Validating A New Product Idea

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When you get a new idea, do you immediately start building it out because you’re a creative and that’s the fun part??? Yeah, me too. This time, though, I’m taking a different approach and validating first.

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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Last night I finally pulled the trigger on putting together a new product for Craftsman Creative.

All year I’ve been trying to crack an all-inclusive business training course. Essentially, how to create a successful creative business.

I’ve had the idea up on the Craftsman Creative site since March! Not a single person has pre-ordered (obviously, look at the way I set it up…).

I also priced it at $997 because I KNEW the value that I was gonna deliver with this product.

(There’s an inherent problem in that statement – read it again and see if you can find it…)

Over the last few months I’ve talked about this idea with a number of friends in creative industries while building my other business, Benchmark. These conversations were made for a podcast to promote the app, but I’d always take a few minutes after ending the recording to ask about my idea.

Through those conversations, my assumptions turned into insights, and I started to see what people really needed and wanted, and how I could help.

I was debating when/how to launch this thing – when was I going to have time to build it? What if I build it and no one wants it like before?

Underlying those questions – what if I fail?

But then the perfect moment of serendipity. During the launch of The Durable Business this week, the dudes over at Tiny Little Businesses shared something that I’ve known about but forgotten:

The Importance Of Validating Your Ideas

I’d been thinking all backward. I was starting with an idea and then immediately jumping to how-can-I-scale-and-optimize-it-while-simultaneously-building-it!

Hear how that sounds? A bit backwards and crazy, right?

Rather, the way people do this process successfully looks like this:

Discover > Validate > Build > Scale & Optimize

From The Durable Business

I was all out of order.

Thanks to the timing of all this, I was able to reset and think about the idea (the “discovery” phase), the audience I was seeking to serve, and ways to validate it, rather than build it.

That lead to a late-night, post-thanksgiving work session that I documented in detail on Twitter.

It felt a little like Mark Zuckerberg in that scene from The Social Network where he’s building and coding and drinking and writing about it all in real time…

But I digress.

I traded what could have been weeks of creating a product, perfecting the website, writing an email sequence, then rewriting that sequence, then scrapping it and doing it all again, for about two hours of work.

My hope is that by doing things in the right order, I can save myself from the fear of failure, and validate before building a product that no one wants.

So, what’s the product?

Well, think of it as a product/service super-combo.

Coaching without the five-figure price tag. Community without having to be on facebook. Interactive learning and doing rather than an info-dump.

A new way to build a resilient creative business.


  • your business makes enough to pay you what you want.
  • you have control over when, how, and why you work, who you work with, and what you work on.
  • You upgrade your revenue, your clients, your work/life balance, and your mastery of how your business operates.
  • And, most importantly, because it’s built right it can withstand any shifts in the economy, your industry, your clients, or your audience. That resiliency means you’re building for the long term success, not a quick flash in the pan that can be wiped out overnight.

What does that look like, exactly?

A 12-month, interactive program to help you build the creative business you’ve always wanted. Monthly training on how to grow your business in a systematic way – first with the foundation, then one building block at a time.

A community of companions on the path – taking the same journey you’re taking. You’re not alone, and a community helps you remember that.

A private email list, only for those who are on the journey. A private podcast feed if you’d rather listen to the training instead.

Monthly, interactive, live video calls to get the community together but also to reinforce what we’ve learned and help those who are struggling.

Weekly accountability – it’s important to show up and to keep your commitments, and the program holds you to that.

All of this in order to get you the results you’ve been working so hard for in your career –

  • control over the results in your business
  • overcome the fear of failure and the resistance to doing the work
  • clarity of how to build a business that works
  • freedom to have the life you’ve wanted for yourself and your family

Now – for the offer.

Remember, I’m testing and validating rather than building first, so I did a minimum viable sales page just to see how everything goes. (Again, check out the twitter thread to see that all come together in real time…)

You can go to and sign up. If you’re not ready to buy, then enter your email to get the free month of training I’m going to do next month (if enough people buy…)

If you are ready to build your own resilient business, then sign up soon. I’m limiting the preorders to 20 people, and have set the price at 90% off for this weekend only, to make it as easy a decision as possible for my friends, email subscribers, and readers.

See you on the other side!

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