I've always jumped right into projects without doing any research, assuming the engineering was the hardest part... (heh) Back then the goal was learning, with the possibility of profiting in the end.
The goal is still very much learning, however I want to maximize my chances of the product being a success.
Currently I've thought of two product ideas, and before I start I want to put in a decent research effort. These are the things I've tried, or am going to try. Both ideas are very niche.
1) Finding people the products are targeting, and getting them to answer questions about it and give their opinion. This hasn't gone well so far, I've reached out to three people, sent them a 6 page slide deck with 5 questions and no responses yet...
2) Trying to understand the market size. (If anyone has tips on this for a niche market please let me know) I've done a little work with google trends.
3) Looking at the competition, neither of my products have any from what I can find. This is either a really good thing or really bad thing... or I'm just not good at looking.
4) Using the problem focused approach, once I've identified a possible problem, try to seek out someone who has this problem. See if they think my solution and see how much they would be willing to pay for it.
My biggest issues right now is finding these people, it's this a networking exercise? Or is there a site where I can go?
Would love to hear any tips or tricks :)