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  • 1. Customer Discovery Hacks! Jefferson Entrepreneurship at UVA info@alexandercowan.com
 alexandercowan.com" @cowanSF Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 2. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 3. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 4. Design Thinking! Lean Startup! Customer Dev.! Agile } BIG VOID { Actual Practice Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 5. DESIRE KNOWLEDGE to learn more about launching new ideas of software development not assumed ACTION to work on new ideas
  • 6. IDEATION PLANNING ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 7. IDEATION Back Then And Then Survival Self-Love Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 8. IDEATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 9. IDEATION Back Then And Then And Now Survival Self-Love Design Thinking Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 10. DESIGN THINKING- WHAT IS Empathy Creativity Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 11. IDEATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 12. IDEATION 1 Entry 2 Urinate as they go 3 Edges preferred 4 Speedy 5 PB > cheese Empathy Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 13. Check & Repair 1 UV Validation 2 Relevant Placement 3 A Better Mouse Trap 4 Powered by Better Bait 5 Creativity Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 14. IDEATION ? Problem! Personas Scenarios Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 15. IDEATION " •Women •Age 28-45 •Have kids •Socialize with other mom’s •Online with Facebook •86% said they’d like to be more organized •70% said they’d use an application that organizes them Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 16. IDEATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 17. IDEATION Mary the Mom Mary is a mom by choice. She had a successful career in accounting, but welcomed the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. She loves it. But it’s not like having kids purged her creative, social instincts. She wants to connect, she wants to learn, she wants to interact. Being a mom is a job and she wants to do it well. That means corresponding with other mom’s on relevant topics and keeping the family calendar in ship shape. She posts to Facebook at least twice a week and responds to other moms’ items more often than that. " For household stuff, Costco is the go-to place, but she’ll pick up fresh items at the farmer’s market when it’s up and splurge at Whole Foods when they’re having company. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 18. IDEATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 19. IDEATION ? User Problem! Personas Scenarios Stories Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 20. IDEATION Drafting Stories PERSONAS Epic Stories Stories Test Cases “As a [persona], " I want to [do something] " so that I can [derive a benefit]” STORIES Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 21. Borrowed with utmost regard from Banksy (banksy.co.uk) IDEATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 22. PLANNING Then Now Five Year Plan Iterative! Management 45,000,000% 01 IDEA! 40,000,000% 35,000,000% 02 HYPOTHESIS 30,000,000% 25,000,000% Revenue% Expense% 20,000,000% EBITDA% 15,000,000% 10,000,000% 04 EXPERIMENTATION 5,000,000% 0% !5,000,000% 6.a PIVOT experiments 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN disprove hypothesis 2012% 2013% 2014% 2015% 2016% 2017% 2018% 2019% 2020% 05 PIVOT OR PERSEVERE? 6.b PERSEVERE Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 23. PLANNING 45,000,000% 40,000,000% 35,000,000% 30,000,000% 25,000,000% Revenue% Expense% 20,000,000% EBITDA% 15,000,000% 10,000,000% 5,000,000% 0% 2012% 2013% 2014% 2015% 2016% 2017% 2018% 2019% 2020% !5,000,000% Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 24. PLANNING Do I have real evidence from my buyer that this is compelling? 01 IDEA! What are the key assumptions required to make this business work? 02 HYPOTHESIS How do I definitely prove or disprove the assumptions with a minimum of time and effort? 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Am I reacting or am I focused on validating my pivotal assumptions? 04 EXPERIMENTATION ‘Pivot or persevere?’ Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 25. PLANNING Priority Key Assumption Needs Proving? Experimentation 1 [A key assumption about [Whether it needs proving the business] [Experiment to prove or disprove] 1 Parents want to better organize the distribution of allowances Yes * Post the proposition in ads online * Measure sign-up’s on a landing page 2 Parents have smart phones No n/a Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 26. PLANNING Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 27. PLANNING $ Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 28. ORGANIZATION Then Aping == Now Customer Development Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 29. ORGANIZATION ≠ Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 30. ORGANIZATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 31. ORGANIZATION X: < Odds at Lotto 5 Year Plan == " 10x Returns! X: Too much 
