3 key principles for startup validation

Among the most talked about strategies are drawing community insights, addressing pain points and customer feedback and getting the wireframe right.
Written by Srinivas Kulkarni, Contributor

So you might have an idea for your startup! You might also have spent a lot of time in the startup circuit. And last but not least, you might have a great passion.

But if it is your first attempt, a major challenge is getting your startup idea validated.

Most VCs, investors certainly have a fundamental requirement of getting the startup validation in place. I'm not even talking about the market size or the big target numbers, buton a more fundamental level the key things that affect your startup's takeoff.


There are three key principles that could come in handy for entrepreneurs with some advice from a few entrepreneurs to do the best you can while you're out there working on your product and focused on shipping it out. 

"Get early feedback. Not from your friends but people who do not know you. Post on forums, find other startup founders and employees and ask them about their thoughts. Talk to bloggers in the same space as your product. Ask them if they would write about such a product," said Nischal Shetty, founder of Justunfollow. This would validate as well as get you the initial press coverage, he added.

Draw inspiration from the community

It is essential to find out what others think even at the risk of being shot down. This may help you improve your idea. Of course, you may wonder, if your idea would get stolen or someone else who might come up with something along the same lines. Stop worrying about that. Interestingly, you might be surprised that so many competitors are always out there, but what wins the trophy at the end is how well you execute it. So, if you do get insights, inputs and suggestions from various communities you'd realize how much of that would matter in the future. 

Study the pain points that your startup addresses

This is always the key as more often than none, out of all the ideas out there, if you understand the pain point of your users you would be focused enough to build a product that doesn't do too much or too many things at one point in time. Of course there will be evolutions and your product manager will go into the aspects of building and making the product better. But give priority to the primary pain point it addresses and throw it out there. This helps people get an understanding of what kind of a brand does your idea build and validation in that domain is a lot more easier. Customers understanding helps your product go a long way ahead. Yes, initially your product may not be in the best shape, but as it transforms and moves ahead in the lifecycle of the product, this becomes a crucial aspect of validation for your startup.

"The best validation for a startup is the customer's nod. There's no substitute to customer feedback at every stage of the startup, from pre-concept to post-funding. In fact, validation should be an ongoing exercise." said Alok Jain, CMO at Zomato.com. He added that at Zomato, they actively engage with their users through a constant feedback-iteration loop to keep improving their product.

Key is on getting the wireframe right

Right from the ideation stage to the actual development, a lot of focus is getting your philosophy right. So, now that you've detailed out, talked to your potential target customers, communities and folks who could be your potential target audience, you need to microscopically etch out the details of how your product idea transforms into a better product and also eventually helps resolve the problem seamlessly.  

One of the important aspects of getting your product to be used by many relies on getting simple aspects of design thinking philosophy and how to make your product more user-friendly and more easier from the design perspective. The validation becomes much easier then.

Other than of course the regular aspects and much talked about strategies, these key principles cover a lot more ground and help you in the long term while building your startup. What do you think?

Editorial standards