3 Strategies To Validate Your Startup Idea

3 Strategies To Validate Your Startup Idea

Last week I had a call with Jamie.

Jamie was excited about his startup idea.

He even went as far as building a fully functioning product.

It had a great marketing site and a decent looking pricing page.

Now, when I looked at the pricing I knew something was off.

He wasn’t charging enough to build a Growth Engine.

The prices were less than $10 dollars per month AT THE HIGH END and it was a business to business SAAS product.

There’s no way he’d be able to acquire customers on that little revenue.

So I asked about customers – very few (I’m guessing < 10).

Then I asked how long he’d been working on the startup for?

3 years!?!

Wow… what had he learned in that time? What progress did he make other than building features?

Very little.

Here’s why I know Jamie is wrong, and you’re wrong about your startup.

Because we ALL are.

It’s one of my core beliefs when starting a business.

I know I’m wrong about some aspect of the business model.

Which part? I don’t know… but that’s the starting point.

In this weeks video I want to share with you 3 strategies to help you avoid false positive validation and get customers faster.

I go over 3 strategies that will help you generate revenues FASTER! Here they are…

1. Clickable Prototype
2. EAP Strategy
3. MEVO

I shared these with Jamie to help him reset his roadmap and use these strategies to fix his product positioning AND business model.

Strategy #3 alone would have saved him years of going sideways not making any progress.

Now it’s your turn… what assumption about your business did you have that turned out wrong? Leave a comment with your story here!

Here’s to learning fast!

  • corgan1003

    Thanks, Dan! Would love to hear more about this advice applied to consumer apps, especially if you have some insights beyond what can be read in Lean Startup and related content.

    • http://twitter.com/danmartell Dan Martell

      The truth is, for consumer where they don’t pay to use and you monetize through advertising, then it’s really about building the MVP and seeing if people “get” it and stick around (retention) since that’s the business model.

      However, if you’re doing freemium, I would start with a pay wall to gauge interest then move to freemium after validation if you feel there’s a fit.

      The key is to start off learning how to position, promote and sell what you’re building before building too much.

      That’s usually the primary reason a company fails.

      DM

    • corgan1003
  • Ali Loghmani

    Thanks Dan for the great content! The idea of creating a page with a MEVO in it to incline people to purchase the offer without a ready product is INSANE! I am loving it! WOW, thanks for sharing this. I would love to know if you could share a sample as I need to create one myself!

    • http://twitter.com/danmartell Dan Martell

      Ali, all my MEVO’s have long gone since we either shutdown the idea, or built it out into a company.

      But the truth is, it’s just a one page product sheet. No different then any website that shows the product, maybe core features and a “Sign-Up” now button with a pay option.

      Hope that helps.

      DM

    • corgan1003
  • http://makedreamprofits.ru/ Eugene Bos

    MEVO is pretty cool idea, thanks! But, how to get credit card data but do not charge? A fake card form and then erasing all data without sending? Stripe and other services not available here…

    • http://twitter.com/danmartell Dan Martell

      Just use an SSL page and don’t charge the card… fake it till you make it.

      DM

      • https://rabbut.com [email protected]

        You don’t even need SSL yet. Just have a button that says BUY and track to see the number of people who click it – people who click it have the intent to buy so right off the bat you’ll know if you’re offering something that people are willing to pay for, imo.

        • http://twitter.com/danmartell Dan Martell

          I don’t agree… intent vs. buying are two different things.

          Some checkout pages convert at 20% … so it’s not a real indication of true intent to throw down the $$$.

          my2cents.

          DM

        • http://makedreamprofits.ru/ Eugene Bos

          Jon, Im asking about Dan’s approach that he explained in the video. I know about that method you suggesting 🙂

        • corgan1003
      • http://makedreamprofits.ru/ Eugene Bos

        I see, thanks!

      • corgan1003
    • corgan1003
  • Bassem Hamdi

    Hi Dan much thanks for these awesome tips. MEVO idea is simply insane and effective. However, how can I get people to land on that page and visit it ?
    Cheers from Montreal.

  • Matija

    I love your videos! You explain things in such a simple way and always provide actionable advice. What I often encounter when I talk to founders about this lean approach is them saying “I doubt Facebook or Instagram needed MEVO”, or “Do you think Steve Jobs did cust dev prior building an iPhone?”.

    I don’t know the exact stories behind each of these companies, but I’m pretty sure they went step-by-step and did customer validation early on. Would love to hear how would you answer to such a statement?

    • http://twitter.com/danmartell Dan Martell

      Instagram didn’t but they started with Burbn, invested $500K and it flopped… the pivot was Instagram.

      Steve Jobs create NeXT which was a flop.

      He got really good at customer development.

      He still read each of his emails [email protected] and was known to spy on customers at the local Apple store.

      Just talk to any founder about the right way to start, learn, grow… and they all point to pre-selling, validating with little, learning from your customers.

      That’s the norm.

      I would just let them learn the hardway 🙂

      DM

    • corgan1003

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