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A litmus test for your idea (ninjasandrobots.com)
72 points by nate 1541 days ago | hide | past | web | 13 comments | favorite

No. What if a well meaning highly followed person tweeted the landing page? What if your blog post was the link widely shared, it'd depend on your writing skills. If you could guarantee 10k hits from HN, 100k from Reddit front page, and 1m from 4chan which would you value the most in terms of getting paying customers? This test is a good example of how numbers fail you.

You missed the point of the OP. Please try reading it again.

The litmus test is not how many people you can get to read your blog. It's whether you're teaching people how to do something that you can sell a solution to them later:

OP: "Are you teaching anyone who looks like someone who would buy what you intend on selling? If not, why not?"

This is a test that is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for the validity of an idea. If you pass this test, you don't yet know if this is a good idea. But if you fail this test, then you defn know it's a bad idea. The value of this test is that it's easy to setup, and relies on your actions, rather than what you tell yourself--which is more truthful. Sometimes ideas are bad, not because they're intrinsically bad, but because they're a bad fit for you, which is a good thing to test for.

And context of all advice matters. This only applies to ideas that are movements, not powder kegs or empires (via gabriel weinberg) http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/blog/2010/02/are-you-building...

It's more than teaching... it's a test of your passion for the customers.

The worst thing is to get into a market and realize you really can't get excited about your customers' issues. Better to discover that about yourself earlier.

In March we put up a landing page to test interest re: a web app that turns multiple Internet devices into a stereo system (all play same audio/same time).

We got a lot of sign ups, but upon release 3 months later that same level of interest isn't there. Even after sending out invites.

What's suggested after the whole test your idea via a landing page doesn't work out?

Ask for pre-orders. In my experience I've found a substantial difference between "yeah, that sounds great I'd probably buy it" and... "here is my credit card". You'll find that even if you collect a large list of emails from people that said they would buy your product, when it is time to ask them to make the purchase the majority of them will come up with objections and reasons why now is not the right time.

With pre-orders you have people that have given the ultimate commitment and you can offer them a discount and/or the ability to help shape the product through it's development.

A simple billing page with something like Stripe checkout (https://stripe.com/docs/checkout) will help you filter out the tire kickers and attract people with a burning need for your product/service.

Mind sharing the URL?

You can pivot and develop your idea and/or execute in different ways. Why get horrified by an initial litmus test, instead of making continuous such tests while deciding on many parts of your offering. A startup is not simply a validation of your idea, it is a validation of your particular execution too.

>>Want to start a website matching up job seekers with employers? Start a blog with tips for finding a new job or new employees.

Just in time advice for me. I launched last week Jobrupt, a web site to help certain types of job seekers/recruiters when people are reserved to make the first step. I must immediately start blogging.

This makes the assumption that if you enjoy doing something, you'll enjoy teaching it, and if you enjoy teaching it, you'll enjoy teaching it via a blog. I have personally not found that to be true. I enjoy poker, programming, and board games. I enjoy teaching all 3 of those things to people. I don't enjoy blogging though.

I submitted the same link 6 hours ago! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6306568

The problem of duplicate links in HN needs to be solved soon.

you got slash at the end of the url, maybe that's the reason?

Yes thats the reason! I didn't have a slash at the end and this one has.

Would you recommend a "Show HN:" post that would take people to a landing page only...as though you had a fully built product?

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