Before people quit their day jobs and cash in their 401K to start a business, it all begins with an idea. Often that idea keeps you up at night, looping through your brain and eliciting the same question on repeat: “What if?”
Before taking out an outsized loan to fund a business or rashly typing out a letter of resignation, you can ask Twitter. Often Twitter can be a better sounding board than friends and family who are unable to stay neutral and may provide overly positive (“This is brilliant! Sign me up!”) or particularly negative—or personal (“Nah. Should you be thinking of starting a business while you’re in debt?”)
Simply sending out a tweet about your business idea can be a form of rapid customer validation that helps you gauge the interest in a product or service. Sharing and explaining your business with a limited number of characters will help you think more clearly about your value proposition.
If the reception is positive, you’ll also get a glimpse into who your first customers might be. You can ask more questions about everything from pricing (“How much would you pay for this?”) or competitors (“What do you use now that serves the same purpose?”)
If the reception is negative or non-existent, it doesn’t mean you should abandon your idea. However “lukewarm response” is a data point you didn’t have before and will serve your next steps, whether that’s idea iteration or additional research.
Whether you’re starting a new company from scratch or releasing a new feature or product line, Twitter can serve as a great sounding board. Leveraged properly, the platform will enable you to you to learn from your customers and improve your product. Entrepreneurs who are active on Twitter can create a direct line from themselves to their customers; whether that’s to solicit feedback or provide customer support.
Getting feedback on what you want to build and release or how you can improve can yield useful feedback that informs your decisions. Following this feedback can yield better results than if you were to build and release something in isolation. You can opt to solicit feedback as a founder or employee, which has the benefit of personalization, or collect feedback under your company’s account, which may have the benefit of wider reach.