A few years ago, I was working on my own startup. I had done the customer development and got great feedback. Brimming with confidence I emailed all the people who had expressed an interest about the beta launch.

No one signed up...

What the....why!?!

I realised that I had fallen into a double trap.

I had listening to what customers wanted without testing if the pain was there. They said they loved the idea, but not enough to sign up, let alone pay. I had also asked crappy questions and allowed myself to falsely validate the idea.

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Ask better questions to validate solving pain

The number one thing that could have saved me three years would have been to ask better questions.

Because of the experiences I had with my startup, at the first Leanconf we gave away copies of Rob Fitzpatrick's excellent book - The Mom Test. A MUST READ book on customer development.

There are a ton of links on the subject. I’ve hand-picked a few of the best links from stellar customer development gurus.

Extra bonus - Ryan Hoover from Product Hunt points out the more effort demonstrated by the user, the stronger the pain is that needs solving.

Good Reads


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