@andreasklingerActionableCustomer Developmentfor StartupsWorkshop Outline
#emminvest – @andreasklinger@andreasklinger“Startup Founder”, “Product Guy”“Done lots of customer interviews”
#emminvest – @andreasklingerWhat we will cover- Basics of Customer Development- Dos and Don’ts of Customer Interviews- Cus...
@andreasklingerPart I:Customer Development Basics
Startups have ideas.Build it.Customers don’t buy it.The startup dies.Promote it.@andreasklinger
tractiontimeWe want this.@andreasklinger
tractiontimeWe get this.@andreasklinger
#emminvest – @andreasklingerThe Biggest Risk of a Startup?
#emminvest – @andreasklingerThe Biggest Risk of a Startup?Time/Money? No You will learn a lot + huge network gain.
#emminvest – @andreasklingerWasting your talent & opportunity by building the wrong thingclose to the right thing.The Bigg...
MarketYourSolutionCustomerJob/ProblemWilling to payTo miss your opportunity. By focusing on the wrong thing.@andreasklinger
MarketCustomerJob/ProblemWilling to paycompetitorcompetitorcompetitorcompetitorYourSolutionOtherMarketCustomerJob/ProblemW...
“Startups don’t fail because they lack a product;they fail because they lack customers and aprofitable business model” Stev...
#emminvest – @andreasklingerCustomer Development - Startups have stages.
#emminvest – @andreasklingerCustomer Development - Startups have stages.
DiscoverytractiontimeValidation Efficiency ScaleLet’s simplify this@andreasklinger
DiscoverytractiontimeValidation Efficiency ScaleProduct/Market FitFind a productthe market wants.@andreasklinger
DiscoverytractiontimeValidation Efficiency ScaleProduct/Market FitFind a productthe market wants.Scale a companyaround that...
DiscoverytractiontimeValidation Efficiency ScaleProduct/Market FitFind a productthe market wants.Scale a companyaround that...
Discovery ValidationHere bedragonsTry again. “Pivot”@andreasklinger
Learn ConfirmTry again. “Pivot”@andreasklinger
Learn ConfirmFind a problem worth solving.Find a potential solution.Validate that this solution works.Validate a business m...
“The hard part is finding theproblem to solve.”Kevin Systromhttp://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=2738@an...
When i say problems i mean Jobs to be DoneWatch: http://bit.ly/cc-jtbd“Job to Be Done”Products are bought becausethey solv...
Question- I am generation digital- I never read paper newspapers- I would never buy a tabloidStill: I take a metro newspap...
Question- I am generation digital- I never read paper newspapers- I would never buy a tabloidStill: I take a metro newspap...
Customers have a “Job to be done” in mind beforethey see your product.@andreasklinger
Customers have a “Job to be done” in mind beforethey see your product.@andreasklingerUnderstanding that job enablesproduct...
Learn ConfirmFind a problem worth solving.Find a potential solution.Validate that this solution works.Validate a business m...
ValidatingProblemValidatingSolutionWe do this in two steps.Do they care?Do they need it?Do they have budget for it?Who rea...
How to know what customers want?“Just go and ask them.”@andreasklinger
“If i had asked my customerswhat they wanted, they wouldhave said a faster horse”Henry FordHenry Ford asked wrong.@andreas...
@andreasklingerPart II:Customer Interviews
The hardest things in customer interviews:Knowing who is your customer.Ask them the right way.Understand their feedback.It...
Good or bad questions?@andreasklinger
…from Europe’s #1 CustdevExpert @robfitz.Watch Rob’s talk: http://bit.ly/rf-custdevI only took the liberty to make them wor...
❝❞UsDo you have aproblem with X?
❝❞UsDo you have aproblem with X?
“You are young and got an oscar. Are youworried about peaking your career too soon?”“Uuh. Well now I am!” - Jennifer Lawre...
❝❞UsTell me about X.
❝❞UsTell me about X.
❝❞UsDo you think it’s agood idea?
❝❞UsDo you think it’s agood idea?
❝❞UsWould you buy aproduct whichsolved this problem?
❝❞UsWould you buy aproduct whichsolved this problem?
❝❞UsHow do youcurrently deal withthis problem?
❝❞UsHow do youcurrently deal withthis problem?
