Frequently asked questions

What is Product/Market Fit?


Product / Market Fit is the term used to describe how well a product or service fits its intended market and how valuable that market is. It is the best indicator to determine whether a product / service will be a success or failure, since it reflects the demand of the target demographic. "No product need" is the number one reason why startups fail and is why Product / Market Fit is the most important insight for startups and entrepreneurs. Read more about Product / Market Fit in this article by Tren Griffin or this article by Gigi Levy-Weiss.




What is the Product/Market Fit Score and Why is it Important?


Venture Validator assesses Product/Market Fit on a scale from 1-10 using the WOW! Factor Score. The test is pretty intuitive; we ask 50-200 target market customers how likely they are to buy a certain product. The scale ranges from "1: I'm not interested in this whatsoever" to "10: Wow! Can I buy this right now?!".

This has been tested with hundreds of busniesses as a tool to deteremine if a product concept has hypothetical product/market fit.

Incredible insights are gained from leveraging the WOW! Factor Score. Not only can you rate the level features of your product, we can also use it to rate customer segments.
Interested in learning more? Check out this article by Robert Bishop.




What is Venture Validator?


Venture Validator is a market research and consulting company. Our sole mission is to provide startups and entrepreneurs the key data they need to make better business decisions. The #1 reason why startups fail is because of "No Market Need". Entrepreneurs simply do not spend enough time conducting research prior to spending money on a minimum viable product, marketing, new features, etc. Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of thinking "if I want this, then others must want it too!" Don't let this be you! Venture Validator must be the first step in the entrepreneur's journey in order to validate your idea and increase your chances of success. Remember, it's never too late!




What types of businesses do you test?


Great Question! For each project, we do a soft launch where we try a variety of methods to find the avenue that returns results from those who score your product highest. Ideally, we are testing products that are novel and have some degree of uncertainty as to 1) who the ideal customer is and/or 2) how much that customer actually wants the proposed solution. Below are the main types of business we test along with where we obtain the primary data when conducting the surveys. B2C (business to consumer products) We have a variety of methods for sourcing quality data for any consumer product/service. We use any combination of Facebook Ads, Facebook Groups, Reddit Forums, panel providers, influencer platforms, mailing lists, and our own consumer panel. Past project examples: Outdoor gear, travel stroller, blockchain app, road trip tour guide app, kids snowsuit, 3-in-1 travel shoe, donation app, etc. B2B (business to business products) - Single Decision-Maker We can sometimes source data for B2B products. Methods for sourcing target market respondents range from LinkedIn Influencers, Sales Navigator, and partner mailing lists. Our ability to reach the decision-maker depends on the exact target market. Reach out for a quote. Past project examples: Google Voice Add-on for small business owners, Scheduling software for business professionals, marketing tool for Facebook advertisers, etc. B2B Enterprise - Multiple Decision-Makers Our process for evaluating market desirability for enterprise SaaS products work, but it isn't usually feasible to pay a third party to do this work. Technically, at least 25 members of each decision-making group need to be contacted in order to validate properly. So if the project manager, marketing director, CFO, and CEO all need to sign off on a deal you should validate the needs and solution-fit with 25 members of each of the four groups. Due to the high-touch nature of these projects, we suggest that founders of B2B enterprise take our DIY course to learn how to conduct the validation tests through specialized interviews.

B2B2C
Some entrepreneurs have two-sided markets where the business is paying for a service and the consumer is the end-user. If there is any risk that the end-user will not adopt the product, the entrepreneur should have VV test the B2C portion of the market. You need decision-makers to buy-in for the initial purchase, but the end-user needs to be bought in if you want contracts to renew. Medical Device Projects
We've sourced interviews and surveys from doctors on a number of medical device projects. Due to the cost to reach this target market, we have a project minimum of $5,000. If this is out of your budget, we suggest you take our DIY validation course where we teach you how to properly interview this target market. Prothetic sensor array tested with prosthetists, Otoscope tested with pediatricians, Sperm donation preservation device tested with recipients and donors, etc. B2G (Business to Government)
Venture Validator does not currently offer solutions for market research in the B2G sector. Contact us for specific inquiries and we will assess our ability to be of service.




What Kind of Research do you do?


At Venture Validator we conduct primary market research. We design custom surveys with our clients and launch research projects to target their prospective customers, instead of Googling insights from secondary databases.




What if I'm Worried About My Idea's Confidentiality?


Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. We are not lawyers. We recommend that you speak with an attorney before making any decison that may put your startup at risk. If you need a referral, we can point you to trusted attorneys.

Will Venture Validator sign an NDA?
No. Any one project is not worth it for us to enter into this formal of an agreement. See article. In the past, our clients who have needed to protect aspects of their business from public disclosure have either 1) filed a provisioinal patent or 2) shared high level details about what their solution did while omitting the patentable specifics of "how" it actually did it.

