Validate: The Fourth Step in the Launch Sequence

Your point of view is a 100% accurate 100% of the time.

A friend and mentor recently shared an idea with me.

He said, “Shane, your point of view is a 100% accurate 100% of the time. The problem is, so is everyone else's.”

It’s funny when I think about it. How many arguments have I tried to win by debating my point of view?

I recently had a discussion with my 16-year-old daughter about the quality of Justin Bieber’s music.

I know what you’re thinking, but the point is, we each had a specific point of view that was 110% accurate, 100% of the time.

Sometimes that's ok, but it’s advantageous for you to try and understand opposing ideas.  In this case, I listened to my daughter, summarized all the points she shared, and then, interestingly, I found myself actually respecting her opinion.

Truth be told, I find myself humming “Baby, Baby, Baby” every now and then.  

As a launcher, you’ll find yourself with a strong point of view, and the closer you get to launching the more set in your ways you get.

Said another way, the closer you are to the point of launch, the stronger your point of view. 

I follow the Launch Sequence when I launch something I’m passionate about. These stages help keep my thoughts in check. 

1.     Understand

2.     Imagine

3.     Prototype

4.     Validate

5.     Launch 

In the first three stages, ideas and feedback are critical, and you’re generally open to criticism from outside voices. But as you become attached to your project though the launch process, especially in the validate stage, you’ll allow tunnel vision to set in.  

Validation, for me, means establishing the merit of my idea by listening to others’ points of view. There is a lot packed into this phrase for me, but the essence is being willing to seek the input of others and allowing them to ask questions prior to launching.

During validation, keeping an open mind in this stage can be the difference in a good product and a great product, and I believe this to be my most critical step.  

Often in our excitement to launch, we jump straight into prototyping. Because we have generally spent so much time understanding the problem we are trying to solve, imagining solutions, and prototyping those solutions, we find ourselves forming strong points of view along the way.  

So, next time you’re feeling ambitious, hit the pause button and explore alternative options. You may discover something that can be a game-changer in your next launch.