validate AppSumo’s model by finding a guaranteed product I could sell, one with its own traffic source (i.e. customers)I noticed Imgur.com was the most popular tool on Reddit for sharing images, and they offered a paid pro account option ($25/year). It was the perfect fit for my test run.I cold-emailed the founder of Imgur, Alan Schaaf, and said that I wanted to bring him paying customers and would pay Imgur for each oneI set a personal validation goal for 100 sales, which would encourage me to keep going or figure out what was wrong with our modeBy the end of the campaign, we had sold more than 200 Imgur pro accounts. AppSumo.com was born
if you are trying to create better product, you will find out how to create a better drillbut you have to create a better quarter inch holeanalyze the job not the product
Truth is our goals, questions are our tools Ask them to walk through a last time when they faced this problemFind out how do they currently deal with itHow big is the problem“Anybody will say your idea is great if you annoy them for long enough”Ask about their life Ask about specifics in the past (“Talk me through last time you had this….” Tell me about how you play with your kids Concrete fact about customer livesSolid Commitments Not opinions False positives create heartbreak and waste in Build Measure Learn cycleCommitment is the best signal Give money If not atleast conversation advance
Don’t ask question that allow people to lie The measure of usefulness of an early customer conversation is whether it givesus concrete facts about our customers' lives and world viewsAsk about specifics in past and not generics and opinions about future. Don’t ask for easy confirmation
Don’t ask question that elicit an opinion. Instead “How much money does this problem cost you what is cost of not having a solutionIs there a budget for this ”“Who else I should talk to ?”
This is an example strong false positive “In general” are indicators of generics and hypothetical
Stalling tactic does not convey informationNo commitment is a bad indicator
Compliment + stalling tactic = they don’t care
( Is there a valid reason it cant be now ?)Lead you into a false positive
Creating Culture of Validated Learning
Lean Startup workshop
13-14 December 2013
Most of the
But in a Start-up…
2 Stage of Learning
2 Stage of Learning
2 Stage of Learning
People don’t buy quarter inch drills, they buy quarter inch holes
An Ecommerce Company Business Model
Business Model Canvas
Suresh is working on the idea of helping parents
rent toys on subscription basis . He has heard
about Lean Startups and plans to interview
parents and meets his friend Ramesh who is a
parent of 5 year old boy.
Suresh questions - “ Hey Ramesh I am working
on idea of renting toys through subscription.
What do you think about the idea ?”
Ramesh Answers: “This is a pretty cool idea,
infact I was looking for something like this
because toys are too expensive”
Apply the following filters
Expose Ego Filter – Are you framing questions to
have other person support you in your thinking
Remove Idea Filter – Are you communicating your
idea while interviewing
Can't Lie Filter – Are you framing question in a way
that answer could be a lie
Opinion Filter – Are you framing question in a way
that opinions are elicited
False Positives Filter – Are you framing question in
a way that answers can lead to a false positive
Use emotion symbols
Why do you bother ?
What are the implications of that
Tell me the last time it happened
Tell me more ( open ended )
What else have you tried
How are you dealing with it now ?
Anything else I should have asked
Who else should I talk to
What does the problem cost you ?
Where does money come from ?
Why do you want that?
What would that let you do?
How are you coping without it?
Do you think we should push back the launch
add that feature, or is it something we could
How would that fit into your day?
Question for Emotion
Tell me more about that
That seems to really bug you — I bet there’s a story
What makes it so awful?
Why haven’t you been able to fix this already?
You seem pretty excited about that — it’s a big
Why so happy?