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Business / Strategy

Idea Validation | From idea to paying customer in 1 day

Learn how to test your business and product ideas online quickly, cheaply, & easily. Make sales before you even launch!

Description

"When we're in the shower, when we're thinking about our idea - boy, does it sound brilliant. But the reality is that most of our ideas are actually terrible." - Eric Ries, Lean Startup 


Why did your last business or product idea fail?  Maybe you think it's because you didn't have enough money, a good enough team, you lost favor with the money gods, BLAH BLAH BLAH. You're wrong…. I know exactly why it failed. It failed because you didn't validate it beforehand. That's it. You're welcome. Yes, you heard me correctly. It'd not because you're not a code ninja or a marketing guru or the next Steve Jobs, it's because you screwed up and didn't pre-validate it. You did everything right but your idea was awful and you didn't even know it. Stop picking bad ideas. 


This Idea Validation course has taught 1200+ students to dodge bad business ideas like bullets in The Matrix. Its packed with 8 hours of a proven techniques used by the pros and guarded by the super-secret club of business people who are better than you. 


After completing this course people will crowd around you and wonder just how you do it. "How do you always pick winners!?" they'll say.  At the end of this course you'll know the deepest darkest secrets of business validation, like: Getting the nerd classes on and running qualitative feedback trials Knowing your competition better than even their mother knows them (creepy) Rocking lean, mean online pitch experiments some of the best, FREE tools only the pros know about. 


The magic price that makes you the most money How to find your Mr. I-Love-your-product-so-much and how to marry them Why you're no good at knowing if your idea is any good… even if you've built products before. Being able to test your ideas is like having a SUPERPOWER. Maybe not like flying or invisibility (which would be awesome) but more like being ABLE TO SEE THE FUTURE. 


Did that scare you a little bit? It should. Because that's too much power for one person to have. Why do you need the power of "business validation"? Come on do I really have to tell you? It should be OBVIOUS. But fine: Because the next time you fail a product launch or pitch a dumb idea, your boss is going to hate you. Instead pitch a ROCKSTAR idea with data that says “I'm right and you know I'm right". Watch him/her get all uncomfortable and weak at the knees when they recognize your superpowers. Because you want to get out of your cubicle and start living the entrepreneurial dream but "I JUST HAVE TOO MANY IDEAS AND WHICH ONE DO I CHOOSE?". Whoa relax, seriously. 


Validate your stuff, cut the fat, and you'll be sippin your beach pina coladas in no time. Because you want to sell new products without just stabbing around in the dark until you get a winner. Because you want those PRO SKILLS that all the big companies have that make them so much money. Yeah, it's time to up your game. Because you want to be an awesome entrepreneur that everyone is OH-SO jealous of. Did any of those make sense to you? Well then...

