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Validating Startup Ideas

January 06, 2012

About 2 months ago, an article came across Hacker News about how to quickly validate startup ideas. The idea is basically as follows:

  • Identify a potential problem you'd like to solve
  • Create a landing page that states the problem and that you have the solution
  • Give little or no insight in to your solution, just that it works
  • Collect email addresses on your landing page
  • Run ads tailored to your idea and landing page
  • Tweak as needed to get conversions (sign-ups)

It's a simple plan, but it's pretty valuable. It also jives well with the whole Lean Startup movement. The theory goes that if you can't even get people interested enough in your idea to give you an email address, there's no way you can expect them to give you money. If your conversions, that is, sign-ups, are low, then you have two options; tweak the landing page and problem statement to better match what you think customer needs might be, or scrap the idea and go focus your efforts elsewhere.

I have a few ideas I'd like to build but I'm definitely going to start here. First things first, I'd like to find a good landing page creation/hosting site. So far, I've tried LaunchRock but I wasn't too impressed with their options and integration. The article suggests using Unbounce but while I don't have a problem paying for a solution, I'd rather start cheaper and scale up. (This is also why I'm currently in love with Heroku, btw).

I haven't dug too deep, but I'd love to hear about other solutions. I may just end up building my own landing pages by hand.


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