The idea of building expensive websites, forging business alliances, establishing channels, spending a huge marketing budget and doing large advertising campaigns before doing any sort of validation of your assumptions is taking a huge risk. Applying lean startup principles to fledgling ideas, potential business opportunities or even new products within an establish enterprise is to really maximize your resources.
The question you want to ask is “How can I turn my assumptions into data that validate or invalidate my assumption”. This is definitely more art than science, but I have worked with startups on how they can quickly validate that customers are willing to spend their money on this potential solution and are willing to change their processes and their time on this potential solution.
Using a lean canvas as a sounding board for listing assumptions, I have helped companies to decide what they needed to measure, how to build a minimum viable product that allows the collection of data as soon as possible and how to interpret the data and learn from it. This is a hugely valuable approach for both startups and establish companies alike, and is a remarkable way to avoid waste and ensure you’re adding value to the customer.