Full details

Curriculum

  • Welcome to the course
    Meet Evan
    Introduction to my background running a web agency and running 100s of real life validation experiments.
    5:17
    Course Overview
    Let's talk about the individual sections of the course and set expectations for what you are going to learn. In this lecture, we'll talk about what order you should follow along in and what's the best way to get the most out of the course
    5:01
    Review Material
  • Establishing the problem
    The idea validation framework
    In this lecture we're going to cover the basics of how Lean Validation works. After this course you'll understand how to structure your ideas, how to position them for testing, and ultimately help you understand the process by which Lean practitioners rapidly validate ideas. We'll also talk a little bit about the abstract value of "untested ideas" and how to improve them We'll cover: - What is a product hypothesis and how would I construct them? - What's a pitch experiment, how do I set one up, how do I now when its failed or succeeded? - What's a pivot and how does that work into this framework? - How do I set my Minimum Criteria for Success? What should I mainly look for? We'll cover the examples of both Costco (large US based retailer) and Facebook (the #1 social network) to help you grasp these definitions and apply your knowledge.
    11:26
    The idea we are going to use as an example
    In this lecture, we're going to create a hypothetical idea. The purpose of this idea is so that we can follow through the course with a real live idea and I can show you how to implement the theory and techniques on each section. Theory only is boring! So introduce yourself to the idea we're going to use and run real life validations on.
    3:20
    Customer Segmentation
    Who is going to use your idea? Who benefits from it? Who has a problem that your idea solves? In this lecture, we're going to tackle how to answer these questions through Customer Segmentation. We'll cover: - How to Identify the value your idea is delivering. How to identify potential problems your idea could be addressing - How to define potential customer groups. How do you identify the areas that divide them apart - How to identify key demographics for your target groups and determine which ones are relevant - How to build customer profiles when you have a two sided marketplace idea. At the end of the lecture, you'll understand how to build a rudimentary profile for your target market, how to rank them, and ultimately how to target them. We'll go through the entire process of building customer profiles with our example idea.
    14:09
    Running a Qualitative analysis offline
    Let's start testing our assumptions and getting real user feedback. In this lecture, we're going to cover running Qualitative Assessments from potential customers. This is the first step in the road to validating your idea and the first time we introduce it to someone other than yourself. Why is it called a "Qualitative assessment"? Well, because we are going to collect qualitative information. Soft info that can give us a positive feel for our idea before we spend more time on it. We'll cover: - How do you find potential customers to run an assessment with? - What are easy ways of getting people to agree to talk? - How to frame your questions and get the crucial "problem based" feedback you need - Who are the "innovators" and why do we want to target them? This is the first step in testing your idea and the easiest way to get out there and getting a feel for it.
    15:00
    Review Material
  • Scope out the competition
    Search techniques for finding competitors
    What's the easiest way of finding whether or not your idea is already being done? In this lecture, we'll go over competition, how you should feel about it, and how you can sniff it out if it exists. Too often people do not properly search for competitors before launching their idea, and this severely limits their chance of success. We'll cover: - How should you feel about competition, if it exists? - How do you know if your competitors kill your idea or make it stronger? - Using Google tools and tricks to cut through the search result noise - How to use alternative search engines and their advantages to find more competitors - How to think critically about where you are going to find your real competitors We'll run these lecture live with the example idea we are using.
    13:36
    Running a competition analysis
    We've found some competitors. Now let's start tearing them apart. How do you tell if a competitor is really a threat or just a minor hiccup? In this lecture, we're going to talk about what qualifies your competitors as threats, what to look for in their websites, and how to take these analysis and use it to make your idea that much better. We'll cover: - How to compare your relative capabilities to your competitors - How to compare your idea's features to your competitors - How to sniff out your competitors budget. Are they well funded or still in someone's garage? - How to stalk your competitors advertising efforts using SEMrush - How to use keyword clusters to find even more competitors - How to build a basic narrative of your competitor based off articles, and traffic stats - How to use SimilarWeb to track your competitor's success in App stores The goal of this lecture is to give you the tools and priorities to evaluate your competitors. By the end you should have a decent idea of whether or not your competitors are worth being concerned about.
    16:49
    Review Material
  • Getting your first customer feedback
    5 Second test
    In this lecture, we're going to cover one of the coolest and least well known sites around: 5 second test. The concept is simple. You get 5 seconds to make a judgement about a design or idea. When constricted to such a short time frame, users have to give you their gut reaction. That's EXACTLY what we want. We'll cover: - How to use 5 second test's system in an unorthodox way to get idea feedback - The easiest ways of getting your contest up and running in less than 5 minutes - How to gather feedback, what to ignore, and what to look for
    15:59
    Proved.co method
    Sometimes a more robust option for user feedback is in order. Gathering unbiased information from potential users can be difficult sometimes; luckily there's a service thats designed for just the task. For those of you with the budget (or just interested in the information you can receive), we're going to explore Proved.co and what insights we can get from their platform.
    8:36
    Email Validation
    What's the cheapest and easiest way of getting feedback? Email! Since everyone has an email and presumably you are already invested into validating your idea, email validation is a logical place to start. It really is quite simple, yet it escapes so many Entrepreneurs. We're going to talk about all the ways you can get feedback from your own network, easily accessible business employees, and even by cold emailing target customers. We'll cover: - How to tap your own network and what to say - What to expect from different groups - How to use publicly available information to create a "hit list" for cold emailing - How to increase the likelihood of getting your email read and getting a response - What number of responses should you be satisfied with
    12:41
    Forum Validation
    In this lecture we're going to cover online communities that are easy to receive feedback from. The internet has forums and groups for all different topics and reasons. With a little bit of skill (& sincerity), we easily select a group that specifically has the interests or experiences we need and poll them. Exposing your idea to specific topic groups is a free, easy way to get a group reaction and immediate feedback. However, if you want to get honest feedback and not invoke ire you need to tread carefully. We'll cover in this lecture how to word your idea and your request for feedback in a way that comes off the most non "spammy" and solicits the best feedback
    18:42
    Review Material
  • Creating your pitch experiment
    Setting up a launchrock page
    Let's get introduced to landing pages! In this lecture, we're going to get acquainted with a site called Launchrock. What is Launchrock? Launchrock first started off as a free service for letting startups create pages that announced they had "launched" (hence the name). Now it offers quite a bit more but as a fundamental service it still operates the same. Why do we use Launchrock? Because Launchrock's setup is designed for just announcing something, it's perfect for easily making a pitch experiment without spending too much time upfront. With Launchrock, we'll only get to display a couple sentences of text and can only insert images into pre-defined places. Sounds restricted? Yes, it is and that's absolutely what we want. We're going to practice refining our message down to the bare minimum and testing on the fly. We'll cover: - Getting setup with Launchrock - Picking templates that fit your idea best - How to customize your page beyond the template. Adding sharing abilities, custom images, confirmation emails, custom domains, etc - How to determine what your "call to action" is going to be
    18:53
    Using UnBounce for more in depth analysis
    Now that we've covered the bare minimum, it's time to upgrade to the marketer's favorite tool: Unbounce. What is Unbounce? Unbounce is a platform built specifically for building out and rapidly modifying landing pages. With Unbounce, we're going to open up a whole new world of functionality. With Unbounce we're going to go beyond just testing one general pitch page at a time. We can use much more rich templates, we can test individual words against each in real time, and we can make multiple tweaks per iteration to really figure out what customers respond to and ignore. In this lecture we're just going to start getting acquainted with Unbounce and start looking at how we can tailor this system to meet our needs. We'll cover: How to get up ad running with Unbounce for free How to pick a high converting template to save time What are the 3 types of landing page templates : Lead generation, Call to action, Announcement Making your landing page responsive to mobile and tablet resolutions How to use the main features on the Unbounce creation page Working with elements, buttons, and forms
    12:50
    Making the Unbounce page fit your idea
    14:27
    Adding conversion goals + dynamic text
    7:29
    Setting up A/B tests for your Unbounce page
    17:00
    Adding a payment button to your page
    11:40
    Extra: Using a payment button in email
    5:27
    Extra: Using templates for extra wow
    13:30
    Extra: Getting a logo for free
    8:02
    Extra: Getting a better logo for $5
    6:51
    Extra: Getting domain names
    10:00
    Review Material
  • Testing your idea in the wild
    Google
    16:21
    Facebook
    15:52
    RESOURCES: Further reading on Facebook ads and "interest targeting"
    Getting free coupons for Google ($75), Facebook ($50), Bing ($50)
    7:03
    Review Material
  • Evaluating Results
    Looking over the results
    6:21
    What to do with emails IMMEDIATELY
    1:52
    To repeat or not
    6:41
    Review Material

Skills

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Product Ideation

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