised something was wrong with the world, it just didn’t feel right. You kept on thinking about this problem, that was really bothering you, and whether if you could fix it. And that’s when it hit you! That’s when the solution came right in front of your eyes and because, nowadays, all people seem to talk about is startups, you thought: why not? All your friends got excited and your parents encouraged you (hmm, second guesses about this one, maybe not so encouraging). So, you wondered… Could you take this further? Could it be a real business? How can you tell if your idea is good enough?
Now, before you start day-dreaming about Silicon Valley and how you can be the next Brian Chesky waving the Airbnb flag, or the next Travis Kalanick talking about how Uber will take over the world (not that there’s anything wrong with it), you need to see if what you’re building makes sense. How can you validate your idea so that you can take this to the next stage?
Well, first things first.
Talk to as many people as possible.
Forget that general misconception that if you tell people your idea they will steal it from you. That’s just not true. You’re the one obsessed with it, remember? And you’re the one who knows how to do it, so go ahead and talk about it. Find your industry experts and those who can really understand your product. Schedule a few meetings to talk about your plans and get their feedback. They will give you different perspectives and make you think of many other possibilities. In the end, if they get excited, you’re probably on the right track.
Do your research – know your target
Remember that you’re doing this for many other people. You need to make sure you’re building something people want so, it’s crucial that you reach to your potential target and understand their needs. If they share your pain and if what you’re building will make their lives easier then, you’ve got a green light. You can also take a look at Twitter and see if you can find tweets of people complaining about the problem you want to solve.
Check your competition
You should definitely check out if there’s someone addressing the same problem as you are. See what other companies are up to and if they’re building a similar solution. Make a list of these competitors and then, understand what makes your product different. Is it the price? Is it how fast you can get it done? If you can find others who are trying to solve the same problem then it’s also a good sign that there’s demand for your business.
Get started – build a landing page
Just get started. Don’t wait too long to build something just because you want it to be perfect. Start with a simple landing page to briefly explain what you want to do and why. In this landing page you can add a ‘subscribe box’ so that people can add their emails if they’re interested in your product. This way, you can prove there’s demand by the number of emails you get through this landing page. And once you launch the first version of your product, you’ll have a big list of contacts you can email.
Trust your instincts
If it feels right, it feels right. Most successful entrepreneurs were told to stop at some point in their lives, but they didn’t. You might get a lot of nos, specially from investors, but you keep on going because you’re really passionate about what you do and you believe in it. You just need to make sure it’s not complete non-sense – but even if it is, you’ll test it and if it doesn’t work out, you’ll just move on to building something else.
P.S.: Oh and if you need help to validate your idea and learn how to start a startup you can always apply to Beta-start until September 13th. It’s time to get your ideas off the paper. All it takes is a little push.
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