Every startup, every app, every idea, is HUGE. But this potential comes along with hundreds of “What If’s?” – What if we reach 1% of the people in the world? What if a celebrity endorses my app?… etc etc etc. Don’t get caught up on this. Instead, focus on validating app ideas as lean as possible and get them out to the customers as fast as possible. How do we accomplish this?
Validating App Ideas- How?
Think about the bare minimum your idea needs to become a reality. Ignore all the bells and whistles you’ve fallen in love with and get serious about the main problem you are trying to solve. If your whole idea depends on one of these extra features, you may need to reconsider your idea.
A few years ago, we were part of a startup. An exciting idea called predictive analytics for social media marketing. Still sounds awesome. After thousands of hours of development we came to a sad conclusion, we were in love with our solution and it has blinded us to see reality. To illustrate this, imagine that we created a new car company based on the fact that our cars would have wifi. Nice add-on but people were more interested in driving rather than surfing the web from the comfort of their sedan.
Let me give you another example. A talented entrepreneur hired us to consult on his business and supervise his development team. He had a great idea and business model but was stuck on fitting the entire universe into his platform. He wanted a CRM, CMS, coupon tracking engine and HR management. Not too much? He also wanted his platform to replicate MailChimp, Square payments and part of QuickBooks to ensure he would have the upper hand on the competition. As you can imagine, building such an application takes more than just a couple months and a large amount of capital. It also prevents you from putting a working application in the hand of clients and legitimately testing your business model.
There are countless stories of startups and apps that spent years and millions trying to develop the perfect product. The result? Either they are late to market or their user’s needs is heavily misaligned with the actual product. (Still, have my fingers crossed for Magicleap)
A good example of validating your idea early on is the story of Groupon on how they started with a makeshift WordPress site and a single client in the lobby of their office building. The idea caught fire, and the rest is history. Once you have validated the initial proof of concept, or minimum viable product MVP, then you can confidently move forward with new features and a legitimate viable business to back your dreams.
Validate your idea early on with an MVP, minimum-viable-product. Spend as little resources as possible and make your project as lean as possible then build on iterative cycles until you have perfected your idea and the market has given you enough feedback.
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