Product Validation Checklist

A system for validating your market and your product

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“I’m starting a new SaaS this year, and it’s scary.”

This year, I’m building a startup with my friend Jon called Transistor.fm.

It’s brand new, and we have lots of questions we need to answer:

  • Which target market should we focus on initially?
  • What are the big struggles they’re wrestling with?
  • How can we help them overcome those obstacles?
  • How are we going to compete with so many other apps in our space?
  • How do we know if we’re on the right path with product/market fit?

I notice these questions come up a lot in the software space.

I’ve been working as a Product Manager since 2008 (first for Mailout, then for Sprintly). In 2014 I started doing product marketing consulting for other startups. And everyone wants to know the same thing:

How do I validate my product idea?

Nobody wants to work on an app for months (or years!) only to launch it and discover it’s not wanted.

Developing a product validation checklist

Over the last ten years in the software business, I’ve developed a system for listening to a market and building things they want.

But it’s never been formalized. It was a loose series of steps I would go through with a client (or on my own projects).

Now, with a new SaaS in the works, I wanted a formal system for tracking our progress.

So, I started creating an online checklist. At each step, I wrote down the steps, research, and work I’d need to do. I realized I also needed a way of recording my notes and findings. So I built in form fields to keep track of those.

The result is a system for determining:

  1. The amount of demand there will be for your product.
  2. Who your target market should be, and how you can reach them.
  3. The advantages you have in the market (and how to leverage them).

Having a formalized way of tracking and capturing this information has been really helpful so far.

After taking a bunch of my consulting clients through the process, I realized it was useful for other folks as well.

★★★★★ “The worksheet format helped me make sure I’m not just jumping into an exciting idea but that I have clear motivation and perspective. Every product maker needs to follow steps like these. Easily worth the price.” – Jarrod Drysdale, StudioFellow.com

It’s coming soon!

I’m currently building two versions: an interactive checklist, and a PDF download. Sign up below if you’re interested!

Product Validation Checklist

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Hi, I’m Justin Jackson, @mijustin on Twitter.

I’m the former Product Manager at Sprintly and Mailout.com. I’ve also consulted on marketing & growth for startups in London, San Francisco, Boulder, and Portland.

I created Marketing for Developers, in October 2015. Since then, it’s been purchased over 2,500 times.

You might have heard my podcasts: MegaMaker, and Product People. I’ve also been featured in:

Justin Jackson has been featured in Fast Company, Inc Magazine, Lifehacker