Customer development for entrepreneurs: a tactical guide -- from my Skillshare class

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Slides based on my video course http://bit.ly/1bQW22W

Slides based on my video course http://bit.ly/1bQW22W

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  • 1. Customer Development for Entrepreneurs: What to Do When You’re Out of the Building Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 2. About Me Author, Customer Development for Entrepreneurs Casual Corp www.twitter.com/mfishbein www.mfishbein.com
  • 3. My Background Growing up How Lean and customer development has helped me Why I created this
  • 4. Key Topics How to find customers and ask for interviews How to get startup ideas How to test startup ideas Best and worst questions to ask
  • 5. Key Topics MVP, concierge and manual first approaches Common customer development mistakes Gaining insights to build awesome products Case studies
  • 6. What is Customer Development? Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 7. What is Customer Development? The practice of gaining customer insights through interviews and structured experiments to generate, test, and optimize startup ideas Avoid spending time and money on stuff people don’t want Build products that people love
  • 8. How to Get Startup Ideas Learn about: Customer pain points Value propositions that resonate
  • 9. How to Test Startup Ideas Is this something anyone wants? If yes confidence and conviction If no what do they want? or, quickly move on
  • 10. How to Build Awesome Products Gather customer insights to inform product decisions Relentlessly serve customers
  • 11. What it is Not A silver bullet Guarantor of success Cheap or small Easy
  • 12. Other Benefits of Customer Dev Customer acquisition Pricing Copywriting Content marketing Competitor research
  • 13. Principles of Customer Development Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 14. Principles of Customer Development Abstract by a level Don’t pitch at first Try to prove yourself wrong Talk less, listen more Ask open-ended questions Get real validation One on one and in person is best
  • 15. Abstract by a Level Don’t make any assumptions Get them to tell you Gain customer insights
  • 16. Don’t Pitch (at first) Gain customer insights Form partnerships Learn what they do want Pitch when ready
  • 17. Prove Yourself Wrong Being wrong sucks. But you know what sucks more? Spending a bunch of time and money on something no one wants.
  • 18. Less Talking More Listening To learn, you must listen Guide the conversation...then shut up
  • 19. Open Ended Questions Get customers talking Learn what they do want Until you want to learn specific things (like will they buy)
  • 20. Get Real Validation Words are not currency Actions speak louder than words
  • 21. How to Gather Insights One on on and in person is best Supplements: Surveys Focus groups Research Secondary interviews
  • 22. Four Phase Process Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 23. The Four Phases Problem Discovery Product Discovery Product Validation Scale
  • 24. 1. Problem Discovery: Goals Identify a problem worth solving Find one or validate one Abstract by a level
  • 25. 1. Problem Discovery: Questions What’s the hardest part about being a [demographic you’re serving]? What tasks take the most time during your day? What are some unmet needs you have? What product or service do you wish you had that doesn’t exist yet? What could be done to improve your experience as a [demographic you’re serving]? Do you find it hard to… Tell me about the last time you...
  • 26. Other Problem Discovery Tactics Listen for complaints Be observant of your day Look for hacked together solutions Paid services
  • 27. 2. Product Discovery: Goals Shape and optimize a solution to previously validated problem Optimize your idea
  • 28. 2. Product Discovery: Questions Does the product solve your problem? Would you ever use the product? Why or why not? What's appealing to you about the product? What deters you from the product? What would make the experience better? What do you dislike? If you could wave a magic wand and instantly have a solution to this problem, what would it look like?