❝❞UsTalk me throughthe last time youhad this problem
❝❞UsTalk me throughthe last time youhad this problem
❝❞UsHow much wouldyou pay for this?
❝❞UsHow much wouldyou pay for this?
❝❞UsHow much moneydoes this problemcost you?
❝❞UsHow much moneydoes this problemcost you?
❝❞UsIs there a budgetfor it?
❝❞UsIs there a budgetfor it?
❝❞UsWho else should Italk to?
❝❞UsWho else should Italk to?
Good questions:- Did or Do - NEVER Would- Don’t assume preset (e.g. problems)- Don’t ask for opinions but let them speakab...
The Perfect Question“The Mother Test” - (c) @robfitzAsk in a way that your mother could tell you thatyour product is useles...
So we had a meetingUnderstanding Feedback
❝❞ClaudiaSounds great. Ilove it!
❝❞ClaudiaSounds great. Ilove it!Only validates she is human.
❝❞JeremyBrilliant -- let meknow when itlaunches!
❝❞JeremyBrilliant -- let meknow when itlaunches!Compliment+ Stalling tacticThey don’t care
❝❞JeremyThere are a couplepeople I can intro youto, when you’re ready.
❝❞JeremyThere are a couplepeople I can intro youto, when you’re ready.WHY NOT NOW?
❝❞ClaudiaI would definitelybuy that!
❝❞ClaudiaI would definitelybuy that!DANGEROUS!PEOPLE CANNOT PREDICTTHEIR OWN BEHAVIOUR.
❝❞JeremyWe are spending500$ per monthon this :(
❝❞JeremyWe are spending500$ per monthon this :(Awesome feedback!Proofs it is a problem, theykind of solved it, and showsth...
Opinions are worthless.We look for:- facts about their life/work- and commitments- “Think VS Do”@andreasklinger
@andreasklingerPart III:Process of Customer Interviews
First:Know what you want to learn (riskiest assumptions)@andreasklingerProcess:Find customers > Validate Problem > Validat...
Finding CustomersDefine customer segments- as focused as possible- as few as possibleFind 5-10 customers in each segment.
Finding CustomersExperts Advisors Advocates Prospects CustomersYour relationship with them changes over time:
Validate ProblemDefine Assumptions about their ProblemDefine Assumptions about current solutions@andreasklingerSplit in diff...
Validate Problem#emminvest – @andreasklingerCreate Topic MapsGroup your assumptions to Topics.Define non-leading Questions:...
Action.Get in groups and create topic maps,customer segments andnon leading questions@andreasklinger
Validate Problem The InterviewsDon’t be awkward:- “We are looking for Expert Feedback” or“Doing a Survey”- not: “We do Cus...
Validate Problem The InterviewsSecond person takes notes- No laptop- Use IndexCards or Postits.- Write down exact customer...
NEVER DELEGATEINTERVIEWS- Interviews should be done bythe product-deciders.- Especially if they hate sales.(they need to l...
Action.Test run interviews.Group into people who like ice-cream.And people who want to build a uniqueice-cream startup ide...
Validate Problem ReviewReview in the team- Use exact wording by customer- Understand their answers in theircontext- Don’t ...
Source: Custdev.com#emminvest – @andreasklingerValidate Problem Review- Write down new learnings (or newassumptions)- See ...
Source: Custdev.comValidate Solution- Come back to interviewees- Focus first on their current solution.- Discuss flaws of th...
If you were wrong. Be happy.Several of the biggest startup successes started out wrong.You still have money, team and ener...
Summary- Know what you want to learn.- Narrow your customer segment- Formulate your assumptions.- Define biggest questions ...
Read onHighly recommended:Rob Fitzpatrick’s Collection of best Custdev Videos - @robfitzhttp://www.hackertalks.io@andreaskl...
Tweet & share@andreasklingerIf you like this presentation, please tweet about it:“Actionable Customer Development for Star...
Thank you :)@andreasklingerMore presentations: www.slideshare.net/andreasklinger
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Actionable Customer Development

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This presentation is a boiled down version of a workshop i do with startups.

The goal of the workshop is to start with customer interviews and improve or pivot the startup's product.

