To get going with validation, start with this straightforward guidance Lean Validation: 10 Ways to Quickly Test Your Startup Idea. That’s great advice, but how to scale it ?
If you benefit from a great network that can connect with likely buyers, do it. If not, scaling feedback at low cost can appear to be daunting. Engaging with relevant business decision makers cost effectively at scale to establish a high propensity market need is, for us, the toughest bit of starting up.
matter-center.com smoke test call to action
The simple way is to go with a smoke test of mock-up landing pages that explain your proposition. For complex solutions or new categories this may need help from a video explainer or click through demo. Then drive appropriate audiences to them with engaging offers on:
- targeted LinkedIn InMails and adverts
- highly selective Google Adwords campaigns
- trade associations and industry body newsletters
- & many other creative research hacks
We used this for one of our own investments, matter-center.com to validate the market and start qualifying product before engineering. A solid network was generating great 1:1 research interviews, but in a highly contended enterprise market. Smoke testing provided a breadth engagement which identified a more appropriate (addressable & underserved) SMB segment in 30 days. Having a clear market segment to target for product needs and commercial model, the engineering for MVP only took 6 months.
For a public success story, Buffer published a great post on Idea to Paying Customers in 7 Weeks: How We Did It. Its a really simple proposition, the best ones generally are.
Inbound traffic is an elegant way to start feedback conversations at scale with a low unit cost, and a smoke test is a great first step as an experiment, but probably not the final answer.
Have a search on “smoke test validate demand” and get familiar with SEM targeting. To speed this up, we recommend Launch Tomorrow by Luke Szyrmer which will get you going in a couple of hours.
For deeper investment in different types of validation experiments, learn about Generative Research vs. Evaluative Experiments from What Type of Lean Startup Experiment Should I Run? which is well written and has killer art like this ->