Have you ever worked on a project - invested time, money, and effort - only to find out that there isn’t a customer base for it? This happens because a vital piece of the puzzle is missing from your business model: validation. Today’s guest is Yonatan Snir, Co-Founder and CEO of CliClap.com. CliClap is a successful machine learning platform, but their success isn’t an accident. He validated his business plans (almost) every step of the way.
You have a brilliant idea for a new business. It’s too good to miss out on, so you start developing. You source funding. You invest time. You build a team. Then you launch…and wait…and wait...and the customers never come.
The problem is, you missed out on Yonatan Snir’s One Big Tip: validation, and you’re not alone. Businesses fail every day because they are making misguided attempts to provide products and services to customers. So how do you find out what the customers actually want?
It’s pretty simple actually - talk to your customers. “I think that your customers won't, in most cases, invent stuff for you. But they can definitely guide you to places where you can think of new inventions that can make a difference.” And Yonatan is absolutely right.
“I think it's a combination of my ideas that need to be validated with customers. That's where things are starting to bloom. I had many times that I did [make] mistakes, and I had great ideas that I didn't validate. And they happen to be great ideas for me, but not for others.”
Essentially when you validate the need for your product, service, or idea, you’re saving yourself and your customers vital time. For some real-life application, I asked Yonatan to provide an example of validation in action:
So what we did is we said, “Okay. Before we start developing any dashboards, let's pull out our data [and] use Excel to build those kinds of reports, set them as a temporary dashboard, and present them [at] monthly meetings with our customers, and see if the insights there reside and provide them value.” And only after we saw that these reports are actually what they're looking for and make sense for them, that's when we started developing the dashboard itself.
If his team had gone in based on what they assumed customers wanted to see, the process would have taken far more time and resources to complete, and ultimately, could have led to the end of his business. “We started with the technology, and you need to start with the business side. And we realize that every day. So we were able to do the shifting and now we're working much more productively into the business. In discussing with customers and prospects - what should we do more and what's bringing value. We didn't do that in the beginning.”