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Validating Product Ideas

This is a guidance on how to approach on new product ideas.
Take this as a rough proceeding plan + add learnings from time to time.

Step 1: Briefing Team Members


Give the team members a short introduction on what your idea is about or which problem you want to be solved.
By briefing the team members one can already find out and catch other opinions on wether the suspected problem or product idea is worth to do research on.


An introduction briefing on the main page of the specific product idea document in Coda. Explain the idea in a way that is easy to understand. Cover following questions:
How did this idea come up your mind?
What is the aimed product about? Whats the problem you suspected?
(Pitch a possible proceeding plan)

Step 2: Find Approval & Consent


Find out if and how other people think about the suspected idea or problem


A list of information on what people think about your problem or product idea on a subpage under the specific product idea document in coda.
Cover following questions:
Do other people also feel the prospected problem/idea?
Is there another problem that one did not think of?
Could the product idea be a real painkiller, or is it only a vitamin?
Are there other products on the market?
Reference where the information was found

Community Research

One can find information on different communities at
We have for the main communities to approach on (e.g. Reddit, IndieHackers, HackerNews, Discord, etc. )
If one does not find the right community on there, one can search for a new one on
Guidance for posts:
The posts in different communities should not sound like a product pitch or market research
Especially the reddit community is eager to catch market research or product pitches(read more in )
Add value to the community: Do not just request information, also share your own thoughts
The community will come up with a positive message more likely
Only post once per community!

LinkedIn Outreach

Guidance for the outreach message:
The message should not sound like one wants to sell a product to anyone
Adress personally (be on first name terms)
Most of addressed people do the same for you too then
Chat/talk is more relaxed
It is likely to get more insights out of a relaxed talk/chat other than in a very tense and high level talk/chat
Attention: sometimes people do not want to talk on first name terms → just accept that and try to continue the chat :)
Learnings out of having interviews:
There are often guys who want to sell their consultation
Block this → try to end the call as soon as possible
If you keep the interview on a relaxed level, they will often tell you more detailed infos
Try to also give them information → do not only request information, give them some advices they can have an added value from
Document every answer you get.
Who did send the answer? → Link to the LinkedIn profile
this is also useful for a later product release → you already have an audience
What is the key info out of the answer?
Decision Making Point:
Decide if + how to proceed working on the new product idea.
Talk about the results of the previous research.
Sometimes an idea could need some thinking time to evolve into a real product.

If a product idea gets dropped

Prepare a possible buildersdock blog post
Answer the following questions:
What was the product idea about?
Why was the idea dropped?
What where blockers on the way to do further research on?

Step 3: Available Product Research


Find available products on the market and document information on them
Find the answer to the question if it is hard to compete with available products


A documentation on available products on a subpage under the specific product idea document in coda.
Cover following questions:
Which topics do these tools cover?
Is there a niche that the available products do not cover?
How do other companies make money with the tool?
How much?
How big is the demand for products like this?
results for this can also be found in Step 2 - Community Research
how big are the user groups?
Is it hard to compete against available products?
Conclusion and valuation

Step 4: Requirements Documentation


Since there was done a lot of research now, one is able to specify first requirements for the product.


A requirements documentation on a subpage under the specific product idea document in coda.
It should include:
Noticed improvement options of available products e.g.:
A cleaner interface
Better rights management
Bonus features e.g.:
mobile version
Distribution options
Open Source + Good Code could lead to developer engagement
Building on top of an existing product
How to make money?
Lifetime deals
1 Year Deal
Monthly Deal
Update Deal(possibility to Update the product x times)

Step 5: MVP Planning

The Minimum Viable Product is a version of a product with just enough features to be usable for early customers


The goal of this step is to draw a conclusion of the steps before and point out key functionalities of the possible product


Write down the target functionalities of the the product on a subpage under the specific product idea document in coda.

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