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CitySpark
Seminars

Week 2
Testing your
assumptions
Today’s session
•  Recap and review week one
•  Understand how you can test your business
assumptions with customers
•  Before you invest time and money on product
development
•  Begin to apply it to your idea/vision
RECAP
Key points
•  We’re not just looking for hypothetical business ideas or plans –
we want to see action, traction and evidence 
•  Every new business idea is an article of faith precariously
perched on a big stack of assumptions
•  You need to challenge these assumptions right from the start –
not sail blissfully towards an epic fail at the end
•  This means that you need to understand what assumptions
you’re making
•  And then rank them in order of priority.
Homework
•  Before next week’s session
•  Review your list and mark the assumptions that would
have a large impact on your business and feel highly
uncertain

•  Prioritise your top-3 assumptions
•  Download Talking to Humans PDF and read pages 1-27
(www.talkingtohumans.com)
Answers
Academic excellence for business and the professions
(Re)introducing
Steve Blank
Academic excellence for business and the professions
There are two
ways you can do
this…
FIRST WAY
Qualitative
Academic excellence for business and the professions
AND
Academic excellence for business and the professions
SECOND WAY
Quantitative
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
CAUTION
The first way is
surprisingly hard!
Academic excellence for business and the professions
IT’S NOT
Asking people to
design your product
for you
Academic excellence for business and the professions
IT’S NOT
About pitching
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
You are the
detective!
IT IS
Your job to learn
about your customers
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Your goal is not to
compile statistically
significant answers
Academic excellence for business and the professions
It is to look for
patterns that will
help you make
smarter decisions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
5key questions
Question 1
Who do you want to learn
from?
Academic excellence for business and the professions
See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Top tips
•  The first step in tying to learn rom the market is having an idea
about who your market actually is
-  The typical customer you imagine will buy your product
-  Your early adopter i.e. the people who will take a chance on you
before anyone else
-  Critical partners for distribution or fulfilment
•  Think through who the different users will be!
-  Hospital management system
-  Online veterinarian service
-  Online marketing place for plumbers
-  Colourful Coffins


See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Question 2
What do you want to learn?
Academic excellence for business and the professions
See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Top tips
•  Go into every interview with a prepared list of questions
•  You’ll look more professional and it will keep you on point!
•  Identify your most risky assumptions and start here
•  Get stories, not speculation e.g. don’t ask “Would you like this
idea”, “Would you buy this product?”
•  Ask open-ended questions e.g. ask questions that start with
words like who, what, why and how.
•  Avoid questions that start with is, are, would, do you

See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
REMEMBER!
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Question 3
How will you get to them?
Academic excellence for business and the professions
See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
3 Golden Rules
•  Try to get one degree of separation away (don’t
interview people who already know you)
•  Be creative (don’t expect people to come to you)
•  Fish where the fish are (and not where they aren’t)


See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Top tips
•  Asking for advice should be your default mode early in the
customer development process
•  Be creative; if one route fails try something else
•  Find the moment of pain, purchase etc.
•  Make referrals happen; set a goal of walking out of every
interview with 2 or 3 new candidates
•  Conferences and meet-ups can be an amazing recruiting ground
•  Use being student to your advantage

See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Question 4
How can you ensure an
effective session?
Academic excellence for business and the professions
See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Top tips
•  Do you interviews in person
•  Talk to one person at a time
•  Avoid focus groups!!!
•  Add a note taker
•  Get people to tell stories don’t ask them to predict their own
behaviour
•  Listen don’t talk
•  Do a dry run first

See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Question 5
How do you make sense of
what you learn?
Academic excellence for business and the professions
See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Your goal is not to
learn for learning’s
sake
Your goal is to make
better decisions that
increase the odds of
success
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Top tips
•  Take good notes
•  Dump and sort
•  Look for patterns and apply judgement – don’t get locked in
analysis paralysis
•  Expect false positives 
•  Don’t just rely on qualitative research alone!!!


