How do you know when to lay down the money for an MVP?
Do surveys and potential user interviews count? Does first hand knowledge of the problem count?
Hi! First of all I recommend to make a pitch deck for yourself that completely describes your product, user needs, market and theirs validation and lay down money after you will be confident with that document on proof of concept (it will cost you much less then creating MVP).
I'd be happy to talk further with you about the difference between MVP and proof of concept stages and help you to set correct KPI to each of them regarding your product
Decision makers in the target market who have admitted to having a serious problem they want fixed. Particularly those who have signed up to a list to follow your progress and await the availability of the solution.
News and media appearances are helpful but do not count.
My rule of thumb is only sales count.
If I can't turn an idea into a sale by end of day (via completely manual means), I move on to another idea.
For example. Have an idea + mention it places you cultivate (where you post or interact with people) + if you get a sale by end of day (use a PayPal manual transaction), then you might have a good idea.
Meetup groups + CoWork space talks are good too.
If you can give a talk to a group + generate a few manual PayPal transactions, you may have a winner.
No sales == Get a new idea.
That's my rule for myself.