Before you build a product, write a brochure. There are a bunch of benefits to getting early feedback with a brochure instead of a product. Creating a mock-up or spec sheet takes one-thousandth the time and cost of building an actual product, is quick to change, and results in feedback that’s nearly as good. It doesn’t have to be a brochure – anything tangible that potential customers can see or touch has the same effect. Mock ups, wireframes, designs, and prototypes can all be used to get the point across in a realistic and convincing way.
The important thing is to be as visual as you can with potential customers. Giving them something to look at and play with makes it easier for the audience to “get it.” Words get lost in the abyss. Images and prototypes are hard to misunderstand. Suddenly you’re not talking about an abstract idea that your audience is likely to go along with (why wouldn’t they?), you’re pitching an actual product.
Being visual greatly helps you get an authentic reaction and objective feedback, so start with a brochure.