The Vanity Survey
Surveys can be a useful tool when deployed correctly. A survey can help a founder gather insights that can help them glean information that isn’t already available in research databases. This is especially important in pre-launch products where there is no sales data to lean on. So here comes, the “but” about surveys. BUT surveys can be easily be done poorly. There are a lot of variables about what makes a good survey.
First your questions need to be crafted to create real insights and to avoid leading the survey taker. Second, the “who” is important. The people taking your survey should be representative of your target market. There is no validation in getting your inner circle of friends to give you positive feedback, likewise, if your survey is drafted for a market other than who you hope to sell to, it is still not very useful.
My final note on the world of surveys is this, surveys are meant to give you insights into your project but it isn’t, and shouldn’t be your only source of data collection. There are a multitude of ways to test a market and gather insights. You can and should use a variable approach.