Validation is always hard: usually it means that you have to leave your comfort zone. That’s why so many startups just ignore it, even though they could get extremely important information and eventually save money on unnecessary development. To encourage the process of validation among local startups, we want to show you three startups that went out this weekend with the goal of starting the validation process in the real world.
Two portfolio companies of Traction Tribe and one promising startup attended the biggest festival designated to students in Hungary, EFOTT. Their aim was to validate their ideas among the university students and get as much feedback as possible within couple of days. Among the three, there was SongArc, a music gaming startup. LiteUp, a new peer-to-peer educational startup. And last but not least Unibreeze, which connects students and student organizations all over the world with its personalized event recommendation system.
“Once we arrived and put some food in our stomach, we went to show off the game to the “people of the streets”. We gathered some first-hand experience on what their feel of the game was, what were the good and to-be-improved parts of the gameplay. Everybody had different reactions and the feedback was varied – but the one thing constant was that the game was “cool”, “awesome”, and what’s even more important, it put a smile on every single player’s face.
We’ve managed to meet with a couple of bands as well. One of them – Magic Cats Rockabilly – was immediately on board, and we are preparing to bring them into the game in the coming months. They will get thousands of ears listening to their music every day. They are known in Hungary, but cooperating with SongArc gives them a never before seen chance to reach beyond the borders. We’ve also met one of the biggest bands at the festival, but I can’t tell you who they are (yet).
Turns out big name musicians are people too…and an hour after our meeting, the same guys who were intensely listening to what we had to show and say about SongArc went out to the Main Stage of the festival, and rocked the socks off thousands of people with the most energetic performance I’ve ever seen.” – Andras, Co-Founder of Songarc
“We at LiteUp have also visited EFOTT for a good round of validation. We thought a music festival is the perfect place to ask some savvy students about their learning habits and their behavioral traits when learning. While we got quite a few people to respond to our survey, the main conclusion was, people at a music festival don’t really want to hear about studying.
First of all, don’t ask students if they want to study less. Most of them will tell you, they don’t study anyway. Maybe to be cool, maybe because it’s actually the case, but whatever you do, always phrase your appeal as something that can not be ignored or discarded, because it at least addresses some kind of insecurity in your target.
You might want to try ‘Tired of being worse than others?’, or something along those lines.
Once we did get the attention of some disciples, we discovered that they are actually rather like we thought. 89.6% admitted to having slept through class and therefore having needed help later. That is rather attractive, but then the better part came. When we asked them how they caught up, over 40% cited peers and almost 20% the internet. Teachers could have been asked as well, but strangely the students weren’t too keen…
Even though these students are most likely not our initial target audience, their responses still show us that even they have a pain point in their studies. To test our educated guess, that 5-minute videos would be best for teaching, we asked respondents how much time they spent with learning what they had slept through and how long the ideal time would be to learn something which usually takes an hour to teach. The upshot is that they are wasting their time. Our average desired time came out to 6 minutes, while average time spent was over 21.
Then again, let’s not be too negative! 60% of people would use our service. That’s pretty good, we think. And we got the e-mail addresses of 21 of them.” – Adrian, Co-Founder of LiteUp
There Are No Facts Inside Your Building, So Get Outside. – Steve Blank
“If we had to describe the validation process at EFOTT with only one word then it would be “success”. Pretty soon we had to realize that people would not come to our stand to ask what we are doing, instead we are the ones who have to go to them and ask what they want. Our main focus was to figure out if they find it difficult to get to know about the events at the universities and if they do, how could it be better.
The numbers we got pretty much validated our original “hypothesis”. On a scale from 1 to 10 (where 1 indicates that it is pretty easy and 10 indicates that it is quite difficult to know about the events) the average value was 8.2 (based on 78 answers.) Many students told us that it would be very helpful if they could find every event in one place.
In total we got 167 sign ups which is pretty good if we take into account that we asked approximately 200 people. The ones who did not sign up were not university students or they were too drunk to care about what we were doing. We also created accounts for 13 student organizations who want to use UniBreeze and they gave us extra 14 contacts to other organizations. Basically every organization we asked signed up.
It also turned out that it is important for the students to see where their friends are going, so the majority of them logged in with their facebook account. We are really happy with this result, because it shows us that we are on the right path.” – Daniel, Co-founder of UniBreeze.
Have any validation stories? Share it with us in comments!