I spent most of yesterday at Startup Weekend and was excited to hear the feedback from the judges during the final pitches. There were elegant apps and well developed presentations. Some teams had a product ready to roll out this week and others had nothing more than a well validated idea about what was possible.
The team that won didn’t design the elegant app, they hadn’t even developed the product. They had spent their time proving that if they built it people would come. They tested the idea by asking people for money to solve their problem. And their proof— someone actually parted with cash on the spot for a product that didn’t exist (they did give it back).
My friend Mark did this with an email list of twenty friends and neighbours when he started out baking bread as a hobby one day a week.
You don’t have to guess what the market wants or build the product from start to done. You just have to prove that a handful of people will pay for it first.
The better question to ask might be.
If you show them will they pay you?
Image by curiouslypersistent.