Lean startup thinking, accelerators, angel investment, seed funding, incubators and venture capital. Which path is best for you? With any choice, the goal is to be validated in some form, either with proof that you finished something, a monetary result, a sense of accomplishment, or a plethora of other personal outcomes.
But why is validation as a business loop function the go-to option for gaining traction, isn’t this just short term thinking? In a sense yes, but the only way that you will know that “you are onto something,” is if people outside your immediate family and friends are able to benefit directly from your startup. This can happen in many forms.
And opposed to like it is often touted, this does not have to just revolve around a product or service, there are other pains that need fixing, like conveying knowledge to people for free, as a non-profit blogger.
In my opinion, as you progress past the 5 year mark, and you are still in business, validation as a growth indicator is invalidated, and becomes less and less of a benchmark for improving your creation. Sure it’s important to feel like you are doing something receptive, however the wisdom of the crowd may or may not have your best interests in mind. Whatever it is that you are healing, the important thing is not to stop working on your project, if the whole immediate, positive validation thing doesn’t work out.
Sometimes through iteration you uncover learning which invalidates your idea or some key assumptions. At the same time, this means that further iteration can also lead to the exact opposite: uncovering an idea or features which people want and will gain traction.