How did the world first tell you that your idea was a good one?

Hello good people.

I’m working on this book about product development, which I’ve mentioned here before (won’t link to again, for now) and currently drafting the section on idea validation. I’ve included a few examples in this section, and think it would benefit from a few more real life examples: and for this I need your help.

Assuming you currently have a product which generates some profit (however small!) can you please think back and try to recall: When and how did you first get an external “signal” that your product would sell? In what form did the world give you feedback that you should continue with your idea? Did you post about it on a forum and see a larger than usual response? Did you run an adword campaign and see a better than expected conversion rate? Did you start to tell people about it and have them interrupt you, waving money in your face? What was it, from the outside world, that gave you your first hint that this idea–unlike all your other not-so-successful ideas–was going to eventually be profitable?

kind regards

  1. You contact them with a link to your product and simple explanatory intro
  2. They responded with wow, I really need this
  3. They actually signed up
  4. They actually used the product
  5. Couple of days later, they’re asking for more features

… 1-5 happening from multiple users is a strong validation. An idea that you share with people and they actually do 1-5 is a clear sign you’re on to something, either freemium or premium.


I got my original idea from talking to a friend (I was actually giving a free day of sort of consulting to help him work out what issues in his business might be solvable by hiring a developer). A week later I showed him a prototype which he then wanted access to asap. I had a discussion about how much time this would save him each month, what that translated to in cost savings and we hit on a fair price for the product. Signal!

After that there were lots of other small signals leading me towards a product which was more general applicable to people and making an actual profit.

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I showed a rough prototype to some people in the target industry and they asked to invest.

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Thanks @Shinamee @robinwarren and @dgrigg I really appreciate the answers.