Create it, deploy it, listen to feedback, iterate based on what you heard, and do the cycle quickly instead of sitting around and talking about your product or service, says Mellie Price, founder of Front Gate Tickets, which is based in Austin.
I'm a big fan of getting a lot of input, says Price. When people are reluctant to give their ideas away, the real fear is that the ideas don't have enough depth to be unique. Be deliberate in whom you talk to, though, and seek out specific expertise.
When you get feedback from a lot of people, you're going to get mixed messages. Lots of people stand still in the face of that. Price says she is a big proponent of making a decision and letting the truth appear. Don't be a chameleon and try to be everything to everyone.
When showing an early concept to prospective customers or investors, less is more—and it better not be crappy. Instead of something with a lot of features that don't work, show a simpler product that's not broken, says Price.
Before they know if an idea is even viable, people often spend ridiculous amounts of money papering things up and worrying about things like corporate governance. Price says while she's not suggesting you move ahead without a term sheet, you should make it a simple one, outlining expectations in plain English.
If you're committed to a weekly cycle of truth evaluation, you'll know when you're beating a dead horse. Each year at the Capital Factory, a start-up accelerator in Austin at which Price is a lead mentor, there's a company that substantially changes what it's doing from the original demo pitch. The ones that do so quickly and gracefully tend to be more successful.