  • 29. 3. Product Validation: Goals Validate that customers view your product as a viable solution to their problem
  • 30. 3. Product Validation: Q’s & Tactics Pre-sales “Would you be willing to start right away?” MVP “I’ll do that for you…”
  • 31. Pre-selling The one dollar test Cold call / vapor sale Learn more Landing page
  • 32. What the heck is an MVP anyways? Minimum possible features that allow the product to be deployed and effectively solve the customer’s pain point Further validation and deeper customer insight Concierge MVP Test your riskiest assumptions first
  • 33. Examples Marketplaces Yipit Data Analysis Service Automation
  • 34. 4. Scale: Goals Optimize your product Turn “users” into “evangelists”
  • 35. 4. Scale: Questions What motivates you to continue using the product? What do you like most about the product? What do you dislike most about the product? How could your experience be improved? What’s the hardest part about using the product? What feature(s) do you wish the product had? What features do you wish were removed from the product? What would make you motivated to recommend the product to a friend or colleague?
  • 36. How to Get Startup Ideas By Talking to People Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 37. Startup Ideas Customer Miniscule at first Problem Value Product
  • 38. Why Start with Customer? Time finding customers Gain deeper insights Enjoyment
  • 39. How to Pick A Customer Segment Relationships or access Passion Propensity to buy Market size
  • 40. Relationships / Access Development Acquisition Connecting customer development and sales/marketing
  • 41. Passion A lot of time together Enjoyment ---> effectiveness
  • 42. Propensity to Buy Budgets Tech savvy Incentive
  • 43. Market Size Goals Niche product How many potential customers?
  • 44. Product Discovery Proven models Creative thinking Automation
  • 45. Problem Discovery Questions What are the top 3 challenges you face in your job? What are some unmet needs you have? What’s the hardest part about being a [demographic]? What’s the hardest part about doing [relevant activity]? What tasks take the most time during your day? What product or service do you wish you had that doesn’t exist yet? What could be done to improve your experience as a [demographic]?
  • 46. Other Tactics for Generating Ideas Scratch your own itch Do what you know is working Solve for basic needs Listen and be observant
  • 47. Scale Do other people want this too? Risk Assumptions
  • 48. Conclusion “Why do so many founders build things no one wants? Because they begin by trying to think of startup ideas.” - Paul Graham “By far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.” - Paul Graham
  • 49. How to Test Startup Ideas Before Building a Product Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 50. First Steps Customer hypothesis Validate problem Validate product
  • 51. Customer Hypothesis Who would LOVE this product? Specific, then iterate Name one person
  • 52. Validate Problem Talk to people Abstract by a level What are the top 3 challenges you face in your job? What’s the hardest part about being a [demographic]? What’s the hardest part about doing [relevant activity]? What tasks take the most time during your day? Tell me about the last time you….
  • 53. Validate Solution What do you think of this idea? Does the product solve your problem? What would make it better? What do you like about this product or solution? What do you dislike? What would prevent you from using this product? Would you ever use the product? Why or why not?
  • 54. Pre-sales Actions speak louder than words You will learn a lot
  • 55. But... “I’m already using x…” “It’s not something I spend a lot of time on” Or...
  • 56. Validation! Confidence and conviction Partners and hires Investors Actual $$
  • 57. How to Find Customers to Interview Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 58. Why You might have the best new product idea in the world, but until you find customers, it’s not actually a business. If you can’t find customers before you have a product, what will you do when you have a product?
  • 59. Who Who is most strongly affected by the problem you’re solving? Who would absolutely LOVE this product/service? Create a profile Name someone specifically
  • 60. How Go where they go, online and offline Most not scalable, sustainable, profitable Test your riskiest assumption first
  • 61. LinkedIn Groups Roles, industries, interests, etc.