See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
Academic excellence for business and the professions
See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
SECOND WAY
Quantitative*



(*Remember me!?!)
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Introducing
Eric Ries
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Key idea 1
The ‘Build, Measure, Learn’ loop
Academic excellence for business and the professions
“The goal of a startup is to
figure out the right thing to
build – the thing customers
want and will pay for – as
quickly as possible.”
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Validated learning
Academic excellence for business and the professions
CREATIVITY
(AKA the jam sessions)
SONG ARRANGING
(Bothering to meet-
up and organise)
RECORDING
(Demo’s, albums etc.)
Record label, media &
PR support
SALES
(Singles, albums,
royalties, tickets,
merchandise etc.)
LEARN
(Drinking,
womanising,
breaking-up, rehab
and reformation)
Academic excellence for business and the professions
CREATIVITY
(AKA the jam sessions)
SONG ARRANGING
(Bothering to meet-
up and organise)
RECORDING
(Demo’s, albums etc.)
Record label, media &
PR support
SALES
(Singles, albums,
royalties, tickets,
merchandise etc.)
LEARN
(Drinking,
womanising,
breaking-up, rehab
and reformation)
Key idea 2
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Academic excellence for business and the professions
“An MVP helps entrepreneurs
start the process of learning as
quickly as possible. It’s not
necessarily the smallest product
imaginable; it is the simply the
fastest route through the build-
measure-learn feedback loop”
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Exercise – Mock Interviews
•  Working in pairs
•  Find out all about your partners dream car

•  Dig into the reasons behind your partners choice e.g.
When did you fall in love with the car and why? Of the
reasons you shared, why are these the most
important to you? How have you imagined using the
car etc.
Exercise – Mock Interviews
•  Step 1: Interview Plan, 5-mins
•  Write a list of all the questions you could ask and
make a final selection of no more than 6-questions
Exercise – Mock Interviews
•  Step 2: Pair Interviews, 7-mins each
•  Take it in turns to interview each other using the lists
of questions you have compiled
•  NB The person doing the interview should also take
as detailed notes as possible
RECAP
Key points
•  Customer discovery is about gaining deeper insight into your
customer or your market
•  Being told your idea is cool is not useful; seeing behaviour that
validates your customer’s willingness to buy is very useful
•  Prepare an interview guide before you get out of the building
•  Get creative when trying to recruit people – if at first you don’t
succeed try something new
•  Sometimes observation is as powerful as interviews
•  Don’t forget to get quantitative!!!
Homework
•  Before next week’s session
•  Based on the key assumptions you’ve identified
prepare an interview guide and find 5-10 interviewees
at one degree of separation

•  Approach and try to set up an interview
•  Download Talking to Humans PDF and read pages
30-66
CitySpark
Seminars

Week 3
Refining your
business model
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Customer
discovery
Customer
validation
Problem –
solution fit
Problem –
market fit
Problem-Solution fit =
You’ve identified a real-world
customer problem and a possible
solution
Product-Market fit =
You’ve built a product that early
adopters will pay you money for
Academic excellence for business and the professions
Customer
discovery
Customer
validation
Problem –
solution fit
Problem –
market fit
Yay, this is
awesome!

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CitySpark Seminar - Testing your asumptions

