Testing Ideas with Customers

I’ve sat through approximately 50 pitches in the last 2-3 weeks and many times I hear a common example of how the teams have tested their ideas with customers…

“We went out and showed our prototype to a bunch of people and everyone we showed it to said yes, they would buy it!”.

The problem is that is not validation.

First of all, people like to be nice to other people.  Its human nature.  People will smile and say your idea is great but honestly it doesn’t prove anything.

Secondly, people may say “they like something” but it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily willing to pay cash for something.

Lastly, this is the wrong question to ask.

When you are testing your ideas with potential customers the first thing you need to do is ask them what their challenges are and why.  There is a whole discussion that needs to take place to get inside their heads.

If you are working on a new venture and interested in gathering some customer data start by just having a simple conversation with them about what they are doing and why.  You’ll be surprised at what you will learn!




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