- Just Ship It
- How to validate a startup idea?
How to validate a startup idea?
Picking the right startup to be profitable is a skill. Here is my 3-step framework.
In 2022, 25% of my startups made money.
In 2023, 71% of my startups made money.
The last issue was about finding ideas.
This issue is about picking the right one.
Estimated reading time: 2 min 16 sec
1. Is it painful?
I spent a year working full-time on Habits Garden (a gamified habit tracker). 10,000+ accounts and tons of happy users, but it makes less than $400/month.
In comparison, VirallyBot (a marketing tool for escape rooms) generates $600/month and I haven’t touched it since 2019.
Habits Garden is a vitamin: It’s cool to track habits
VirallyBot is a painkiller: Escape rooms need marketing
People are much more willing to pay for a product that solves their problems.
Focus on painkillers to reach profitability faster
Turn vitamins into painkillers by explaining why your product is a must-have: Track your habits → Diet habit you won’t quit
2. Would you (really) use it?
My wife is a Korean teacher. So I typed Korean workbooks in Google and discovered people were searching for this. 3 weeks later, WorkbookPDF was born (AI-generated language workbooks).
I launched and made a few bucks. But the product is stuck because I don’t use it: I have no idea how to write the copy or what features to add.
Validating ideas (i.e. keyword research) is important. But it’s pale in comparison to actually using the product yourself:
In the worst case, you improved your life
Chances are someone needs the product too
You understand the frustration, your copy will be on point
3. How long until launch?
You’re a solopreneur with limited time, primarily if you work 9 to 5. If it takes 6 months to build a startup, it’s not a good idea. It will actually take 12 months (overthinking and bugs) and you could burn out and quit.
Instead, think in weeks, and ditch ideas that take longer than a month. You can also lower your time-to-market:
Presell a product
Ditch code testing & dark mode
Break big ideas into 1-feature-only products
There is no perfect idea. The only way to know is to launch it. This framework helps you increase the odds of success and get profitable faster.