 too soon VC-Encouraged Menagerie X: Lack of Experience in Hands-on Discovery Big Company Recipes Applied X: New Theories to Explain Plan v. Actual Time to Face the Music + " Founders New Idea! Investors Expanded Team It Works! Working 5 Year Plan 
 Board Revisions to Plan == Edgy Board X: Want Lots of Capital at Work X: Better Luck with the Lottery X: Fun and ProfitUnlikely " New Hires + Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 32. ORGANIZATION Validated Learning Answers Shared Questions Lower Risk & Clear Focus in Capital Requirement Hiring & Contracting Key Assumptions ID’ed, Validated Resources As Needed Time to Face the Music + " Founders New Idea! " Investors Investors? Advisors? Option for 
 Non-Traditional Funding Strategies New " Hires Focus on Validated Learning Roles and Success Criteria Clear " + Expanded Team Full Tilt at a ‘Pivot or Persevere’ Moment Progress is Quick and Measurable "Board Is approach working or not? Fun & Profit Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 33. DEVELOPMENT Then Waterfall Now Agile Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 34. DEVELOPMENT Individuals! Interactions > Processes" Tools Working software > Documentation Customer collaboration > negotiation Responding to change > Following Comprehensive Contract a plan Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 35. DEVELOPMENT Past Present validate feature relevance with customers collaborate with development team Future observe and envision what’s next Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 36. personas! problem scenarios! user stories LEAN DESIGN THINKING STARTUP working product AGILE hypothesis (assumptions)! experimental design CUSTOMER DEV. roles & team! objectives Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 37. 2007 2008 2010 2011 2013 went out on my own profitable, productized consulting business software business scaling! keep learning, keep innovating Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 38. A LEAN PROGRESSION Customer empathymore scope, detail on problem scenarios CONSULTING Validated problem scenarios with substantial detail ‘PRODUCTIZED’ CONSULTING PRODUCTS Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 39. UNDERSTANDING THE MARKET 50-70% of Enterprise Software Implementations Fail Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 40. IDEATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 41. IDEATION Help me integrate and NETWORK standardize the PRINCIPALS 
 infrastructure. And show my OF OPERATION people how to use it. SERVICE How do we improve service quality? How DESIGN do we verify that? Creating SERVICE accounts is taking a lot of time/ STANDARDIZATION 
 money. And there are a lot of mistakes. & WORKFLOW PROCESSdo this How do we more efficiently? Are 
 AUDIT, we implementing best DESIGN practices? Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 42. IDEATION PERSONA! Rhonda the Receptionist PROBLEM SCENARIO! ‘I want a good out-of-the-box experience. 
 And to change the display on my phone.’ USER STORIES! “As a receptionist, I want to receive an out of the box set up that’s created against best practices so I don’t have to set it all up by myself.”" “As a receptionist, I want to change the buttons on my phone so they do what I want.” Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 43. IDEATION EPIC STORY “As a receptionist, I want a custom configuration on my phone so that I can manage calls in the way I’ve come to expect.” STORY “As a receptionist, I want to receive an out of the box phone set up that’s created against best practices so I don’t have to set it all up by myself.” TEST CASE Make sure the available templates are editable in a visual environment usable by a Product Manager" Make sure it’s possible to update the template at install time" " sure the template designation is Make available in all Loki provisioning interfaces Make sure it’s possible for the user to reset to the default template “As a receptionist, I want to change the buttons on my phone so they do what I want.” Make sure the available functions are filtered by the services assigned to the user Make sure available functions are filtered based on the capabilities of the phone key Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 44. IDEATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 45. 1. List at least 3 personas! 2. Describe as much as you can MARY THE MOM About: Mary the mom. . . [Describe like your friend or the beginning of a short story. What kind of shoes does she wear?]. . . Thinks: . . . Sees: . . . Feels: . . . Does: . . . Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 46. END USER PERSONAS Rita 
 the Reseller Rhonda 
 the Receptionist Amy 
 the Assistant Esteban 
 the Executive Orson 
 the Office Mgr. Susan the 
 Small Bus. Owner Simone 
 the Standard User Mikuko 
 the Mobile User Ignatius 
 the IT Guy Keith 
 the Key System User Chuck 
 the Call Center Agent Cindy 
 the Call Center Manager Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 47. ENTERPRISE PERSONAS Bruce 
 the Business Owner Sidney 
 the Sys. Admin. Anthony 
 the Applications Eng. Sam 
 the Support Eng. Paola 
