Obviously the best way to validate your business concept is to build your product or service and acquire paying, profitable customers for it.
But going from concept to a revenue-generating product can take a long time and a lot of resources. Are there any leading indicators that can tell you that you’re on to something of value?
Here’s two, that are related.
One, can you find a partner? Doing a startup is very, very hard work. Having a partner or partners to share that work can help improve the odds of your success and be more fun and rewarding as well. If you are having trouble finding anyone who expresses interest in working with you that can be a red flag. Conversely, if you do find people who are interested in joining your venture that can tell you that you’re on to something, especially if they are veterans of startups.
Second, sales people by their nature have a nose for rewarding opportunities. They tend to be more short-term focused than marketing people. Good sales people are very hard to find, are in very short supply, and can be very choosy about what company they join. So if your venture can attract a sales person early on that’s a promising sign that your venture has potential to make money.