So the big question, what are we trying to validate?

When company are starting out, there are 5 validation area that we can cover. You don’t have to cover all areas as some of obviously know, or most likely you will be paying more attention towards some areas when you are at different stage of your project.

  • Problem Validation
  • Product / Solution Validation
  • Customer Validation
  • Market Demand Validation
  • Competition Analysis

Problem Validation

Goal : Discover the real problem that people are facing and estimate whether is this problem big enough for you to build out your idea and solve it.

Your idea are most likely stemmed from an existing problem that you are facing.

You might think it is obvious that the problem exists and thus others that face the same problem would fancy your offerings. This is where the common pitfall is.

Doing problem validation helps you gauge and find out answer to questions as follows :

  • How serious the problem is, in terms of losing financially or losing time
  • What is the biggest problem that they are facing
  • Is this an isolated problem or recurring problem
  • Does people willing to pay in order to solve the problem
  • How do people currently solve the problem or do they just live with it
  • How frequent do people face the problem
  • Do they know anyone who face the same problem
  • What is the cause of the problem
  • What are the demographics of people who face the same problem
  • Is the problem limited by geographical area or any other conditions (for example the problem only exists in Malaysia or is the problem exists across other country)

Select what are the questions that you want to find out about and craft your hypothesis around those questions. Again don't forget to forecast an outcome that you expect prior to collect any data. Here are some questions for your reference :

  • How frequent do you face this problem?
  • Currently, what do you do to solve this problem?
  • Why do you think this problem exists?
  • Do you know anyone who facing the same problem?
  • Tell me about the last time you face this problem.
  • Would you be willing to pay [money] to solve this problem
  • Would you want to spend 5 minutes listening to my solution that can solve this problem
  • Which part of the problem is the biggest headache to you?


Ultimately, the takeaway that we should be getting after doing problem validation is that

  • The problem actually exists
  • It is a serious problem to the extent that people would be paying to solve the problem
  • There are other people that they know that face the same problem
  • They are interested in exploring solutions
  • You understand the core part of the problem enough to come up with a solution

[Next post : 13 Business Insights discover through Product Validation](