  • 62. People you know “Hi [their name], Hope all is well! I'm looking for feedback on a potential product to help with [problem or process]. Given your experience, it would be great to get your feedback. I don't have a product to sell (yet)...I’m just trying to determine if it's a problem worth solving in the first place. Could I buy you a coffee next week to ask you a few questions and get your feedback? Thanks, [your name]”
  • 63. Referrals Your network People you’ve interviewed “Do you know anyone else who might have this problem that you would feel comfortable introducing me to so I could conduct a similar interview?” Find people on Facebook or Linkedin and asked shared connections
  • 64. Cold Outreach Get specific Find their contact information “Hi [their name], I’m Mike [link to page with my bio]. I'm looking for feedback on a potential product to help with [problem or process]. I came across your LinkedIn profile and it looks like you have a lot of experience with [problem or process], so I was hoping to get your feedback. I don't have a product to sell (yet)...I’m just trying to determine if it's a problem worth solving in the first place. Could I ask you a few questions and get your feedback over a fifteen minute phone call? Thanks, [your name]”
  • 65. Meetup.com Go to events Reach out to organizers Post on message board
  • 66. Conferences and Events Especially if enterprise
  • 67. Craigslist Respond to posts Create posts
  • 68. Twitter Hashtags, phrases
  • 69. Facebook Search Groups Ads
  • 70. Blog Create relevant and valuable content Can be sustainable customer acquisition Can be your MVP
  • 71. Offline Paper Handouts Coffee shops, gyms, streets, etc
  • 72. Kickstarter Large user base Validation and $
  • 73. Hit the streets Neighborhoods Stores Events
  • 74. Quora Reviews Relevant questions
  • 75. How to Ask for Interviews Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 76. Frame the Conversation Partners, not customers Nothing to sell Quick Define area or problem Ask for advice You won’t get a 100% response rate
  • 77. Script 1 “Hi [their name], I'm looking for feedback on a potential product to help with [problem or process]. Given your experience, it would be great to get your feedback. I don't have a product to sell (yet)...I’m just trying to determine if it's a problem worth solving in the first place. Could I ask you a few questions over a 15 minute call? Thanks, [your name]”
  • 78. Script 2 “Hi [their name], My name is [your name]. We’re doing research on a product to help people with [problem you’re solving or value you’re delivering]. We're currently in the development phase and we’re hoping you might provide some feedback so we can build the best product possible and potentially help you. I don’t have a product to sell you. I would just like to get your thoughts. Are you available to talk on [date]? Thanks in advance, [your name]?”
  • 79. What to Do Before, During and After Interviews Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 80. Before Not a sale Keep it casual Qualify your customer
  • 81. Qualify Your Customer “Tell me about yourself.” “Tell me about your role.” “Who handles x?” “How much time do you spend on x?” “Do you have kids?” “Do you do x?”
  • 82. During Be observant Take notes? Record video or audio?
  • 83. After Clarify your takeaways Ask if you can follow up Ask for referrals Thanks! :)
  • 84. Takeaways “So based on the conversation, it sounds like x is really hard for you, but y is not” “It sounds like x is very important to you, while y is not.” Take notes if you didn’t during the interview
  • 85. Follow Up “Can I keep you in the loop on how the product develops?” “Can I follow up if I have more questions?” “Would you like to know if/when the product goes live?” Get contact info
  • 86. Referrals Get more interviews Small form of validation “Do you know anyone else who might have this problem that you would feel comfortable introducing me to so I could conduct a similar interview?” “Do you know anyone else who might benefit from this product/service? Would you feel comfortable introducing me so I can get feedback similar to our conversation?”
  • 87. Case Studies Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 88. Intro SinglePlatform AirBnB Yipit Failures?
  • 89. Failures? Avoiding wasted time and money on something no one wants is a success.
  • 90. SinglePlatform Problem Discovery Access to customers Problem first Product Validation Customers inform product decisions Pre-sales
  • 91. AirBnB Product Validation Finding customers Scale / Concierge MVP
  • 92. Yipit Concierge MVP
  • 93. Conclusion Mike Fishbein, www.mfishbein.com
  • 94. Key Takeaways Outcomes of customer development Best questions Generating startup ideas Testing startup ideas How to find customers and ask for interviews Product validation exercises
  • 95. Adios! Questions? To learn more Udemy (http://bit.ly/1bQW22W) Amazon (http://amzn.to/1cusVFt) www.mfishbein.com More Questions? www.twitter.com/mfishbein Good luck validating!