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5 Ways to Validate a Business Idea, Right Now

Don't let your day job or lack of capital stop you from finding and testing a business idea. Here's how.
Last year, I embarked upon a personal challenge to validate a business idea in 30 days. To make it even more difficult, it was a random idea chosen by my readers. They asked me to do it without using my existing website, traffic and business connections and without spending more than 20 hours per week on the project. On top of that, I limited myself to spending no more than $500 validating this idea. The experiment was a success.In just two weeks, I built an email list of 565 subscribers without having an actual website. Then, I reached out to a handful of those subscribers and pre-sold 12 copies of a book that didn't even exist yet, all in less than 30 days. I wrote about the experiment in real-time with in-depth weekly updates, successes, failures and lessons learned along the way, right here in my validation challenge. Today, I want to share with you the five most effect…

The first Apple TV reviews say it's great, but not a game changer

apple tv
The Apple TV App Store.
Initial reviews of the Apple TV started popping up this evening.
The new Apple TV is greatly anticipated, as it's been three years since the last update.
Apple's added tasty new features like Siri voice searching, an app store like the one on the iPhone, and a touch-based remote control.
So, does it live up to all the anticipation? Yes and no.
The general vibe is that it's a great improvement over the previous generation, but there's little to make people choose the Apple TV over other streaming devices, or even cable itself.

The positives

The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey Fowler is a fan of the remote control and the new way of controlling the Apple TV, "The Apple TV gets the Internet TV remote right by reaching for the same touch-screen feeling that makes the iPhone intuitive to a 2-year-old...Without having to look down, you feel connected to what's happening on the big screen."
Indeed, navigating around the last Apple TV wasn't one of its strong points, as you had to press several buttons several times to get to what you want.
On top of the remote navigation, Walt Mossberg of Re/Code sang praises about the Siri voice control you can use to search for content. "When I said 'Season four of The West Wing,' it offered me the right season of the venerable TV series from both iTunes and Netflix."
Apple TV
That saves you a lot of time when you compare it to typing out the name of the show you want to watch with the directional buttons on the previous Apple TV remote. Similar functionality exists elsewhere, like Amazon's Fire TV, but it's a first for Apple's set-top box.
Mossberg concluded that, "While Apple TV is the last of the leading streaming boxes to have voice search (even Comcast's X1 cable boxes have voice search), I tested it against the voice searches in the Roku 4 and the Amazon Fire TV and found it superior."
Both Mossberg and Fowler are also appreciative of the fact that you can search for content from multiple apps outside of iTunes, like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime.
The "natural language" recognition - when you speak to it like a personinstead of a cyborg - was apparently impressive. "I asked for movie mysteries, and it showed me a ton." said Mossberg. And when he asked Siri to show "only the good ones," the Apple TV showed the top rated movie mysteries.
Apple TV
The new Apple TV's new remote.

The negatives

David Pogue of Yahoo Tech, Mossberg, and Fowler point out the Apple TV doesn't make the most of its new-found library of apps. "It can't find anything on YouTube, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, and so on. It's a missed opportunity the size of Greenland," said Pogue. (Greenland is approximately 836,109 sq are miles, according to Wikipedia.)
Fowler said the Apple TV's search options "trails rivals like Roku."
And while Pogue liked access to "all the Big Boys" (like "Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime, YouTube, etc.) he also complains that it's not much different or more than the selection on other streaming devices
Pogue is also critical of the Apple TV's high price tag when he compares it to other streaming devices. At $149 for the base model, "That's much pricier than similar devices like the Amazon's $100 Fire TV, the $130 Roku, and Google's $35 Chromecast."
samsung 110 inch ultra hd 4k tv
Samsung's 4K UHD television.
And as all the early reviewers noticed, the Apple TV's high price makes less sense when all the other streaming devices can stream 4K resolution content and the Apple TV doesn't. This point is arguable because, truly, there isn't very much 4K content available at the moment.
At the same time, is Apple going to release a new Apple TV with 4K capability? I, as well as the early reviewers, thought that this Apple TV was meant to be the "future of TV." Apple itself said it was. It's just a little odd when, really, there's little doubt that higher resolution is going to play a large part in that future of television.
Plenty has happened in the three years since the last model, and while there are myriad great features, it looks like it might need to put up a better fight to stand out.