Are you the only customer? 5 ways to tell.

Or are there a lot...really, a lot of people out there with your same problem? Questions to ask yourself  about potential customers to validate your great idea:

  1. Are they openly telling people of their problem in many different public venues?  (message boards, twitter, facebook)
  2. Are they locked into bad solutions and can't move easily?  (utilities, wireless contracts)
  3. Are they locked by geography or platform or demographic?  (.NET sites, income)
  4. Are they averse to change or creatures of habit to bad systems?  (some academics, luddites)
  5. Are they showing signs that they follow the herd?  (online profile addicts, early adopters, high schoolers)

If your Yes answers bookend like this:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No
  5. Yes

You've got an opportunity.