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Way Ahead: 10 Vital Steps to Validate Your Mobile App Idea Before You Build

February 21, 2024

Watch: Essential steps to validate your mobile app idea, its importance, the validation process, and how it helps you get funded and build a successful tech business. Plus; ideal validation framework and exclusive methods behind 100+ thriving startups

Great products start long before the final tech solution the public sees. In fact, the best products – from startups worth billions today – are built out as solid concepts first: testing whether the idea is actually valid, the market big and accessible enough, and willing to pay for your solution, long before development starts.  

It’s called concept validation. And, basically, it’s a series of robust and empirical steps to validate your mobile app idea by putting it through its paces and asking the tough questions before you start building (because that’s how you save money and show investors you’re a pragmatic founder worth backing).

We’ve helped over 100+ startups, working closely with 200+ tech investors across 11 different industries, and we can confidently say this is the best possible way to ensure future success in the tech space. Here’s the why and the how…

Watch: What is mobile app idea validation and how does it work?

In this video, our CEO Daniel Novitzkas gives a top-level overview of the need, processes, and specific deliverables that go into concept validation.

The importance of idea validation

Not every idea can or will create a billion-dollar business. Sometimes, there are market, tech, and business realities that mean it just can’t work right now. That's precisely why idea validation plays a crucial role – it allows you to determine the feasibility of your concept before investing valuable time and resources into its development.

What’s more, idea validation also highlights potential future business challenges that an initially successful product may encounter down the line. It helps you create a roadmap to navigate and overcome these hurdles, helping build a better venture.

Basically, validating your mobile app idea first means you plan out a lot of business steps in advance:

  • Whether the problem is worth solving.
  • The size, scope, and nature of the market, provide a realistic understanding of growth potential.
  • The availability of technology, access, and capabilities necessary to fulfill customer expectations.
  • Viable strategies for monetisation and scalable growth of the product.
  • The required resources to build, manage and maintain the product.
  • Effective rollout plans to drive initial adoption and foster continued usage.
  • The potential for securing funding, including determining the appropriate amount.
  • A clear roadmap outlining the execution plan to transform your initial idea into a fully-fledged business.

By investing in comprehensive idea validation, you proactively address important business factors, increase your chances of building a successful sustainable business and make yourself way easier to fund.

See our discussion about why your idea should go through concept validation and learn how one of the world's largest retailers stay ahead in our in-depth case study on the Amazon omnichannel strategy.

How to validate your mobile app idea

A winning idea validation framework

Once you have an idea, testing it critically is vital. And there is actually a reliable 3-step framework for doing just that:


In idea validation, the first step is assessing the market. Analyse the current market for products similar to yours to understand its size. Evaluate the existing players and their market share, as the largest captured share realistically represents your potential market share over the next 10 years. This information is vital for investment decisions and securing funding.


Next, it's vital to determine the technical feasibility of your idea. Assess if it can be realistically built and delivered as promised. Consider any limitations, such as restricted API access or missing technology. Additionally, evaluate scalability to ensure your solution can accommodate a growing user base.


Finally, it's crucial to assess the business viability of your idea. If the costs outweigh the potential market share or if anticipated changes in technology or user behaviour undermine its success, it's not a sound investment. Adapt your approach as needed to ensure the concept's viability.

Steps to validate your mobile app idea

In idea validation, thorough research is essential. It involves gathering extensive data, insights, and utilising networks to understand market size, viability, and tech needs. How you use this information is key. See how to run some key validation experiments.

A solid method for idea validation is to build out a clear roadmap of how your idea becomes investable. Focus on 5 key points:

1. Define the problem

Make it very clear what needs your concept addresses.

2. Analyze the market & its size

Show that the market exists, how big it is, prove they are willing to pay for the solution, and create a realistic sense of how much of that market you can capture in the next decade or so. Also see how to check if an app idea already exists.

Explore the must-have retail app features for personalised user journeys.

3. Explore potential monetisation models

Define how your product will make a return and how that might change over time.

See these MVP examples for retail.

4. Explain what founding team and future resources you’ll need

Show what people and resources you will need to secure through every stage of development, from starting to build, all the way through to maintaining, marketing, and scaling. See just what skills you need in the ideal startup team.

5. Nail your go-to-market strategy

Show how you will roll out the product, whether users are OK with a product that’s still in development or if you need a polished MVP, how you will onboard them, their journeys, how you are going to generate traffic, usage, and growth, and explain your pricing strategy in detail. See more on developing a go-to-market strategy.

Unique approach: Specno’s 5 super-secret bonus steps

There are many ways to validate your idea. Some startups do it themselves, but you should know that you can have it done professionally. We at Specno, for example, are venture builders. So it’s our job to be the absolute best at this in the industry. 

Because of that, we offer idea validation as a service – we have such a large network and access to resources, it just makes sense. So you can talk to us at any time about Concept Validation.

And it works like a charm – we’ve helped build over 100+ startups across 11 different industries and multiple continents. So you can imagine we have some extra steps in our validation process that others might not even know about…

6. Founders Market Fit Analysis

We go beyond product validation and delve into the business itself, considering it from the founder's perspective. Together, we plan the future of your business, including post-funding strategies, investor returns, and exit strategies such as building to sell or going public.

7. Like-Competitor Analysis

We thoroughly analyse competitors, including non-tech companies, to determine market share distribution. Additionally, we examine their pricing, features, and past funding to assess your business's future value and potential.

8. User Activation Plan

Startups often struggle with marketing. While buying traffic is an option, it can be costly and unsustainable if not done correctly. With our expertise in performance marketing, we guide you toward scalable user activation strategies.

9. Quarterly Game Plan

We provide you with a practical game plan that enables easy tracking of your progress on a daily and weekly basis at all levels. This ensures that you are consistently meeting the targets you have set for yourself and that your team is also achieving their objectives. With our guidance, everything stays on track as you work towards your goals.

10. Pitch Deck

The outcomes of the concept validation process can be condensed into a pitch deck. This versatile tool can be used as-is to secure funding, engage partners, hire staff, and attract pre-signup users.

How long will it take to validate your mobile app idea?

From concept to market, with a pitch deck that you can take directly to investors within 8 weeks. See exactly how long it takes to validate an idea and exactly why you need to test your app idea. Also see why your projects needs a product owner and a scrum master, plus what a week for an agile development team looks like.

To move even faster, discover the benefits of low-code development. Plus: Did you know you can build 3 times faster? See how long it takes to build a low-code app. Also get a glimpse of the tech-enabled future of retail and find creative ways to pay for your big innovation projects with these unique venture funding models.

Got a mobile app idea?

Let’s see how we can make it a reality…

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Specno Team