 the Provisioner Percival the 
 Product Manager Itzhak 
 the IT Developer Saul 
 the Site Developer Nietzsche 
 the Network Eng. Sven 
 the Salesperson Frank 
 the Field Eng. Fritz 
 the Field Eng. Manager Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 48. PLANNING Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 49. PLANNING Visual device management emerged from general industry activity and follow-on work at Leonid 01 IDEA! Leonid can create a compelling, useful, supportable visual device management solution. 02 HYPOTHESIS Lab work followed by limited commercial release. 03 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Did we validate the ‘existential’ propositions? Was it supportable? Bankable? 04 EXPERIMENTATION ‘Pivot or persevere?’ Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 50. 1. List at least 3 assumptions! 2. Note as much as you can on experiments “Parents want to better organize the distribution of allowances” Priority: [1 for existential; 2+ for others] Needs Proving?: [yes or no] Experimentation: [how will most quickly, cheaply prove or disprove] * Bonus Question: How do these relate to your personas? Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 51. PLANNING PRIORITY KEY ASSUMPTIONS NEEDS PROVING? EXPERIMENTATION 1 End users at large want a visual tool No to manage their phones - Already proven by prototypes from partner 1 Giving the capability to end user admin’s will do more good than harm Yes - Beta testing with customers 1 The design and architecture are supportable in current customer environments Yes - Lab testing with customers...but really..." - Field testing at scale 1 The target price point is bearable by Yes the market - Initial sales negotiations" - Mainline (post beta) sales 2 The capability makes sense with end users (vs. admin’s) Yes 2 (Various makes and models of phones are worth investing in) - Some proxy data on overall activity by user type" - Customer interviews" - Beta testing Yes - Advanced orders Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 52. ONLINE SELF-CARE PERSONA Percival 
 Bruce 
 & the 
 the 
 Business Owner Product Mgr. Orson the Office Manager PROBLEM SCENARIO IMPLEMENTATION ‘This thing should increase satisfaction & involvement; 
 and reduce support calls.’ Focus on customer admin experience ‘I still don’t get it.’ One click access via ‘Dashboard’ Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 53. ASSUMPTIONS ON SELF-CARE Priority Key Assumption Needs Proving? 1 End users want to log in Yes! and do self-care Instrument adequate reporting, create awareness, " see if they nibble 1 Reducing the portals clicks to destination from 4-6 to 2-3 is good enough - Log and analyze navigation" - Do support calls go down? Yes Experimentation Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 54. ASSUMPTIONS ON SELF-CARE Priority Key Assumption Needs Proving? 1 End users want to log in Yes! and do self-care Instrument adequate reporting, create awareness, " see if they nibble 1 Reducing the portals clicks to destination from 4-6 to 2-3 is good enough - Log and analyze navigation" - Do support calls go down? Yes Experimentation Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 55. Take II- DASHBOARDS Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 56. ASSUMPTIONS ON SELF-CARE Priority Key Assumption Needs Proving? 1 Customer admin’s will do self-care with training Yes! and awareness Focus on training customer admin’s, " see if they nibble 1 Presenting all the users of interest on the 1st page will engage these admin’s - Log and analyze navigation" - Do support calls go down? Yes Experimentation Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 57. DASHBOARD Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 58. PLANNING Good ≠ Viral Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 59. PLANNING BroadSoft Other resellers Integrators Other network system vendors Product development Reduced time & risk to Large account mgmt. get to market Consulting Reduced cost Custom Dev. Implementation of learned best practices Actionable insight on cloud UC Best practice recipes Dev. Team Dedicated personal assistance Large/incumbent Medium/competitive Small/niche BroadSoft SIPhon Networks Direct Fixed: product development, G&A Variable: field teams, support The templates here are made available on the same CC license terms as the original canvas. Licensing Maintenance & Support Consulting Custom Development This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 60. PLANNING Reduced time & risk to get to market Reduced cost Implementation of learned best practices Dedicated personal assistance Large/incumbent Medium/competitive Small/niche BroadSoft SIPhon Networks Direct Licensing Maintenance & Support Consulting Custom Development The templates here are made available on the same CC license terms as the original canvas. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 61. PLANNING BroadSoft Other resellers Integrators Other network system vendors Product development Large account mgmt. Consulting Custom Dev. Actionable insight on cloud UC Best practice recipes Dev. Team Fixed: product development, G&A Variable: field teams, support The templates here are made available on the same CC license terms as the original canvas. