Testing in Advance: Customer involvement

The other day I was watching National Geographic series MARS, and the astronaut was struggling with a best practice decision and he kept repeating “test in advance, test in advance, test in advance”.

It made me think…“can you test too much before launching a product or service?”

Probably not, because by testing you ensure that the product or service is going to be fit for purpose, and the possibilities of experiencing problems will be narrowed down.
The other side of the coin is testing too little.
That is the more common situation of the two. My personal opinion is as follows.
When somebody tells me they have a great business idea, I usually get excited about it because the person telling me is excited about it, and maybe I don’t know the business specifics in detail or understand the context perfectly, but I feel good about it because the person telling me is convinced.
The obvious problem here is that we can get carried away. Filled with enthusiasm, we forget that most of the truly successful (complex) business ideas have required extensive testing with the end users / customers before the products and services have been brought to the masses…

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