There's never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, according to Richard Branson. Thanks to crowdfunding and the feedback it provides, it's never been easier to secure the most important thing all business leaders need: proof their hunches are right.
Crowdfunding, according to Branson in a recent blog post, is more than a way to secure seed money or create brand awareness. It's a way to validate an idea.
"It helps you to create a tribe of customers, ambassadors and superfans. It brings market validation," says Branson, "and real time feedback."
"Crowdfunding is so much more than just raising money," he writes.
Crowdfunding is a large scale version of a method the Virgin Group often used himself: 'the mum test." Branson advises young entrepreneurs and leaders to pitch their ideas to someone close to them, someone who wants them to succeed. Ask for their honest thoughts, he says, and then gauge that person's reaction.