A content website MVP?


I'm considering a startup which at its core is a content website; however I'd like to validate the idea before I invest too much of my time into it. That being said I'm not completely sure how I might go about validating it...as the value of this particular startup would be based on a large amount of quality content, for which I would already have to be fully committed to the project to provide.

The idea I'm considering is basically a network of city guides/online newspapers, targeting English-speaking expatriate communities in various countries/cities around the world. English-speakers living abroad would be able to log on to read the city's news in English, search through listings of the city's services in English (i.e. find a doctor or dentist who speaks English in the city), find movie listings in English, etc. Monetization will be (primarily) by offering paid featured listings in every one of these categories.

The most obvious MVP seems to be to try it out for one city, and see how it goes before expanding. However this is already a huge commitment, so I wanted to know if anyone could suggest a better way to validate this idea before investing myself into it. Also I should note that I am currently living as an expat myself, so am in a good environment to do some testing.

Thanks for any help!

Content MVP Validation

asked Oct 15 '12 at 12:43
Nick Budden
129 points

2 Answers


I don't think that idea validation is the highest priority here. I think intuition and maybe a few conversations with international travelers and tourists would let you know you've got a good idea. The problem, however, is the competition. Just doing a google search for "Madrid dentist english" brings up more than a few possible dentists and reviews. What is it about your offering that would entice a traveler to go out of the way to your site when they can get the same info, albeit disorganized and laced with spam, from google, yahoo, etc?

That's the question you need to answer first.

answered Oct 15 '12 at 13:01
Chris Gerken
280 points
  • "Mandarin dentist english" will return plenty of results, but something location specific like "taipei english dentist" returns less...though it still returns something. What I've found people have a harder time finding, and what it would really be seeking to solve, is information related to recent events in English. I envision it as a hub for just about everything an expat needs, but what brings them there in the first place I believe would by this type of information. – Nick Budden 9 years ago
  • No disagreement here and I think you've got a great idea. The question is what's the relative value between your idea and alternatives from the end users' perspectives. – Chris Gerken 9 years ago



  • Go talk to your potential customers and collect stories about problems finding English speaking whatevers. After you've collected a couple of dozen stories you will hopefully find some stories come up more often than others. Try and fix that problem first.
  • Target a city and a high-pain area for your customer. So just do English speaking dentists in Paris - or whatever.
  • Try and find customers who have this problem more often (frequent business travellers maybe?) target them.
  • Setup a landing page for your site, and buy some targeted Google adverts around the topic. See how many conversions you get.

(As a general problem - I'm unsure that your target market actually has the problem you are trying to address. In my experience expats quickly get linked into a local expat community, who will then be happy to provide personal references.)

answered Oct 15 '12 at 23:09
Adrian Howard
2,357 points

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Content MVP Validation