How To Test Your Idea

philmckinney | May 7, 2012


Listen to the Podcast Now:

How To Test Your Idea

So you have an idea.  You thinks its a killer idea.  How do you make sure its the next great thing before committing significant resources (e.g. money, time, etc)?

Testing your ideas doesn’t have to be a big long dragged out process.  By following a few quick steps, you can have the confidence that your idea will lead to the next game-changing innovation.

Step 1: Does the problem exist?

Rememebr that customers don’t but products or technologies, they buy solutions to their problems.  To validate the problem, you need to:

    • Frame the problem in a few sentances so that others can easily grasp the problem space you are going after.
    • Define the impact of the problem (e.g. time, money, etc)
    • Go talk to people NOT like you and see if they agree that the problem exists.
To hear how I approach strangers and engage them in validating the problem, listen to the podcast.


Step 2: Test Your Innovation

This is where you validate that what you’ve come up with solves the problem the customer has.

    • Based on the input from Step 1, create a quick “fake” way to show people what your innovation is.  This could be a video, a Flash demo, etc.  Keep it cheap and fast.
    • Again – go talk to people.  Find more people who agree the problem exists and ask them how well your innovation addresses the problem.
Be prepared to iterate on Step 2 multiple times.  The priority should be on fast and cheap.

To hear the rest on how to test/validate your idea, listen to How To Test Your Idea.  To get all of the shows, consider subscribing to the show either on iTunes or via the RSS feed.


Beyond The Obvious - a book by Phil McKinneyTo learn more about how to find ideas that turn into game-changing innovations, read Beyond The Obvious.  Why? Out of habit, we still cling to the “obvious” ideas that were once true in the rapidly receding past. In order to innovate, we need to learn to identify and ignore these “obvious” rules, ideas, or beliefs.  This books is a practical guide on how to go beyond the obvious and consistently generate game-changing innovations.