Validating your idea

What is the best method to validate?

You’ve undoubtably read a slew of articles on how to validate your business or product. Get an email list. Collect Twitter followers. Have a long, drawn out beta period.

Unfortunately, all of those validation methods are bogus.

There is only one type of validation, when building a sustainable business: money.

No money? No validation.

1,000 people on your mailing list is not validation. 1,000 people on your free plan is not validation. 100,000 Twitter followers is not validation.

Money is validation.

And what you need as a business in its earliest stages is validation. Otherwise you risk wasting colossal amounts of time doing something people potentially have no interest in.

Many of us have a psychological barrier to asking people to pay us. We’re afraid they’ll tell us “no” or that it’s not worth what we’re wanting to charge, but finding that out is absolutely vital.

Getting a product out the door

With money as validation, the quickest route to get that validation is to ship as soon as humanly possible.

This means an imperfect product. This means leaving out features you want to build. This means potential instability and unforeseen bugs. And that’s okay!

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.

– Reid Hoffman

Reid’s advice will literally print money for you if you take it to heart.

The great thing about using money as a tool for validation is that you will find out sooner if you’re onto a good idea or not. People are much more willing to give up their email address than their money. If you collect email addresses, take a year to launch, and then find out you have a dud, you’ve wasted your time.