How To Test Your Idea

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So you have an idea.  You thinks its a killer idea.  How do you make sure its the next great thing before committing significant resources (e.g. money, time, etc)?

Testing your ideas doesn’t have to be a big long dragged out process.  By following a few quick steps, you can have the confidence that your idea will lead to the next game-changing innovation.

Step 1: Does the problem exist?

Rememebr that customers don’t but products or technologies, they buy solutions to their problems.  To validate the problem, you need to:

    • Frame the problem in a few sentances so that others can easily grasp the problem space you are going after.
    • Define the impact of the problem (e.g. time, money, etc)
    • Go talk to people NOT like you and see if they agree that the problem exists.
To hear how I approach strangers and engage them in validating the problem, listen to the podcast.


Step 2: Test Your Innovation

This is where you validate that what you’ve come up with solves the problem the customer has.

    • Based on the input from Step 1, create a quick “fake” way to show people what your innovation is.  This could be a video, a Flash demo, etc.  Keep it cheap and fast.
    • Again – go talk to people.  Find more people who agree the problem exists and ask them how well your innovation addresses the problem.
Be prepared to iterate on Step 2 multiple times.  The priority should be on fast and cheap.


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