It is based on the method of customer development by steve blank but focuses mainly on how to do interviews the right way.

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • Also, one other thing is not pretty clear to me is why the Process of Customer Interviews are after the Customer Interviews and how they interfere with each other. Thank you
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  • Hi Andreas,

    can you please explain me what the slides marked with red mean? (e.g. 38 'Do you have a problem with X? or 43 'Do you think it's a good idea?')
    Are these question that should NOT be asked, but instead the ones marked with green SHOULD be asked?

    Thank you very much!
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  • Great Post! Thanks for sharing!!
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  • so detailed thanks for this
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Actionable Customer Development

  1. 1. @andreasklingerActionableCustomer Developmentfor StartupsWorkshop Outline
  2. 2. #emminvest – @andreasklinger@andreasklinger“Startup Founder”, “Product Guy”“Done lots of customer interviews”
  3. 3. #emminvest – @andreasklingerWhat we will cover- Basics of Customer Development- Dos and Don’ts of Customer Interviews- Custdev Process for TeamsThis is a short version of a 5h product development workshop i usually run with startups.@andreasklinger“Startup Founder”, “Product Guy”“Done lots of customer interviews”
  4. 4. @andreasklingerPart I:Customer Development Basics
  5. 5. Startups have ideas.Build it.Customers don’t buy it.The startup dies.Promote it.@andreasklinger
  6. 6. tractiontimeWe want this.@andreasklinger
  7. 7. tractiontimeWe get this.@andreasklinger
  8. 8. #emminvest – @andreasklingerThe Biggest Risk of a Startup?
  9. 9. #emminvest – @andreasklingerThe Biggest Risk of a Startup?Time/Money? No You will learn a lot + huge network gain.
  10. 10. #emminvest – @andreasklingerWasting your talent & opportunity by building the wrong thingclose to the right thing.The Biggest Risk of a Startup?
  11. 11. MarketYourSolutionCustomerJob/ProblemWilling to payTo miss your opportunity. By focusing on the wrong thing.@andreasklinger
  12. 12. MarketCustomerJob/ProblemWilling to paycompetitorcompetitorcompetitorcompetitorYourSolutionOtherMarketCustomerJob/ProblemWilling to payOr by looking at the wrong customer.@andreasklinger
  13. 13. “Startups don’t fail because they lack a product;they fail because they lack customers and aprofitable business model” Steve BlankAnd it might have been where you didn’t look.@andreasklinger
  14. 14. #emminvest – @andreasklingerCustomer Development - Startups have stages.
  15. 15. #emminvest – @andreasklingerCustomer Development - Startups have stages.
  16. 16. DiscoverytractiontimeValidation Efficiency ScaleLet’s simplify this@andreasklinger
  17. 17. DiscoverytractiontimeValidation Efficiency ScaleProduct/Market FitFind a productthe market wants.@andreasklinger
  18. 18. DiscoverytractiontimeValidation Efficiency ScaleProduct/Market FitFind a productthe market wants.Scale a companyaround that product@andreasklinger
  19. 19. DiscoverytractiontimeValidation Efficiency ScaleProduct/Market FitFind a productthe market wants.Scale a companyaround that productWe will focus on this part@andreasklinger
  20. 20. Discovery ValidationHere bedragonsTry again. “Pivot”@andreasklinger
  21. 21. Learn ConfirmTry again. “Pivot”@andreasklinger
  22. 22. Learn ConfirmFind a problem worth solving.Find a potential solution.Validate that this solution works.Validate a business model.@andreasklinger
  23. 23. “The hard part is finding theproblem to solve.”Kevin Systromhttp://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=2738@andreasklinger
  24. 24. When i say problems i mean Jobs to be DoneWatch: http://bit.ly/cc-jtbd“Job to Be Done”Products are bought becausethey solve a “job to be done”.Therefore not every“problem” is “negative”.@andreasklinger
  25. 25. Question- I am generation digital- I never read paper newspapers- I would never buy a tabloidStill: I take a metro newspaper inthe London subway and read itbegin to end while traveling.Why?@andreasklinger
  26. 26. Question- I am generation digital- I never read paper newspapers- I would never buy a tabloidStill: I take a metro newspaper inthe London subway and read itbegin to end while traveling.Why?No reception. Travel of 20 minutes.
