The Importance Of Product Validation
Growing a company is hard work. It takes time and energy and you will inevitably have to deal with rejection as you go. I would wager to say that a lot of the struggles people go through could be prevented before they even built the product or set up their company. This is because many would-be entrepreneurs set themselves up for failure by creating things that don’t have a true need.
Yes, sometimes you need to take a gamble when you create something especially if the goal is to be a highly disruptive business at a massive scale. You can’t get huge without some risk. All big companies hit a point where they needed to truly validate their product before taking another step though, and some surprisingly large ones got this out of the way early. An example here is Airbnb, who started with the founders promoting the service door-to-door and a very simple site. They didn’t run out and spend tons of time and money before finding out if their product had potential first.
A lot of people these days are doing things like creating apps that they think are cool and hoping they take off. Every once in a while this will work, but the vast majority of the time it will result in failure. What many inexperienced founders and entrepreneurs don’t want to do is just go out there and validate the product early. The reason for this is because it opens them up to rejection. It is far easier to stay in a bubble and convince yourself you are on to something. This is human nature and it takes practice to become ok with the uncomfortable feeling of hearing “no” to an idea you are passionate about.
Here’s the more uncomfortable but efficient course of action. Take your idea out there and ask strangers or experts for their feedback. Better yet, try to sell it (even if it doesn’t exist yet). There’s a chance you get rejected and find out your idea isn’t as great as you think it is. However, wouldn’t you rather find this out now before you have invested time and money into the idea?
Let me know what you think!