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  3. Validating your App ft. Ben Sailer

Our guest on this week’s From Idea to Done is Ben Sailer from CoSchedule. We discuss the importance of validating your ideas before diving into making it an app and gathering data and insights from audience before launch.

Learn more about Coschedule here:Β https://coschedule.com/

VO: Get ready for your semi-regular dose of random ideas from the guys at Codelation. We like to talk about big ideas companies that are winning, and those that aren't along with current events in our crazy world of software startups. So come along with Erick and Josh, who challenge you to think big, start small and turn your ideas into something on this episode of, from idea to done.

Josh: Hey everyone, I'm Josh.

Erick: and I'm Erick.

Josh: And in this episode from idea to done, we have a special guest, Mr. Ben sailor.

Ben Sailer: Hi, how's it going guys.

Erick: Awesome, awesome. And so, yeah, I'm excited to have you on the show. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ben Sailer: Yeah, sure. Um, I am the inbound marketing director at CoSchedule. Uh, we, uh, provide a family of agile software products to help marketing teams get organized. Um, I've been here for about four years. Um, and yeah, that's about it for me. Uh,

Josh: I I've, I've followed CoSchedule his journey from the today may days when you guys were a consultancy and, uh, no, uh, Garrett and Justin pretty well. And you know, we've seen great tools that you guys have launched, like your free headline analyzer tool and, uh, obviously, uh, a thought leader, uh, blog in, in marketing and a lots of opportunities, you know, Garrett's book, every, just everything there. And, um, I'm excited to be talking about you and just really wanted to get your take on when, when CoSchedule looks to launch, you know, a new feature, a new product, how do you, how do you get that? Uh, how do you get that moving?

Ben Sailer: Yeah, for sure. So I would say everything starts with identifying a customer need. There's always going to be hundreds of different things we could build, like always going to be tons of different kinds of features we could launch different. Um, I guess you could call them like free or freemium type tools and things we could build, like the, uh, our headline analyzer and things like that. Um, so I think everything starts with really prioritizing what are the things that people need most and what are the things that are gonna make the biggest impact on the product? Um, I think that's really important, especially when you consider just the sheer amount of resources and just the number of man hours that have to go into, you know, building anything you want to be. I mean, you can never be certain of anything like you, you, you will never have the benefit of being able to wait for the perfect time to just make a decision, you know, but you don't want to have, um, you want to have enough data and enough insight to, um, you know, sure that you're, you're making an educated, you know, a data backs decision on what's, what's the next thing that you should be doing.

Ben Sailer: That's going to help you better serve your customers.

Josh: Absolutely. And I think, you know, CoSchedule, you guys are a great place that you have a lot of users. You've got a lot of data backing that. What if you could put your, your marketing cap on and say, you don't have an audience and you're looking to launch something into the market. What advice would you have for an entrepreneur that doesn't have that audience? And they've got an idea.

Ben Sailer: Uh, sure. I think, um, this is going to be a very simple piece of very old school business advice. Um, start with the problem, you know, like what is it that you're trying to solve? I think if, if you can start with that and you can answer that question first and maybe validate a little bit, um, whether or not, you know, you're the only person who sees this problem existing. Um, I would start with that, like find something that is broken or something that you think that you can fix. Um, because without that, you're just going to be plotting a product or a feature or something out there that, you know, nobody wants. Uh, and then at that point, I think you're, you're just building things out of vanity rather than being in service to something.

Josh: Sure.

Erick: Right. And as a software engineering company, I feel like we've built all sorts of solutions to random things that weren't, that weren't problems. And so is this idea, is this kind of a tried and true, like across the board thing? Or is this something that you kind of learned through experience?

Ben Sailer: Yeah, that's a really good question. Um, I would say it's a little bit of both. Um, yeah, I think, uh, I've always been impressed with our team at CoSchedule just, and I feel like I can say this because this isn't really talking myself up personally. Um, so much as the, the team I have around me here that I'm fortunate to work with. I think we've had more hits and misses on that front, but I think that when we have taken a swing and missed it's because, um, we didn't accurately identify what the actual problem was. Like. There, there have been times where like we pushed things out and it's just kind of fallen flat because it wasn't, it wasn't, um, solving a problem, you know, that I can actually had, it was maybe based more on an assumption or based on what we thought people might want

Josh: More, more of a belief that your you've built a feature and now you're in search of that problem versus flipping it the other direction. And yeah, yeah, absolutely. No, that's, you know, we're, we're looking to take our own product to market it's around problem validation. And we, we see this all the time. Um, what, what should we be doing as we start to grow our audience and, and, you know, looking to launch our product, um, we're, we're, we're looking for tips and advice from the experts. So what, what should we be doing as we're starting to roll out our, our testing and trying to take something into the marketplace?

Ben Sailer: Uh, sure. I think, um, maybe the most important thing that you could be doing is just continually gathering data and insights from, um, you know, your audience, your customer base, um, from people that are maybe beta testing, the tool or the products that you're, you're preparing to launch. I think something that's I found is, is very, um, it has been really interesting to kind of like learn and to kind of observe from our team here at CoSchedule is that I'm trying to nail down product market fit and like, to like really get it dialed in to a place where you feel really good about it. That's a never ending process. Um, and I, I think especially, um, when it comes to something as fluid and never evolving as like software and app development, um, I think it's something that's important to like never stop thinking about, and then never stop, you know, continuing to, to gather that data and to be talking to your customers and, um, always doing what you can to make sure that you're delivering what they need and that you're also able to read between the lines and, um, offer what they, what they actually need and not what they think they want.

Josh: So what you're telling me is I should stop talking to you and go talk to my target market right now,

Ben Sailer: Uh, in terms of what's going to move people more quickly. Um, yeah, I would say your, your target market is much more useful to you. Absolutely. Absolutely. I

Erick: Appreciate you coming on the show anyway.

Josh: Uh, any other thoughts? You know, Erick, you got anything.

Erick: Okay. No, I, and I think it's important as we're talking about validation for me as a marketer to talk to other marketers in the field too, and just kind of an even like, we're all just our own weird random people, but sometimes if one person has the same idea as you, you don't feel like such a, like so on an island,

Ben Sailer: Right.

Erick: Kind of validates your marketing thoughts too. Even, even though are you going to be an entrepreneur that does a startup and probably not today, maybe after we do some good marketing and you want, you want to take that step, but it's important. I think for us to talk to you to get yeah, for

Josh: Sure. Absolutely. Well, I really appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your day here to chat with us and, um, yeah, that's this episode from idea to done. Look for it coming soon.

: Thanks for having me on.

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About the Show

Erick and Josh talk about big ideas, companies that are winning and those that aren’t, and current events in the crazy world of software startups.

Josh Christy

CEO

Erick Roder

Director of People
and Nerd Culture