  27. 27. Customers have a “Job to be done” in mind beforethey see your product.@andreasklinger
  28. 28. Customers have a “Job to be done” in mind beforethey see your product.@andreasklingerUnderstanding that job enablesproduct niching.
  29. 29. Learn ConfirmFind a problem worth solving.Find a potential solution.Validate that this solution works.Validate a business model.@andreasklinger
  30. 30. ValidatingProblemValidatingSolutionWe do this in two steps.Do they care?Do they need it?Do they have budget for it?Who really is “they”?Does our solution solve theirproblem?Do they understand our solution?Would they pay for it?@andreasklinger
  31. 31. How to know what customers want?“Just go and ask them.”@andreasklinger
  32. 32. “If i had asked my customerswhat they wanted, they wouldhave said a faster horse”Henry FordHenry Ford asked wrong.@andreasklinger
  33. 33. @andreasklingerPart II:Customer Interviews
  34. 34. The hardest things in customer interviews:Knowing who is your customer.Ask them the right way.Understand their feedback.Iterate or Kill your idea.@andreasklinger
  35. 35. Good or bad questions?@andreasklinger
  36. 36. …from Europe’s #1 CustdevExpert @robfitz.Watch Rob’s talk: http://bit.ly/rf-custdevI only took the liberty to make them worse byadding clutter and changing his face to mine.THE FOLLOWING SLIDESARE ALL STOLEN.DISCLAIMER@andreasklinger
  37. 37. ❝❞UsDo you have aproblem with X?
  38. 38. ❝❞UsDo you have aproblem with X?
  39. 39. “You are young and got an oscar. Are youworried about peaking your career too soon?”“Uuh. Well now I am!” - Jennifer Lawrence@andreasklinger
  40. 40. ❝❞UsTell me about X.
  41. 41. ❝❞UsTell me about X.
  42. 42. ❝❞UsDo you think it’s agood idea?
  43. 43. ❝❞UsDo you think it’s agood idea?
  44. 44. ❝❞UsWould you buy aproduct whichsolved this problem?
  45. 45. ❝❞UsWould you buy aproduct whichsolved this problem?
  46. 46. ❝❞UsHow do youcurrently deal withthis problem?
  47. 47. ❝❞UsHow do youcurrently deal withthis problem?
  48. 48. ❝❞UsTalk me throughthe last time youhad this problem
  49. 49. ❝❞UsTalk me throughthe last time youhad this problem
  50. 50. ❝❞UsHow much wouldyou pay for this?
  51. 51. ❝❞UsHow much wouldyou pay for this?
  52. 52. ❝❞UsHow much moneydoes this problemcost you?
  53. 53. ❝❞UsHow much moneydoes this problemcost you?
  54. 54. ❝❞UsIs there a budgetfor it?
  55. 55. ❝❞UsIs there a budgetfor it?
  56. 56. ❝❞UsWho else should Italk to?
  57. 57. ❝❞UsWho else should Italk to?
  58. 58. Good questions:- Did or Do - NEVER Would- Don’t assume preset (e.g. problems)- Don’t ask for opinions but let them speakabout real examples/experiences.
  59. 59. The Perfect Question“The Mother Test” - (c) @robfitzAsk in a way that your mother could tell you thatyour product is useless. Without her knowing.
  60. 60. So we had a meetingUnderstanding Feedback
  61. 61. ❝❞ClaudiaSounds great. Ilove it!
  62. 62. ❝❞ClaudiaSounds great. Ilove it!Only validates she is human.
  63. 63. ❝❞JeremyBrilliant -- let meknow when itlaunches!
  64. 64. ❝❞JeremyBrilliant -- let meknow when itlaunches!Compliment+ Stalling tacticThey don’t care
  65. 65. ❝❞JeremyThere are a couplepeople I can intro youto, when you’re ready.
  66. 66. ❝❞JeremyThere are a couplepeople I can intro youto, when you’re ready.WHY NOT NOW?
  67. 67. ❝❞ClaudiaI would definitelybuy that!
  68. 68. ❝❞ClaudiaI would definitelybuy that!DANGEROUS!PEOPLE CANNOT PREDICTTHEIR OWN BEHAVIOUR.
