Validation Is Greater Than Code
The other day I was talking with a potential co-founder. He was very passionate about an idea and wanted to jump right into building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). I admire the passion, but hard-earned lessons have taught me that building a MVP is never the first step. Validation by testing and talking to potential users has to occur before writing any code.
I shared with him a presentation by Sarah Leary, the co-founder of the social network Nextdoor. The presentation is about the validation process they took to pivot from their original concept, Fanbase, to Nextdoor. It is a fascinating story that a lot of first-time founders can learn from.
One of the hardest parts of a startup is having to manage yourself. Founders want to get things done and get it done fast, but if we don't start by validating ideas, we may discover what we spent time building isn't what actual customers want.
Validation takes time; it took Nextdoor an entire year to fully validate product-market fit. So have patience and remember: as long as you are learning and growing, you are heading in the right direction.