Almost 50% of business start-ups fail because they do not meet a market need.
Idea validation is the process by which entrepreneurs check whether their idea is “filling a need” in the market and whether customers are ready to pay and use their product. If the validation is continuous throughout the life of a business start-up, it constitutes a critical phase in the first stages. Without this, most products fail.
Speed is essential for validating ideas. To understand why, it is crucial to start by understanding the different groups of customers who will “adopt” your product at various stages, from the initial idea to the launch.
First, there are the innovators, the group most interested in testing a new product, even if it is not fully functional or intuitive. This group is generally the easiest to “conquer” because they are the first to want to try a new solution. They are essential for any business start-up looking to quickly gather feedback and develop case studies to attract the second group.
Early adopters are quick to use a new product for its value proposition. They are opinion leaders, much like “influencers.” They do not hesitate to take a little risk in a product which, according to them, can help them to differentiate their solutions from others. It could be as simple as being one of the first to use a home meal delivery app in a city, and proving to family and friends that the app is useful and practical.
The opinion of early adopters influences the early majority. They are careful buyers who care about the effectiveness of the product, the brand and the proof of its efficacy. They tend to be reluctant to take risks and take their time to research a new product before making a decision. Attracting the attention of the early majority is one of the signs of product/market matching, as this group represents a large part of the market that focuses on already established solutions.
The late majority is made up of reluctant buyers. They tend to be skeptical of new products and may wait years before following the first three groups. In general, it is only when they see that the population overwhelmingly adopts the product and that they feel that they have no choice, that they change the product.
The last group, and the most conservative, is that of the refractory. Buyers in this group tend to like traditional methods and, in many cases, refuse to consider new solutions, even if their favourite products are disappearing.
After these explanations on client groups, do you think that the early majority would be interested in using a working prototype? Chances are not, but early adopters, especially innovators, would be the first to use it, and even pay or prepay for it.
Innovators represent less than 3% of the market. If the fact of attracting this first group is a sign of first validation, this does not mean that the product is valid for the other groups. This step is one of the reasons why speed is essential for validating ideas. Knowing that product perfection is not mandatory for innovators and early adopters, creating and launching a product allows you to quickly focus on how to create a scalable solution that can attract the early majority through feedback and in support of early adopters and innovators.
“Innovative ideas are the golden wealth of a growing business”
The secret of business start-up success
The success of a business start-up consists of creating a product that people use and recommend, not just trying. Today, thanks to various tools without code, anyone can build, produce and test a functional product in only a few days. Besides the prototypes, the pre-sale of the product, as well as the design and the proposal of a non-scalable solution, are two other fast and straightforward validation tests in the initial phase, which will provide you with the information you need to get to the next step.
“A small businesses ability to gain an edge for a profitable niche is not by just focusing on the dynamic market gap, but by identifying a market within the gap.”
Spending several months building an advanced product before quickly testing the riskiest assumptions is why many start-ups fail to exhaust their resources when they have to make changes based on customer feedback after the product is released. Always assume that your idea will evolve. You want to know quickly what significant changes you need to make so that you can move faster, with better predictability of success.