Customer Validation as a Service (CVAS) – an agency for small startups

Customer discovery and validation is a pretty challenging area for most startup entrepreneurs. While most can build a product and maybe even hire people to help it grow, validating with customers and cold calling people to get feedback is hard for most technology entrepreneurs.

Customer Discovery
Customer Discovery

An entrepreneur suggested to me an idea to start an agency that does Customer Validation as a Service (CVAS) or Customer Discovery as a Service (CDAS).

The key part of this service is setting up the problem statement for the entrepreneur, distilling the list of potential customers (Both B2B and B2C) and finding – emailing, talking to and interviewing potential customers to find the top 3 pain points for which they’d pay money for.

Imagine if you were a technical developer entrepreneur and you can build a good product, but your customers were in another location, or they were people you were not able to get to easily.

If a service built a website landing page, setup Google adwords, Facebook campaigns, Twitter profile and ran a campaign for a week or so to give you feedback on what’s the interest, what are potential customers interested in and what would they pay for?

I think this type of service would be very valuable for entrepreneurs. I can easily see various offerings being add-ons to this service.

1. Pricing validation

2. Content (what to write, what medium – email newsletter or Youtube Video, etc.) validation

3. Budget validation

4. Technology landscape validation (what other products should we integrate with)

5. Go to market validation (Where should we advertise, how should we market, etc.)

In the Steve Blank Model for customer discovery above, this set is most useful in the Test problem phase, followed by the Verify phase.

What do you think?

Would you buy this service for $500 – Consumer startups and $1000 for Enterprise startups?

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2 thoughts on “Customer Validation as a Service (CVAS) – an agency for small startups”

  1. I personally feel, this may not work. Reason is its a long process might take anywhere between 3-5 months. $500 wouldn’t be enough for the service provider, if the duration is short founder wouldn’t see the result.

  2. I have been wishing for something like this for a very long time now. If you knew what to build, you could always outsource to a softwate services company. But if you knew a problem existed, but didnt really understand what to build, or more precisely what to sell, you didnt have much of a choice but fimd out urself. That doesn’t happen easily without real skills. I can imagine this to be definitely different from hiring a sales guy. I mean, the major argument against hiring a rockstar sales person at the beginning phase of ur startup, is that the sales person is not so much of a visionary as yourself, the founder, at least for the idea you are working on. We here so many people talking about doing everything related to interacting with the customers yourself in the initial days, to really gain the true understanding you need to take the idea forward. If this becomes a way to enhance the understanding you need about the initial customers, and not merely become another layer between you and your customers, I am willing pay something more than a $1000. I am willing to offer a cofounder’s role in the company and of course with significant equity ;). However so many questions arise here. How does one trust someone else to take your vision to the customers with the same passion as you would.? How can one be sure, a service like this would yield at least reasonble results, coz having an understanding of one vertical or industry doesn’t necessarily mean every other vertical or industry can be attacked the same way? Excuse my scepticism here, but if someone really has answers to these questions, I would be first one to go shopping. 🙂

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