Erika is a full-stack marketer passionate about the intersection between technology and social impact. She mixes research with content design and a human touch to help people and startups succeed in delivering value through their work. When not writing or talking to people, you’ll find her reading or quoting Hamilton for any life situation.
When you have a brilliant idea for a mobile product, it’s hard to contain your excitement. You’re tempted to start drafting user flows, define features, jump into coding right away. After all, the tech industry is defined by the speed with which it moves. Wanting to launch as quickly as possible is normal. But rushing to launch a product without validating it first could potentially make or break your entire business.
You might think that a mobile product is validated over time, by its design, features and coding, but this is actually not true. What validates your product is the market. Before you invest time and effort into developing a mobile app, make sure there will be users for it. Or, how we like to say it: make sure there’s a market need for it. Many startups fail because they’re so focused on the potential of their idea, they forget to check if the problem that sparked that idea is the tip of a market need that covers a sizeable audience and pain points strong enough to determine your potential users to want to pay for your product.
We’re launching the Idea Validation Handbook to help you understand the importance of product validation and how to do it properly. We’re going to show you that even invalidating your product idea is good news, as it saves you time, money and energy you could have invested in a better idea.
If you want to read more, you can download the handbook in pdf format now, or, if you’re ready to start validating your idea, you can reach out to us and we’ll guide you through the whole thing.
Why product validation matters
Look, there’s no nice way of saying it, so I’ll just put it out here: the number one reason products fail is because there’s no market need. Look at the top 10 reasons CB Insights states are why startups fail, do some horizontal thinking, and you can see how users not seeing why your product exists may have something to do with a product dying a slow death in the span of several years since launch.
Product validation, or invalidation, is a crucial step in the mobile app development process, and one that should be taken at the very start of your journey. Before you start developing a mobile app, you want to make sure that people are going to use it.
In our handbook, we’ll go over the most important reasons to focus on product validation when you start your development process, which include:
- Finding out whether the problem you’re trying to solve is a real one, and if it needs solving in the first place;
- Seeing how many people have that particular problem, and if they’re willing to pay for a solution;
- Saving time and money in the long run and having a chance to shift, regroup, and rethink your idea.
This handbook will teach you how to validate your product with users
The first step in the product validation process is making sure there is a solid base of potential users out there for your mobile product. You don’t want to work on developing a mobile app that nobody is going to use. These are some of the steps to follow to validate your product with users, which we go over in detail in our Idea Validation Handbook:
- Identify the scale of your problem
- Focus on the user’s life experience
- Avoid confirmation bias
- Define your core audience
Validate your product with investors – early
Your audience is the first line of (in)validation, but you can also pursue conversations with investors. They are also a source of valuable feedback and possibly even early funding. These are the questions that you’ll be asking yourself during this part of the process, questions which we help answer in our handbook:
- What should you expect from investors?
- How do you talk to investors so that they’ll listen?
- Should you really care about getting funding at this stage?
How do you know when you’re done validating?
The thing about your product idea validation is that it’s a form of research. Any UX researcher worth their salt will tell you research work is never done. You just discover a new insight, add it to the mix to refine your product, and start researching some more.
In the context of (in)validating your product before you’ve even built it, how do you know when you’re done? You’ll want to figure out the following things, which we discuss in our Idea Validation Handbook:
- How do you draw insights from your talks?
- When can you be sure you have a core audience?
- What kind of feedback matters from investors?
Once you’ve got all of these things figured out, you can define your mobile product and prepare it for launch.
But don’t skip the idea validation phase of the process, because this is the step that can potentially set you up for success (or failure).