Business Validation for a Cup of Coffee

Ian Mobbs • 09 Nov 2017

Like most programmers do, I recently had (what I thought) was a great business idea. It started with what seemed like a problem - remote employees using agile still have to check in to their daily standup, right? For me, part of the allure of being a remote employee is not only being able to work wherever I want, but whenever I want. Being forced to call and check in with your team at a certain time takes away part of that liberty.

The idea was to create a daily standup coordinator that let you check in at any time within a 24-hour window of standup (so, for daily standup, at any time - as long it was once a day). You’d write a quick blurb about what you were working on, attached it to a Jira/Trello/Github task, itemize what you wanted to do that day, then check out what everyone else was doing. It seemed like a great way to stay caught up with your time without having to be in the same time zone (or even continent) as they are.

So, I set about validating it. I found some stock art from The Noun Project and made a Facebook page. Then I bought a Facebook ad. Facebook offers an ad type called “Lead Generation”, that encourages people to fill out a form for you (typically full name and email). I set up some targeting, filled out the text I wanted displayed, and hit submit. Now we wait!


It’s been less than 24 hours and I’ve already reached 257 people, with 272 impressions. However I’ve gotten 0 emails out of this. This was all the validation I needed to realize that while this project may have a place in the world, it certainly isn’t the million-dollar idea I thought it was originally. The best part of this is that it only cost me $1.12 and around half an hour of my time to validate my idea.

Now, that’s not to say that this idea is completely dead. Maybe my targeting was off. Maybe I didn’t describe the product well enough in the ad. Maybe since I didn’t have a website, people were hesitant to give me their information. There’s a plethora of things that I could’ve changed that might have given me better results! But if you can’t find your market, how are you ever going to make sales?

business validation • MIS