Startup ideas are only validated by selling products and making a profit. But it doesn’t take one idea to build a company, it takes hundreds and then thousands.
Let’s make this simple: there is only one way to start a business. It has four steps:
- Find some people with the needs or problems you are interested in solving and who will trust you to help them.
- Fulfill those needs by addressing problems you discover along the way.
- Get paid enough to make the experience worth your effort.
- Repeat building on what you have done in the past.
Your idea now can only help in one way: as a starting point for focus. It should focus you on a particular group of potential customers. Even if you cannot implement your idea for those customers now, you can find them and serve them in some way. You will be surprised by what you learn.
Those of us who actually made the move into the marketplace found out that it was nothing like what we expected. All of our analysis and ideas prior to making sales is useless. Success instead comes when we adapt to what we find.
In my case, I built an INC. 500 fastest growing companies in America without any clear idea about what we could become over time. My only idea was that certain changes in the marketplace created problems that someone would have to solve. I focused on people that had those problems.
The market doesn’t so much validate your idea as teach you what your idea really should be.