How to Validate Your Idea?

The next step in series after ‘Ideation’ for the Entrepreneurship Process is ‘Validating’ the idea. So how do you validate your business idea? If you are reading this post then you absolutely agree that validating is really important. It is almost like a ritual which, in some form or the other, must be performed before launching your start-up for the simple reason that it will minimize and the hedge the risk associated with Entrepreneurship itself.

Before I go onto how to validate, I’d like to narrate an example from a very successful start-up story – from the legend of Facebook.

When Mark Zuckerberg joined Harvard College as a sophomore, he had doodled around with some of his own hobby projects/ideas on the Internet services; the idea of networking online with college friends and batch mates. Out of passion he developed a site called Course Match. Here you could click on a course to see who has signed up for it or click on a person’s name to see which courses he/she was taking. It was connecting people through common interests. Almost instantly hundreds of students began using Mark’s site, which was just supposed to be a project that he had built out of his own passion.

After the success of Course Match, Mark tried another idea called Facemash, which let students compare the pictures of two different faces of the same sex. Facemash was also an instant hit with the students. Moreover there had been an increasing demand from the students across many colleges, including the Ivy League, to have an online version of the student photo directory which was otherwise being maintained as print version. Sensing the demand and encouraged by the success of his own hobby projects, Mark went ahead to build the Facebook. Mark’s validation – instant hit of his two previous networking projects and an ensuing demand by many college students (a population which together totalled up to thousands) to have an online presence of the student photo directories where the students could have control over managing their profiles. This was the basis for the launch of the Facebook.

There is no strict guideline to follow for the validation process. But here are a few ways which you could follow in absence of the obvious – such as that in case of Facebook. Take the initial idea and sound it out to the following groups of people. Method of sounding out the idea to each of the following groups will differ:

  1. Friends and family
  2. Entrepreneurship forums which allow you to pitch the ideas in some contests
  3. Entrepreneurship seminars where you can sound out the ideas to the experts in a one-to-one session
  4. The target customers

If all the above four groups of people seem excited about your idea, then you can be happy that you have a business in the making!

Mridula VelagapudiAbout Mridula: Mridula is a freelance writer. She writes on Entrepreneurship and has worked for a start-up in the past. To know more check out her profile at LinkedIn/Mridula Velagapudi

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