Five People Who Are In

The "Five People Who Are In" validation method involves engaging five potential customers to assess product value, blending ease of use with targeted feedback.

Five People Who Are In
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Five People Who Are In

The “Five People Who Are In” validation method is a straightforward way to test a new product’s potential. It involves finding and talking to five potential customers who understand the problem your product solves and are excited about your solution. This approach is simpler than conducting extensive market surveys and gives you valuable feedback by focusing on a small, specific group.

Five People Who Are In Validation Method

Difficulty/Ease: 3/10
Locating and engaging five potential customers who see the value in your product can be moderately challenging. This process requires identifying individuals who understand the problem your product aims to solve and are enthusiastic about your proposed solution. This method’s simplicity lies in the limited number of participants needed, making it less daunting than broader market research efforts.

Time Taken: 3/10
This initial phase of market validation can be relatively quick, depending on your network and ability to connect with the target audience. Gathering insights from five people within a short period is feasible, provided you have direct access to a relevant and engaged audience.

Evidence Level: 4/10
The method offers focused feedback from a small group, providing initial insights. However, its limited scale may not fully represent broader market trends or diverse customer needs. This makes the data less robust compared to more extensive research methods.

Metrics for the Five People Who Are In

Evidence Metrics:

  • Interest Confirmation: Measures whether the participants see your product as a solution to a significant problem, indicating a market need.
  • Feedback Quality: Assesses the depth and relevance of the feedback provided by these individuals, which can guide further product development.
  • Engagement Willingness: Tracks the willingness of these participants to use or even pay for the product once available, offering a preliminary validation of product desirability.


Steps to effectively implement the Five People Who Are In strategy:

  1. Identify Your Target Audience: Determine who your ideal customers are and where they might be located, physically or digitally.
  2. Engage Directly: Reach out through personal networks, professional connections, or social media to find individuals who fit your target demographic.
  3. Prepare Discussion Points: Have clear, open-ended questions that allow you to gather detailed feedback without leading the participants towards a predetermined answer.
  4. Set Clear Goals: Understand what insights you wish to gain from each interaction to ensure that the feedback is actionable and relevant.
  5. Follow-up: Maintain communication with these individuals to refine your product based on their input and potentially convert them into early adopters.

Five People Who Are In Validates:

  • Market Relevance: By confirming that at least five people acknowledge a keen interest in your product, you get an initial affirmation that your solution meets a real need.
  • Product Appeal: Direct feedback from these participants helps understand how your product fits into the current market and what unique value it offers.
  • Solution Fit: Insights into how these individuals currently solve the problem can inform whether your product provides a better alternative, thus fitting into existing workflows or lifestyles.

What Should I Use Five People Who Are In For?

This approach is particularly useful for:

  • Validating early-stage product ideas by directly confirming interest and understanding potential user expectations.
  • Refining product features based on direct feedback from potential users who are likely to benefit from the solution.
  • Building a foundation of potential early adopters who can help spread the word and provide further validation through their networks.


Analyzing the results from the Five People Who Are In involves:

  • Reviewing Feedback: Collate and analyze the feedback to identify common themes, unique insights, or potential red flags.
  • Assessing Engagement Levels: Evaluate how engaged these individuals are with the product concept, which can indicate potential success in broader markets.
  • Planning Next Steps: Use the insights gained to adjust your product strategy, enhance your value proposition, or pivot if necessary.

Tools That Can Be Used for Five People Who Are In

Effective tools for facilitating and tracking engagement include:

  • Survey platforms: Like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, to gather structured feedback.
  • Communication tools: Such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, for direct conversations and demonstrations.
  • CRM software: For tracking interactions, follow-ups, and managing relationships with these key individuals.

Examples of Companies That Use This Five People Who Are In

  • Drip: Founder Rob Walling reached out to contacts to validate the demand for his email-marketing tool, using their feedback to refine the product and secure early customers.
  • A startup in the health tech sector: Might connect with health professionals and patients to validate a new medical device, ensuring the product effectively addresses the challenges faced by its users.

The Five People Who Are In method provides a focused, manageable approach to early-stage market validation, offering valuable insights that can significantly influence the direction and success of product development.

Slack: This collaborative tool initially began as an internal communication system for a small game development company, Tiny Speck. As part of their initial market validation, the founders of Slack decided to share their tool with other technology companies to gauge interest and collect feedback. They reached out to businesses within their network to try the Slack platform, which was then in its early development phase.

By targeting these companies, Slack effectively applied the “Five People Who Are In” method. They selected businesses that were likely to experience similar communication challenges as their own team had encountered. This strategic choice allowed them to gather specific, relevant insights about the desirability of Slack as a communication solution in tech environments.

The feedback from these initial users was overwhelmingly positive, highlighting Slack’s potential to improve team communication significantly. This validation of desirability demonstrated a clear market demand and helped shape Slack’s user-friendly interface and functionality. It confirmed that not only was there a strong desire for such a tool, but that there was also a readiness in the market to adopt new technologies that facilitated better team collaboration. The initial success and rapid adoption by these early users paved the way for Slack’s expansion into various other industries and its evolution into a leading communication platform.