The startup world is abuzz with advice for entrepreneurs. Of that advice, encouragement to validate ideas is the most abundant. Startup competitions and incubators around the country push customer discovery on participants so that they pursue valid ideas, and that's great advice. But it’s also mature advice that you might not be ready to accept.
I've pursued several unvalidated ideas over the years. I started MadDesign LLC at age 19 because I wanted to make money building websites. I had zero customers and zero prospects. I did video tutorials at CSSCaptain.com for 6 months and made $17. I spent 2 months building a Joomla plugin that no one ever used.
Looking back, each of these ventures were great decisions that yielded great results. Launching the MadDesign agency taught me how to start a business and avoid bad clients. CSSCaptain.com taught me to interact positively with negative feedback. Building the Joomla plugin taught me how to effectively contribute to an online community. All of these experiences have helped me advance as a professional and member of the startup community.
If you're new to the idea of entrepreneurship, pursue an idea or two with zero expectations and validation, and you'll be successful. You'll learn, make contacts, and position yourself for greater success with your next big idea (or someone else's).