Episode 4: Validating Your Ideas

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Nick Woodman didn’t set out to build a market defining digital video camera and media company. His gaming startup had just failed, losing investors nearly $4m. He took a surf trip to get away from it all, and wanted to find a way to get some action shots of him and his friends surfing – so he strapped a disposable camera to his wrist with elastic bands.

That ‘hack’ became the inspiration for the first GoPro camera. It’s a great example of how you shouldn’t worry about the end game – just solve a real problem for someone and who knows where you might end up.


No matter how many customer conversations you have or what you gut instinct says, the only way you’ll ever really know if there’s a market for your idea is by getting it out there.

Stef has been building products that people love for years, and this is a great post about testing your idea with a small group of passionate users.

“Far better to have a smaller, active set of people who like your stuff, than a ton of irrelevant, disengaged folk.”


“I’ll be happy once we get to 1,000 subscribers”

“I’ll be happy once we get to £10,000 a month in sales”

“I’d just really like us to get some recognition in the press and then I’ll be happy”

Sound familiar? We’re always setting ourselves milestones to hit before we’ll allow ourselves to feel happy with what we’ve achieved. The trouble is that there is no such thing as enough – you’ll never reach a summit if that’s what you’re aiming for.

Instead we need to understand that it’s the ‘doing’ that makes us happy, and being happy makes us perform better, making us more likely to be successful!


If you want to learn whether you have a market for your idea this is the book to read. We have used with with every idea we have as an initial test bed. If the concept can’t pass the mom test then it either needs more work and refinement or its a non runner.


A close friend and mentor of ours (Hi Martyn!) has a saying. “Any business can be set up and tested with a landing page and Typeform.”

Typeform is an amazing product. It is essentially customer data collection done right. You can even charge money with it.

For example, take AirB&B. Their original idea was built around a landing page for their own house with a payment field. The site had a few forms to fill in and then a credit card field (they actually just took cash in the early days). To build that then was actually some work and required some coding. To do it now… Squarespace and Typeform. It will take about 2 hours.

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