Business

The step of validating a business idea can be a big mistake: Spanx Founders

It’s often one of the first things aspiring entrepreneurs do.

5 min read

This article has been translated from our English edition.

The step of validating a business idea can be a big mistake: Spanx Founders
The step of validating a business idea can be a big mistake: Spanx Founders

The opinions of the employees of You are personal.


  • Talk to potential customers.
  • Repeat without a break.
  • Commit but not append.

Whether it’s a hint of a side business or a brave startup, it’s normal that you want to validate and promote your latest business idea. But according to the founder of Spanx, Sara blakelyThere is a group of people that you shouldn’t ask for feedback at all at the start of your business trip.

Blakely’s meteoric rise to self-made billionaire CEO stems from her founding and running Spanx, a textbook story by B.Y.O.B. (That is of course “starting your own business”). The founder provided you with $ 5,000 in savings and a day’s work selling fax machines, and built a sash empire that now has annual sales of approximately $ 400 million. She also kept 100% ownership along the way; in 2012, Forbes declared her the youngest woman to become a billionaire herself.

Before Spanx was anywhere, it was kept a secret for almost a year. Blakely resisted the urge to tell people about his life about his upcoming patent, and with hindsight he says it was a smart move.

Image: EnvatoElements.

According to Blakely, many entrepreneurs looking to create their own unicorn give up before starting because of a common mistake: asking friends and family for feedback on your business idea.

Why we crave validation

For new entrepreneurs, market validation can be one of the most complex and confusing phases of doing business. In addition to the challenges of the usual suspects like financing, manufacturing, positioning, and selling, it’s easy to change your mindset. Blakely says that too much sharing of an idea in its early stages leads to us weighing the comments, opinions, and validations of people who already know us and our work.

“The ego is invited into the mix. And then you spend all your time defending it, explaining it and not pursuing it, “says Blakely in an episode of” How I Built That “.How I built this).

The ego can suppress and even strangle an aspiring entrepreneur’s next multi-million dollar business idea. Consider the extensive research on why your brain is trying to dissuade you from your next business search:

  • And a study published in the Journal of Business Venturing found that fear in new entrepreneurs, and especially fear of failure, is a normal experience that has seven different sources.

Mindset is critical to getting off to a successful start, but that doesn’t mean letting the awards from your loved ones in your life define and drive your business strategy.

How to properly validate your business idea

What should you do instead when you ask your notoriously nice mom or roommate to endorse your business idea? Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Talk to potential customers. Look for trusted forums, groups, or confidants for authentic feedback. If possible, schedule informational interviews. Ask participants to describe their problems, hopes, and dreams. and listen to trends as they describe what they’re looking for.

  • Commit but not append. There is a fine line between being committed to your product’s success and feeling attached to your journey that unfolds in a certain way. Bend over to the first to let the fire burn.

Market validation can be a slippery slope for a new entrepreneur. The people you ignore when it comes to feedback and instruction can be just as important as those whose advice you take. Focus on your product, stay positive and one day you could be the next rookie billionaire.

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