5 Questions for Validating your Startup Idea

by | Sep 14, 2015

“Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about.” –  Ashleigh Brilliant

That a startup’s business idea will not address any problem, either individual or business, is one of the major reasons startups fail. And as the founders of Metro Africa Xpress (MAX) put it, the best form of market survey and research is the one done with the potential customers or clients, more like the Lean model.

Ideas could be cheap to come by, but there’s the place of implementation, after which acceptability comes in.
We are not looking into at implementation tips with this post, but validating business idea – making sure is bankable.


Let’s check out some steps that will surely save time as well as effort, while also minimising risks in your startup journey – knowing how realistic your idea is.

Is it your zone?

Is the business idea about an industry you have worked in before? If yes, you are already at an advantage. Ask Tunde Kehinde or Raphael Afeador.

Experience is key and having it hands-on is perfect. Working at an established company prior to starting your idea not only gives you an edge, but you also stand a chance of learning operational and managerial aspect of running a successful business.

And even working for a startup rather than an established company will feed your energy as an entrepreneur, and you get to learn real execution in practice, first hand.

To what problem is this solution?

Your solution won’t be one if it’s actually not addressing any need.

In this short time playing around startups on Techpoint, I have come across pitches of startups that are great but the problem they are trying to address in some cases don’t really exist, while for some, it’s about reinventing the wheels.

If you have to look around for problems that your solution or product would address, you are already at a disadvantage.

If you are trying to build a solution based on what you are struggling with, the best question for you would be – are your friends, colleagues and people around you struggling with the same thing?


Who are my potential users/clients?

If the answer to the above question is yes, the next one would be: what category of people do these friends and colleagues belong to?

Now that you already know your potential users and/or customers, the next question is – what’s the domain of these sets of people and what’s the best channel to reach them?

Invest in getting market insights from your potential customers and users, do market research – talk to real customers.

What’s the best approach to test your idea?

You have talked to your potential customers and now your minimum viable product (MVP) is ready, what’s the best approach to validate your idea with your potential customers for immediate feedback? You may want to take your validation process out of the friends, family and colleagues circle, they definitely will not want to hurt your feelings.

Still on validating your idea, it’s about how great you can convince your potential customers about your solution – will it be easy for them to understand? Can you spend less than 30 seconds to sell your solution to anyone?

Here’s all about feedback and their reactions.

Will people be willing to pay for your solution?

One of the paramount validations of your business idea is whether people are willing to pay for and even use your solution or not.

And in talking to your potential customers with your MVP, the questions will be – will they be willing to use your solution? Can they pay to use it? And how much will they be willing to pay for such a solution?

Getting a user for your solution is different from asking them to pay for it.

Whether they will pay to use it or not, there’s still a ‘why’ question.

With these questions, you are guided on not just building a solution but creating value for your customers and users, as the case may be.

Yinka Awosanya
Yinka Awosanya

Mobile & African Tech Enthusiast │ Data Analyst │ Music

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