Can Venture Validator Survey Respondents Sign an NDA?
Yes. This can be arranged, but it can add to the cost of the project as it is more difficult to find target market customers willing to sign the NDA. This is not at all infeasible though and we've had much success with this in the past. We would like to point out that the enforcibility of this is questionable at best. If you are worried someone will steal your idea, this will not stop them. The formality of having participants sign the NDA is more for protecting yourself from tripping the "public disclosure" clock which 1) invalidates your ability to obtain an international patent and 2) starts your 1-year clock to submit a patent in the US.
Many of the issues involved with confidentiality can be solved by filing for a $140 provisional patent (which allows you to disclose your idea to the public and giving you one year to patent in the US and allows you to obtain international patent rights).

All this being said, the vast majority of our clients do not seek protection for their ideas prior to Venture Validator because a patent may not be worth the money to defend (even if it was granted).

Lastly, we want to point out that there is a difference between a legitimate need to keep aspects of an invention secret VS an inexperienced entrepreneur's fear that someone will copy their big idea. Many first-time entrepreneurs are so afraid their customers will steal their idea that they don't share any aspect of the business model with anyone. They often waste all their time and money building the wrong product. Upon unveiling their product, they find out that nobody wants it.

Patents, NDAs, etc. have their place and it is important you seek a lawyer's counsel to navigate your specific situation, but it is also important that you get customer feedback to ensure the thing you are about to patent is valuable.

Reach out to conor@venturevalidator.com if you'd like reference to an IP lawyer or would like to discuss this subject in reguards to your validation project. Contact support@venturevalidator.com if you have any further questions.




How Can You Survey My Target Demographic?


Venture Validator has designed multiple steps of our market research process to ensure that we are only going to provide market research from your target demographic. First, you will work with one of our consultants to ensure that your idea, product, or service is explained in the most effective way possible. Then, we reach your target audience through whichever method would be most effective for your given situation. We use a variety of different methods to reach and survey your target market. Depending on the product or service you are testing, we reach audiences through Facebook groups or ads, nich markets through instagram influencers and social media marketing, community based hubs such as Quora or Reddit, third party panel providers, email lists, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, our own panel and more. The specifics of where how we access your potential customers depends on who your exact customer is. Because we are not limited to one source of potential consumers, we have the ability to reach any number of target demographics for your. Moreover, we can assure the data is of a high quality. Lastly, once we collect the data, we analyze the results and remove irrelevant responses and individuals who do not pass our screening filters in order to ensure the highest quality data is returned to you, the entrepreneur. Our proprietary screening processes sift through survey gamers, survey scammers, and anyone who is not actually in your target market. (See What types of businesses do you test?)




How Long Does Your Research Take?


Overall, each project will take approximately 2-4 weeks, depending on the project and target demographic. This timeline can be shortened depending on the scope of the project and the responsiveness of the entrepreneur.




How do you split up the payment?


For each project we require $475 upfront to start the project and deliver the Soft Launch Report.

In this process, we revise your product description, prep the survey, collect data from 10-20 customers, analyze the data, compile it into a PDF report, and send the report (along with a video walkthrough) to the entrepreneur.

The deliverable in this stage is smaller version of the report that you'll get after the 50-200 response project is complete (the only diference is that the soft launch report is not statistically significant as you only have 10-20 responses).The purpose of the soft launch is to make any tweaks necessary (in product features, market targeting, or survey questions) before continuing the project.

After viewing the Soft Launch Report and approving any tweaks that need to be made, we will send an invoice for the remainder of the balance due. Once this is paid, we will launch the rest of the project and deliver the results in around 5-10 days.




So What Does the Process Look Like from Start to Finish?


1. Click “Get Started” on our Idea Stage webpage 2. You’ll be sent a link where you’ll describe your product / idea and schedule time with a consultant 3. Speak with a consultant about your idea / project 4. If you decide to launch a project, we will send a $475 invoice for the Soft Launch portion of the project. 5. A consultant will collaborate with you via a Google Doc to revise you product description. Depending on the entrepreneur, this can take 1-5 days. 6. Review the survey our consultant prepared 7. We do a soft launch and collect 10-20 responses from your target market 8. Receive your Soft Launch market research report and a video walkthrough of your results

9. On a call, tell the consultant what tweaks you'd like to make to the survey (to the product description, target market, or questions asked).

10. Make the final payment.

11. 5-10 days later, get your Venture Validator Report with a video walkthorugh of your results.

12. Schedule a follow-up call with our consultant so that you can get answers to any of the questions you have about your report.

Now you're ready to implement the changes in your startup so you can increase the product/market fit!