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How to discover whether your idea has customer demand?

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valuegiver

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sure.

Run a few google adwords and see if people clicks...

What it accomplishes is that people will click on your ads, doesn't mean they will buy it.
 

SpeedRacer

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How about an eBay auction of your goods if you want to see if people will pay for it.
 

DeadPresident

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Measure the intensity of the problem; no one will pay you for solving a non-problem. So the first thing you wanna do is discover a monetizable pain...and only then then determine a solution for it.

Read this: The Smart Fast Startup
 

healthstatus

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Use the buy some clicks idea, but send them to a survey form like SurveyMonkey.com and then asked them 8-10 questions about what did they hope to find, what is their biggest problem, how much would they be willing to spend to solve the problem. after about 300 surveys you should have a good idea on what your product should be and how much to charge.
 

theBiz

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up early again health? thats a great idea, i technically did this, but i used online classifieds.
 

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Iqen

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Use the buy some clicks idea, but send them to a survey form like SurveyMonkey.com and then asked them 8-10 questions about what did they hope to find, what is their biggest problem, how much would they be willing to spend to solve the problem. after about 300 surveys you should have a good idea on what your product should be and how much to charge.

This carries serious risk of consumer bias. In general it's more accurate to measure behavior (conversions) than to try to survey your way to an answer because of the amount of bias people have about their own purchase habits and what their true desires are. Consumerology is a great book that covers this exact topic
 

Robre

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I asked people in the industry and some said they wanted to participate. When I told them it was not ready yet, they gave me their information and asked that I advise them when it is. I already have some customers lined up.
 

Rickson9

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Customers give you money. Prospects tell you to call them. Small difference, but an important one I think.
 

s_sherrell

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Definitely run the ads. You can project clicks to buyers at about 20% as long as your ad is specific to buyers. Of course not all clicks are buyers, but 20% is a good measuring stick. Also are there competitors advertising? Go check out their ad history using Spyfu. If they have been up and running consistently paying for ads for three months or more, you know they are making money or they wouldn't be spending. BTW, I am a big fan of facebook ads for these tests. You can specifiy an interest group which also lets you see the pool you have to target. Faster and easier than Google imo.
 

Brander

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Get somebody to pay you. Anybody.

Do a dry run and see if anyone buys (pre-orders). A decent percentage of people need to buy from the amount of people you offered it to to see if it has potential. Vary the price between them and see the responses. If they don't buy or pre-order ask them why.

asked them 8-10 questions about what did they hope to find, what is their biggest problem, how much would they be willing to spend to solve the problem. after about 300 surveys you should have a good idea on what your product should be and how much to charge.

This is the normal way of doing things and will give you a good idea of what people want or better said what they think they want. The only acid test that confirms you should go ahead with it is to see if they buy it in adequate quantity.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Forget the surveys.

The only barometer is if actually people COMMIT money to the idea.

Saying "I would buy this" and "Buying it" are two totally different things.

A great example, B&P -- everyone says "I am going! (I will buy it) -- but when it comes down to paying money, 90% don't.

Another example, how many people want to DO X on this DAY? It will cost $50 per person. 100 people say yes but when it comes down to PAYING MONEY, 90% bail out.

There are two different psychological processes going on -- one is thinking about spending money, the other is actually doing it.
 

Vigilante

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100 people say yes but when it comes down to PAYING MONEY, 90% bail out.

So true. I had a concept that everyone I talked with told me how brilliant it was.... put it out there and nobody bought it... including the people who told me how brilliant it was.

Can you start small?
 

Rickson9

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Yeah they wanted to give me money, I just had nothing to give in return yet. I will in a couple of weeks.

Not 'want' to give you money. They actually give you money. A small distinction perhaps.
 

healthstatus

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Forget the surveys.

The only barometer is if actually people COMMIT money to the idea.

Saying "I would buy this" and "Buying it" are two totally different things.

If you already have a product I think you are correct that a survey is a waste of time, but if you are in a startup phase and probing a market, finding out what trouble exists in that market and what significant problem exists in the market you HAVE TO ASK. If you create a product that fills that need, then you will have buyers. My take from the OP is that he doesn't have the product yet, just an idea.
 

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Destined

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I was asking the same question myself, and I remembered magazines.com
Go there and see what kind of magazines are out there. It costs publishers at least 50,000 to 300,000 a year to create these magazines. If people had no interest in these niches, then the magazines would not stay in business.
 

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