Informal Research to Validate a Product Idea

There was a question on LinkedIn and a request for me to contribute. The full article was too long to fit into the LinkedIn post. So I am reproducing it here.

Our methods were mostly for professional products. So I will share them. We have no experience with consumer product.

1. Describe the product.
2. Write a small program to break to extract keywords (you can do this manually too)
3. Use the Google Search to get the results. Look at the companies/products mentioned in the search resutls. Look at 20 of the top companies that show up in the search. Are they similar to your product? Do they sponsor or advertize?
4. Repeat it with other keywords.
5. Now you have some data to work with.
6. Pick 5 to 7 companies with similar products
7. How big are they? Are they funded? How fast are they growing.
8. Track them using Google alerts to find out how frequently they appear in alerts.
9. Get everything about these companies – mostly press releases, partnership agreements, customer endorsements etc.
10. Look at the team size. I use the LinkedIn membership as a proxy to the team size.
11. See what groups they participate in? Are these groups relevant to you?
12. Does the company have a blog or Twitter feed? Follow them.

Many of these steps can be automated. Some of the automations can even use AI. We built internal tools for the following:
1. Search for keywords and save the results (Search Assistant)
2. Extract Key Terms. Used Spacy with Python.
3. Extract Entities – use Spacy
4. Store Key terms and entities in a simple database to see which ones occur most.
5. Automate searches on the keywords.

Are you interested in learning more? Please send me an email with specific questions. I will be happy to answer.