  69. 69. ❝❞JeremyWe are spending500$ per monthon this :(
  70. 70. ❝❞JeremyWe are spending500$ per monthon this :(Awesome feedback!Proofs it is a problem, theykind of solved it, and showstheir budget availability.
  71. 71. Opinions are worthless.We look for:- facts about their life/work- and commitments- “Think VS Do”@andreasklinger
  72. 72. @andreasklingerPart III:Process of Customer Interviews
  73. 73. First:Know what you want to learn (riskiest assumptions)@andreasklingerProcess:Find customers > Validate Problem > Validate Solution > Learn & Iterate
  74. 74. Finding CustomersDefine customer segments- as focused as possible- as few as possibleFind 5-10 customers in each segment.
  75. 75. Finding CustomersExperts Advisors Advocates Prospects CustomersYour relationship with them changes over time:
  76. 76. Validate ProblemDefine Assumptions about their ProblemDefine Assumptions about current solutions@andreasklingerSplit in different customer segments if needed
  77. 77. Validate Problem#emminvest – @andreasklingerCreate Topic MapsGroup your assumptions to Topics.Define non-leading Questions:Eg. “people want to connect withfashion labels”How do you ask that?“Do you want to connect” is leading.“Which fashion brands do you know?”“Why do you like them?”“Oh that’s interesting. How did you findout about that?”“Ah via facebook?...” etc.
  78. 78. Action.Get in groups and create topic maps,customer segments andnon leading questions@andreasklinger
  79. 79. Validate Problem The InterviewsDon’t be awkward:- “We are looking for Expert Feedback” or“Doing a Survey”- not: “We do Customer Development”- Ask open questions.- Let them speak.- Let them be the expert. (Ask naive)- In person. No skype, no online surveys,no phone, no email.Don’t do more interviews if feedbackrepeats. (No new learnings)@andreasklinger
  80. 80. Validate Problem The InterviewsSecond person takes notes- No laptop- Use IndexCards or Postits.- Write down exact customer phrase- Use Visual indicators ---------------->Ask for further intros.Ask “Is there anything you think i shouldhave asked”.@andreasklinger
  81. 81. NEVER DELEGATEINTERVIEWS- Interviews should be done bythe product-deciders.- Especially if they hate sales.(they need to learn it)@andreasklinger
  82. 82. Action.Test run interviews.Group into people who like ice-cream.And people who want to build a uniqueice-cream startup idea.@andreasklinger
  83. 83. Validate Problem ReviewReview in the team- Use exact wording by customer- Understand their answers in theircontext- Don’t try to be correct with yourassumptions- See what you learned.@andreasklinger
  84. 84. Source: Custdev.com#emminvest – @andreasklingerValidate Problem Review- Write down new learnings (or newassumptions)- See which old assumptions turned outto be wrong or right.- Adapt your solution.
  85. 85. Source: Custdev.comValidate Solution- Come back to interviewees- Focus first on their current solution.- Discuss flaws of their current solution.- Show mockups, screens, interactive demos.- Get improvement feedback.- Get them to commit.- Or iterate.If it solves a problem you don’t need to sell (much)@andreasklinger
  86. 86. If you were wrong. Be happy.Several of the biggest startup successes started out wrong.You still have money, team and energy to iterate or pivot.
  87. 87. Summary- Know what you want to learn.- Narrow your customer segment- Formulate your assumptions.- Define biggest questions (topic map).- Ask non leading, open questions.- Ask about experience not opinions.- Understand their feedback in their context.- Filter “Nice Human Behaviour” and Opinions.- Adapt with your learnings. Iterate your product.TL;DR: Use custdev to doublecheck your assumptions and product.Never bias in customer interviews.@andreasklinger
  88. 88. Read onHighly recommended:Rob Fitzpatrick’s Collection of best Custdev Videos - @robfitzhttp://www.hackertalks.io@andreasklinger
  89. 89. Tweet & share@andreasklingerIf you like this presentation, please tweet about it:“Actionable Customer Development for Startups” - A workshop by @andreasklinger -slides: http://www.slideshare.net/andreasklinger/actionable-customer-development
  90. 90. Thank you :)@andreasklingerMore presentations: www.slideshare.net/andreasklinger
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