If you are like us, you have a long list of ideas, written in a Google document, or stored as a spreadsheet or notes. And, as it happens to many of us, we are not always stuck to our current projects and look for something new. The problem is we don't want it to be wasting time. We want to validate and implement only those ideas which have a higher probability not to fail.
So, we introduced the 2-steps process helping to find an idea that would the most appealing from many points of view.
First of all, download and save into your Google Docs this spreadsheet. It has 15 columns and the formula calculating the overall result. The first row has our ideal result (we are big fans of SaaS to picking up the app's idea than some content or blog website is more desired). But you can change the formula or remove some columns.
You add a new row and put a short description of your idea in the first column. Then, 100% bein honest with yourself, filling up all the columns for this idea. Usually 0 means less, or worse, and 10 - more, or better, but it may vary. Read carefully columns description. After you finish look at the result column. If the number is somewhere close to your ideal product (the more points the better), it's good but it doesn't mean that you have to pick up this idea right now. Ideally, you would add at least 5-6 products to see the difference, and why.
For the "ideal, non-realistic project" in row #3 it would be 384 points. Here is the formula:
=B3 * 5 + IF(C3 < 3, -C3 * 3, C3 * 3) + D3 * 2 + E3 * 4 + F3 * 4 + G3 * 5 + H3 * 5 + I3 * 2 +J3 * 5 + K3 * 4 + IF(OR(L3<3, L3>7), -L3 * 6, L3 * 6) + M3 * 1 + N3 * 2 + O3 * 4 + P3 * 3
Let's look at the formula closer. Every parameter has its own weight what are coefficients accompanied each parameter. You can change them (don't forget to copy the formula into other cells). Weight means the importance of the parameters.
In this step you just pick up the idea that collected most points. And it's time to validate! There are several ways to do it:
Some pieces of advice:
For fast creating a landing page you can use online services or create your own template and reuse it. We use our own product website template for creating this website and some other project, for example, this sound studios website.
For conducting a survey, we found Google Forms very convenient. The only problem is how to make people to answer your questions? It's easy to solve: use a lottery. Select on Amazon one or two books and tell people that every response will participate in your lottery with this great prize. Note: the books or any other items should be pretty specific to your product and the niche to avoid "noisy users" that can't bring you value.
But it's not the end of the story. It's not enough to just post a landing page or tweet. You have ONLY 1 (ONE) WEEK and you have to collect as many as 200 (TWO HUNDRED) emails. So, in some cases you probably would use all ways to do it.
Don't use paid ads, friends, family. Talk only to strangers.
After one week, if you are able to gather 200 or more (or less but close) emails, congratulations! You probably would start implementing this idea. If not... try to understand why. Possible reasons:
Anyway, if it's far from 200 emails, try to pick up the next idea. Or add a couple of more ideas into your list. At least, you spend only one week and $10 dollars for the domain name and it's not a big deal (unlike the situation when you created an MVP and failed).