One of the hardest things to do as a maker is validate assumptions quickly, without investing a ton of time/resources. It can be very easy to pigeon hole yourself (and you team) by getting excited/attached to a single idea and building momentum behind that, without ever talking to customers, getting feedback, and seeing if people are actually interested.
We end up building what we want…not our users.
To eliminate this problem, early on, your team must buy into the “user-first” attitude towards building products. You have to throw ego out the door and let users do the talking.
It can be easy to say that. Most companies brand it everywhere.
But very few are able to successfully listen to users and build something people truly want.
And by the time they figure out their assumptions are wrong, they have already spent too much time and money to make the right changes.
A great way to save you, your team, and your investors tons of time is to have a basic “pre-launch page” that collects sign up for your product.
Even just a simple landing page that advertises the value proposition of your product can help you see if people will a) click on your page and b) whether or not they are interested enough to sign up.
If people are not clicking, then perhaps your message is not so compelling OR you are not reaching the right audience.
Creating a simple “waiting list” with a call to action will help you validate interest in the vale you are advertising.
If you want to be really scrappy and clever…you do not even need to have the product built when you launch your landing page (of course this is risky).
Ship makes it easy to launch your product the right way. I work with makers and startups from around the world and recommend Ship to those that are serious about building something people want. — Eric Ries
Here are two examples from my friend John Saddington is building:
Once you have your landing page up and running, start reaching out to your audience and asking to interview them.
Here are some best practices for your user interviews:
Are you working on anything new? How are you getting traction?
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