How to Guarantee Your Startup Idea is a Lifesaver

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No startup founder or product manager wants to work on a product no one wants. So how can you be sure your idea is going to change someone’s life?

Well, you should ask them for a start.

Now, I’m not advising you to just come out and ask that directly. Rather, you need to dig deeper to understand your users’ deep-seeded needs and fears, and understand how important it is to solve this problem for them.

Here are three tactics for better understanding how important this problem is to the customer to solve.

1. The Five Whys

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2. Substitutes and Alternatives

Questions to Ask

What To Listen For

Negative Signals:
– Apathetic response “I just make do”
– “I use {solution}” (without any negative sentiment)

3. Frequency or Severity of the Pain

Questions to Ask

What to Listen For


Not everyone is going to have the same problem, or respond the same way to your solution. Using these interview techniques, you can get a better sense of whether your startup idea is truly a lifesaver and important enough to pursue.

Originally published at Martin.ai in December 2015.

Written by

Sr UX Specialist with Canada Revenue Agency, former web dev and product person. 🔎 Lifelong learner. Unapologetic introvert. Plant-powered marathoner. Cat mom.

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