I was invited by eChai (https://echai.in/) at L M College of Pharmacy today to talk about validating business ideas as a part of their pre-accelerator program. This is the post summarising what I talked about there.
In-case if you are not into reading, here’s a quick video of the same.
In-case you are, here are quick bullet points:
Step 1: Research
Google forms is not research
The goal is to not ask leading questions. The goal is to get rid of our internal confirmation biases to get real answers.
Research is not to prove your hypothesis correct. It’s the other way around.
Step 2: Find and study competition
Instead of saying ‘here’s how we are better than the competition’, try to understand what is the competition doing well.
Absence of competition means that other people do not see an opportunity which should mean more research might be required.
Imagine if your were founder of your competition. What would you know then that you do not know right now.
Step 3: List your assumptions
Do not keep your assumptions in the head. Write them down.
Put them somewhere so you can see them daily and try to validate or invalidate them.
Written word of your assumptions will decrease your confidence. So keep them around.
Step 4: You don’t need to build your product
Find out what is your minimum viable product that can help you validate most of your assumptions.
More often than not, you can assume that technology will always get ready if there is a market for it.
Step 5: Your Product is not your Startup
Challenges of most mature startups is never their product. It’s either cash-flow or team or anything else. But never the product.
For a successful startup, a good product is a necessary condition but not a sufficient one.
Figure out your financial model, your distribution channels etc. Just building your product is not going to build your startup.