We’ve all heard the old saying, “you know what happens when you assume”. Well, we’ve used that saying many times when those around us are making assumptions about something or when those around us make general statements about how things are going to work out. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong.
An assumption is simply something that we accept as true or as certain to happen without having any real proof. We do it all the time and we do it all the time in business, but this is a very dangerous and potentially very expensive thing to do in the world of startups or new product development.
The reason it is such a dangerous tactic is because in a startup there is a high potential for waste ($$) and assumptions are the main catalyst for this.
And the list goes one…
Startups inherently bring with them uncertainty. Startups operate under the conditions of extreme uncertainty and the bottom line is we don’t know with certainty what will work and what won’t. We don’t know for certain if the customer is eventually going to consider what we are building as valuable enough to buy.
This is why it is of utmost importance to get all our assumptions validated by customers as quickly as possible.
In startups, one of the most important things to accomplish as early as possible is to make sure you understand your target customer’s problem and what they need in order to solve that problem. This only happens if we get out and interact with potential customers.
Here are some practical tips for validating assumptions as you build out your new business and product:
Again, the goal is to either validate or invalidate your assumptions as quickly as possible so you can focus your time and money on the activities that generate real value to your customers. You will learn from them whether you need to keep going or change directions, but you’ll know early on if your idea is viable or not.
Discussion Question: What tactics do you use to get your assumptions validated so you can focus on the activities that create the most value?