Don’t Waste You Time and Money Testing Your Startup Idea – Use Validation Board!
I’ve hinted you about Validation Board in my previous post. With this blog post, I would like to endorse it as a great tool to test your business idea, even before you spend time and money launching it. I am not affiliated by any means with this tool – so, I can guarantee objectivity to you. Interested? If so, read on
I love tools that can help me do things in a more efficient and effective manners. To me, speed is everything. Why?
It’s simple. I involved in online business. I build websites; not generally for clients, though. I build websites to grow them, trying to generate profit with them and choose between keeping them and selling them to interested buyers as an exit strategy.
Website building is not that complex, but there are steps to do to launch it quick. Let’s take blog building as an example.
In building a blog, what I normally do is to research for the right niche, choose what kind of blogs I am going to build, choose the right design, populate it with initial content – including blog posts, adopt the right monetization methods (different niches mean different kind of money making methods,) setting up social profiles for the blog – typically Facebook and Twitter, and promoting the blog and its content – on regular basis.
All of those are just for one single blog. As I mentioned before, in online business, speed is everything; so when changes are needed, you need to do it fast.
For example, there is a few web hosting uptime issues. I take uptime very seriously, because even a 15 minutes downtime can cost me my business for months to come. When my 500 visitors/day site is down for 1 hour, then I lose about 20-25 visitors. Not much, but still… just try to extrapolate that to 5,000 visitors/day – then you will lose 200-250 visitors per hour of downtime – quite significant.
…and yes, I’ve experienced several times during my career that a site is down for more than a day. That’s costly from a business standpoint. You lose visitors and I can guarantee you that 80% of them won’t return, thinking that your site has gone somewhere else or even stop operating. What if those 80% buzz on the web that your site is down? The domino effect is pretty expensive.
So, it’s decision time – should I stick to the same hosting provider or should I look elsewhere? The issue needs to be addressed real quickly.
Opportunity-wise, the same principle applies. When you see that, say, bird cages are becoming popular these days, then starting a site on bird cages and establishing you and/or your site as an expert will potentially bring you tons of targeted traffic.
You need to capitalize on the opportunity, and you need to do it fast – or else, someone else will “steal” your opportunity and he/she will benefit as the first entrant/pioneer.
But not all ideas can be turned into successful business – in my case, successful websites. I have built many sites that just won’t work. So many trials and errors before I found one, promising web business.
The bottom line, I want changes to be done quickly; I want to know whether my ideas will likely to be turned into successful ventures – trials and errors are just too costly, and I am a bootstrapper… so I can’t afford to lose money testing things I don’t know would work.
There’s nothing better than having a tool supporting you to take your ideas for new business or problem-solving to the fast lane and solve things in timely manner. This is where Validation Board is a solution that plays an important role.
What is Validation Board, anyway?
No, it’s not an app. Just like what implies in the name, it’s a board – you can access it online in the form of Google Docs template, printed in the form of 2ft x 3ft wall poster, or download it for you to decide on how to use it.
Validation Board is developed by Lean Startup Machine with lean startup principles in mind, with a purpose for you to validate ideas quickly without spending time and money to see whether an product/service is well-accepted by the market or not.
“Lean Startup” is an approach for launching businesses and products, that relies on validated learning, scientific experimentation, and iterative product releases to shorten product development cycles, measure progress, and gain valuable customer feedback. In this way, companies, especially startups, can design their products or services to meet the demands of their customer base without requiring large amounts of initial funding or expensive product launches.
Pricing? It’s free – you can download the “board” in exchange for a tweet. Fair enough – you would tweet about it anyway as it’s surprisingly helpful.
To understand better, check out this 4-minute tutorial on how to use Validation Board for your benefit:
As you can see, project managers and startup hustlers will benefit greatly from this tool. Your team will have a clear picture on what to do next, and anyone can contribute to the board to see whether an idea can solve a particular problem.
There are multiple solutions; you’re going to see whether the idea is doable or not – if it’s validated, proceed – if it sucks, just move on the next solution. If everything sucks, just discard the idea and pursue another.
Everything is done without you actually need to spend time and money developing a product or solution that nobody wants.
Need a success story/case study? Here is how Trevor Owens, the CEO of Lean Startup Machine, saved $10,000 and 6 months of his scooter business launch:
You know what, business success often doesn’t related to how genius you are or how entrepreneurial you are. Business success often relates to whether you understand your market or not.
While big biz has the money to spend – hundreds of thousands of dollar, even millions of dollar, for market research – small biz need to do things smarter, better and faster as resources are limited.
The Validation Board can give you all of those: You can launch a business quickly with minimal startup costs; you can even learn whether an idea will work or not BEFORE you spend your resources on developing test products.
I embrace failures and I advocate failing fast; I am a true believer that by failing fast, you will find success faster.
As most of us don’t like failing because of the time and money lost due to the failures – including the emotional ups and downs that come with them – something that can solve your time and money issue is much appreciated. The Validation Board comes to save the day; it will help you fail fast without much of the consequences.
Are you convinced? Or do you still have many questions to answer? Learn more here »