“From-the-Trenches” Wisdom and Tips from Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs

Rev1’s Entrepreneur Toolkit – A deep dive into market validation


Rev1’s Entrepreneur Toolkit is a handy, easy-to-use collection of practical tips and tools curated especially for entrepreneurs and founding teams. Think of the Toolkit as an extension of the Rev1 Startup Studio, our unique approach that combines strategic services and capital to help startups scale.

There are five Toolkit categories to match the critical success factors for taking a startup from concept to scale. Our roadmap is flexible. It is easy to adapt our expertise to your team’s individual needs and growth plan.

This roundup provides brief descriptions and ready links to topics on Market Validation. Use this content to expand your own knowledge or to supply an easy-to-read series for new hires, technical employees who don’t have experience in marketing, or even interns who are joining your team for specific assignments. It’s a way to get up to speed quickly.

Market Validation Library

How Big Is Your Market? 3 Tips to Size It Like a Pro – Investors look for companies that have credibly identified large, reachable market opportunities to generate significantly better than average returns. That is why understanding this TAM, SAM, and SOM methodology is so important to entrepreneurs. Use our tool to find your TAM, SAM, SOM.

How to Identify Your Largest Target Audience – Part 1: Know the Territory – Once there’s a large enough market, investors will measure and evaluate business plans based on the size and potential of the market that a startup can capture in three to five years. Here’s how to figure out if your market stacks up.

How to Identify Your Largest Target Audience – Part 2:Research Methodology The only way a startup can reliably size the three-to-five-year obtainable market is by validating assumptions and features with target audiences. Download our Research Methodology Tool to help you to discuss and name your largest target audiences.

3 Reasons to Validate the Market before You Invest in a Prototype. Charging forward to build a pre-concept prototype based on the wrong market assumptions will blow whatever early funding the startup has. Instead, learn what investors already know: Early market validating is critical for pre-concept stage companies. Get smarter here.

The Myths and Truths of Customer Validation – Successful entrepreneurs gain customers and create revenue by demonstrating that real people have the problems and pain points that the startup’s products or services were created to solve. We’ve created a practical and proven roadmap to validate customers and gain investors’ attention. Here’s a companion Target Customer Identification Worksheet, a to put the roadmap into action at your startup company.

Problem Validation: How to Know If the World Really Needs Your Cool Idea – Great products start with a deep understanding of a high-value market problem. Follow this check list to size the market for your startup like a serial entrepreneur with an investor mentality. Then download this 4-Step Pre-concept Market Validation Checklist to self-evaluate how well your solution and target market align. You can use the output of this analysis in the product definition phase of your prototype.

What Do Customers Want? Tips for Effective Market Validation Interviews – Accept this truth: Every customer has problems they want to solve. If your goal is to create a product or service that customers will buy, it is never too early to start conversations that help you understand marketplace pain. Any entrepreneur can gain this valuable information—if you do early customer interviews the right way. Download The Art of Customer Interviews,  a tool to help you customize and conduct effective customer interviews. Check out this interviewing guide from Google Ventures library to make your technique even better.

How to Survey Your Target Audience – Doing a survey may not sound all that exciting, especially after the direct interviews you completed to validate market need—but here’s the thing. With eight hours of concentrated and well-directed effort—and less than $500—you can create and execute am intellectually honest survey that can improve the probability of your company’s success.

– Most first-time entrepreneurs haven’t surveyed before. This article sets the stage.


Executive and Entrepreneur Experience in Market Validation

“3 Ways to Avoid the Agony of Startup Failure”

Tom Walker, President and CEO, Rev1 Ventures – originally posted on Entrepreneur

I can say with conviction that most startups fail because they didn’t solve a market problem with a scalable solution that customers wanted to buy. Three ideas for this 25-year industry veteran help entrepreneurs make tough-minded and practical market validation the starting point of their companies. Read more

“SHARE Mobility Turns Commuting into an Employee Benefit that Attracts New Hires”

Parker MacDonell, Advisory Partner, Rev1 Ventures

SHARE Mobility Founder Ryan McManus describes his company as an amazing story of transition. Understand customers’ pain points and solving customers’ problems in an innovative way allowed  this startup to look at the market through fresh eyes and identify an unmet need. Read more.

“Vohnt Provides Immediate and Affordable Car Care with One-click Booking and Convenient Pickup and Dropoff Services.”

Matt Chimes, Director, Venture Development

“We never thought about being in the car industry,” says Vohnt Co-founder Ethan Dewhurst. “We just hated taking care of our cars.” Vohnt founders hired professional pit crew members to construct the most efficient processes for Vohnt’s services. Market validation in the extreme gives Vohnt the cutting edge. Read more.