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 62. PLANNING BroadSoft Other resellers Integrators Other network system vendors Product development Large account mgmt. Consulting Custom Dev. Actionable insight on cloud UC Best practice recipes Dev. Team Fixed: product development, G&A Variable: field teams, support The templates here are made available on the same CC license terms as the original canvas. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 63. PLANNING operations begin 2007 2008 2009 2010 (scaling software) Revenue (consulting) (+some software) (50% software) Expenses (small/me+) (variable) Financing 2012 (++fixed costs) (n/a) 2011 Earnings Visibility (bank-based financing) (n/a) (profitable) (moderate) (small debt offer- family) (low/ moderate) see alexandercowan.com/finplan (low/ moderate) (high) (high) (current products: high" " new products: moderate) Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 64. PLANNING Hypotheses Theses Does anyone want this?" Are we the people to do it?" Pivot or persevere? Growth?" Retention?" Supportability?" Ongoing investment?" Competition? Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 65. ORGANIZATION Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 66. ORGANIZATION Feasibility (me) (dev contractors) Customer Development (dev & ops (dev & operations team) (me) mgmt.) (me) Scaling (expanded sr. mgmt.) (dev & operations team) Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 67. What would a concierge product test look like? Who’s the audience? What’s the problem scenario? How will it help you sharpen your personas? Problem scenarios? How will it help you validate or invalidate pivotal assumptions? What would be the next steps? Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 68. DEVELOPMENT Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 69. DEVELOPMENT ITERATION 01 LOKI PORTALS ITERATION 04 ITERATION 05 Adaptive Content Adaptive Content Adaptive Content Adaptive Content Predictive Content Predictive Content Predictive Content Predictive Content ITERATION 02 ITERATION 03 ITERATION 04 ITERATION 05 D LOKI PROVISIONING DOC’S & INFRASTRUCTURE ITERATION 03 C A B LOKI BPM ITERATION 02 E F G ITERATION 01 Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 70. Problem Scenarios for the Undergrad PERSONA PROBLEM SCENARIO Uma 
 the 
 Undergrad How to create & describe deep customer understanding? Uma the Undergrad How to manage in an environment of scarcity and uncertainty? Uma the Undergrad IMPLEMENTATION How do I participate in a lean environment? Do I need to learn how to code? Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 71. Problem Scenarios for the Undergrad What would Jefferson do? Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 72. Problem Scenarios for the Undergrad PERSONA PROBLEM SCENARIO IMPLEMENTATION Uma 
 the 
 Undergrad How to create & describe deep customer understanding? Design Thinking (Applied) Uma the Undergrad How to manage in an environment of scarcity and uncertainty? Lean Startup (Applied) Uma the Undergrad How do I participate in a lean environment? Do I need to learn how to code? Foundation Concept 
 (Stack) Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 73. Collaboration Basic Technical Literacy ... (VARIOUS) MGMT. ... ANALYTICS SEO (VARIOUS) DESIGN ... ... ... PHP JAVA PYTON RUBY Specialties UNIX SYSADMIN ORGANIZATION AGILE As Product Owner SOFTWARE FUNDAMENTALS Model-View-Controller ARCHITECTURE FUNDAMENTALS App. & Platform Integration " ROLES & SYSTEMS In a Technical Team Personas Stories Foundation Concepts Development DESIGN THINKING ITERATIVE MANAGEMENT CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT Discussion AGILE Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 74. If not a traditional business plan, then what? OPERATIONAL STACK Who is the buyer? User? What problem(s) Personas
 Problem Scenarios
 User Stories
 Positioning Statement," PRESENTATION STACK I need a compact overview Pitch Deck
 Business Model Canvas I’m going to a bank, traditional investor Business Plan Lean Startup-Style Assumptions I need to articulate the business internally Business Model Canvas What economics and requirement for cash? Lean Financial Model I need to create empathy (internally) Personas & Problem for our users. Scenarios What’s the operating environment like? Five Forces Analysis What’s the business? What has to happen? Assumptions" Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 75. MAKING PROGRESS Ideation & Design Draft Prototype Field Work & Analytics Product Development Yes? Quicky Prototype? IDEA! Customer Definition Field Discovery Still Learning? Positioning Statement? Pivotal Assumptions? General Management No? Field Validation Confident? Create User Stories Define MVP CUSTOMER VALIDATION Done? Personas? Problem Scenarios? New Learning? Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing
  • 76. www.alexandercowan.com/resources @cowanSF www.alexandercowan.com/blog www.alexandercowan.com/speaking acowan@alexandercowan.com Copyright 2012 Cowan Publishing