How we validate new product and venture concepts

Einstein said if he had an hour to solve a challenge he’d spend 55 minutes on the problem, 5 on the solution. Simple, but not easy. Over the past weeks we've been applying this advice to building a new venture. Here’s what we’ve learned so far…

The crew are currently incubating a new startup. It’s incredibly exciting, but we have to work hard not to jump to solutions (or slide decks). We’re busy validating assumptions; building micro-sized tests; reducing our execution risk; talking to humans.

To access people outside our own networks, we've run some paid social media ads. Eighteen ad variants point to various landing pages and surveys. Our first pass did okay, but 10 days later we'd iterated 3 times - and the results have shifted drastically.

The most significant changes were all counter-intuitive:

1. Surveys take 3x longer but convert 2x better (and offers far richer insights).

2. Removing a cash incentive for product testers actually lowered acquisition costs

3. Adding an in-built "book a 15 min call" boosted conversions 2.5x (even though it’s more time and effort for people)

A few other things of note…

- 90% of people gave their phone numbers freely

- ‘What else do you want to share?’ is a golden open-ended question

- A 15 min call can yield tons of insight - if you design the questions well

And in classic startup style, we've built this entire system on no-code tools for $75/month (Carrd, Figma, Zapier, Notion, Typeform, Calendly).

This is just a very brief primer on the process. Curious to learn more about how we do this? Get in touch

P.S. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you actually know.

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