Review: Validation Board

Review: Validation Board

Think your startup idea will let you retire at 40? Validation Board is one way to find out. It's not an app, rather a free tool from Lean Startup Machine, the outfit that lays on workshops in different countries to help entrepreneurs ‘fail fast, succeed faster’. 

For the price of a tweet to your followers about Validation Board, you’re sent an email with a set of zipped files for Windows or OSX. They include a Google Docs template; Powerpoint and Keynote presentations; and a PDF your team can use to sum up and test that world-beating thought.

Editing the Google doc is fiddly at first - the virtual ‘sticky notes’ for documenting progress are on top of the instructions for what you should be noting. 

On the plus side, the template adds to Google’s toolbar with icons for inserting pictures, files, notes and URLs. And Google docs are always handy if team members scattered around the country or the world need to collaborate.

Ultimately, startup teams could create their own documents for mapping ventures, but because Lean Startup Machine’s methods were developed by observing hundreds of startups internationally, Validation Board is an invaluable guide even if it’s used for process and principles alone.

It reminds you to validate your idea, get out and ask customers if they actually want what you’re offering, pivot if they don’t, and sum up your hypotheses in no more than five words.

The website has case studies to show how others have used the tool and the email serves up a link to a company blog that’s full of nuggets about validation and pitching.