Idea validation allows inventors, entrepreneurs, and companies to make “fast, informed and de-risked decisions” about new products, services, businesses, or branding by “testing and validating” before launch. Understanding the vitality of a product—or any other idea—is key for prioritizing novel ideas, allocating resources effectively, and bringing innovation to market. Businesses of all sizes should implement a strategic idea validation process that substantiates new technology vitality.
How to Validate an Idea
Validating an idea includes multiple important aspects. You’ll need to ensure that your product solves a problem for your target audience in a new way, potential customers are willing to pay an adequate price for it, and that you can commercialize your idea without infringing on any existing or pending patents.
Your Target Market
Begin to answer these questions by defining your target market and competitors. Understanding how big your potential audience is and what mistakes your competitors have made will help you navigate your own entry into the market. Then, you can find out what your potential customers think of your idea, whether it’s for a business, product, or service.
An idea validation framework that does not consider the opinions of its target audience is incomplete. At this point, both qualitative and quantitative data are important. For example, a thorough validation process will attempt to measure validity based on in-depth interviews and forums, as well as the number of presales or email subscribers. Qualitative research validates the problem you believe your idea solves, while quantitative research makes it clear that people are willing to purchase your idea to solve their problem.
Your Idea’s Novelty
An idea validation tool such as IP.com’s AI-powered Technology Vitality Report can help you rank ideas in a fast, efficient, and transparent way. Utilizing a third-party tool allows you to approach validation with an analytical mindset. It’s important to keep in mind that an “idea is only a hypothesis, not a fact.” Until the validation process begins, inventors, entrepreneurs, and research and development teams make a lot of assumptions. Failing to put your love for your idea aside can skew how you interpret the results of your idea validation process.
Both parts of the idea validation process should occur throughout the innovation cycle. Ensuring your idea is viable, marketable, and patentable early on allows you to focus on good ideas and properly allocate valuable—and potentially scarce—resources.