  • 2. Today’s session •  Recap and review week one •  Understand how you can test your business assumptions with customers •  Before you invest time and money on product development •  Begin to apply it to your idea/vision
  • 4.
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  • 6. Key points •  We’re not just looking for hypothetical business ideas or plans – we want to see action, traction and evidence •  Every new business idea is an article of faith precariously perched on a big stack of assumptions •  You need to challenge these assumptions right from the start – not sail blissfully towards an epic fail at the end •  This means that you need to understand what assumptions you’re making •  And then rank them in order of priority.
  • 7. Homework •  Before next week’s session •  Review your list and mark the assumptions that would have a large impact on your business and feel highly uncertain •  Prioritise your top-3 assumptions •  Download Talking to Humans PDF and read pages 1-27 (www.talkingtohumans.com)
  • 9. Academic excellence for business and the professions (Re)introducing Steve Blank
  • 10. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 11. There are two ways you can do this…
  • 13. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 14. AND
  • 15. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 17. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 18. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 19. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 20. CAUTION The first way is surprisingly hard!
  • 21. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 22. IT’S NOT Asking people to design your product for you
  • 23. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 25. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 26. Academic excellence for business and the professions You are the detective!
  • 27. IT IS Your job to learn about your customers
  • 28. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 29. Your goal is not to compile statistically significant answers
  • 30. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 31. It is to look for patterns that will help you make smarter decisions
  • 32. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 33.
  • 35. Question 1 Who do you want to learn from?
  • 36. Academic excellence for business and the professions See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 37. Top tips •  The first step in tying to learn rom the market is having an idea about who your market actually is -  The typical customer you imagine will buy your product -  Your early adopter i.e. the people who will take a chance on you before anyone else -  Critical partners for distribution or fulfilment •  Think through who the different users will be! -  Hospital management system -  Online veterinarian service -  Online marketing place for plumbers -  Colourful Coffins See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 38. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 39. Question 2 What do you want to learn?
  • 40. Academic excellence for business and the professions See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 41. Top tips •  Go into every interview with a prepared list of questions •  You’ll look more professional and it will keep you on point! •  Identify your most risky assumptions and start here •  Get stories, not speculation e.g. don’t ask “Would you like this idea”, “Would you buy this product?” •  Ask open-ended questions e.g. ask questions that start with words like who, what, why and how. •  Avoid questions that start with is, are, would, do you See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 43. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 44. Question 3 How will you get to them?
  • 45. Academic excellence for business and the professions See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 46. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 47. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 48. 3 Golden Rules •  Try to get one degree of separation away (don’t interview people who already know you) •  Be creative (don’t expect people to come to you) •  Fish where the fish are (and not where they aren’t) See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 49. Top tips •  Asking for advice should be your default mode early in the customer development process •  Be creative; if one route fails try something else •  Find the moment of pain, purchase etc. •  Make referrals happen; set a goal of walking out of every interview with 2 or 3 new candidates •  Conferences and meet-ups can be an amazing recruiting ground •  Use being student to your advantage See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 50. Question 4 How can you ensure an effective session?
  • 51. Academic excellence for business and the professions See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 52. Top tips •  Do you interviews in person •  Talk to one person at a time •  Avoid focus groups!!! •  Add a note taker •  Get people to tell stories don’t ask them to predict their own behaviour •  Listen don’t talk •  Do a dry run first See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 53. Question 5 How do you make sense of what you learn?
  • 54. Academic excellence for business and the professions See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 55. Your goal is not to learn for learning’s sake
  • 56. Your goal is to make better decisions that increase the odds of success
  • 57. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 58. Top tips •  Take good notes •  Dump and sort •  Look for patterns and apply judgement – don’t get locked in analysis paralysis •  Expect false positives •  Don’t just rely on qualitative research alone!!! See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 59. Academic excellence for business and the professions See: Giff Constance, www.talkingtohumans.com
  • 61. Academic excellence for business and the professions Introducing Eric Ries
  • 62. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 63. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 64. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 65. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 66. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 67. Key idea 1 The ‘Build, Measure, Learn’ loop
  • 68. Academic excellence for business and the professions “The goal of a startup is to figure out the right thing to build – the thing customers want and will pay for – as quickly as possible.”
  • 69. Academic excellence for business and the professions Validated learning
  • 70. Academic excellence for business and the professions CREATIVITY (AKA the jam sessions) SONG ARRANGING (Bothering to meet- up and organise) RECORDING (Demo’s, albums etc.) Record label, media & PR support SALES (Singles, albums, royalties, tickets, merchandise etc.) LEARN (Drinking, womanising, breaking-up, rehab and reformation)
  • 71. Academic excellence for business and the professions CREATIVITY (AKA the jam sessions) SONG ARRANGING (Bothering to meet- up and organise) RECORDING (Demo’s, albums etc.) Record label, media & PR support SALES (Singles, albums, royalties, tickets, merchandise etc.) LEARN (Drinking, womanising, breaking-up, rehab and reformation)
  • 72. Key idea 2 Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • 73. Academic excellence for business and the professions “An MVP helps entrepreneurs start the process of learning as quickly as possible. It’s not necessarily the smallest product imaginable; it is the simply the fastest route through the build- measure-learn feedback loop”
  • 74. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 75. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 76. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 77. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 78. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 79. Academic excellence for business and the professions
  • 80.
  • 81.
  • 82.
  • 83. Exercise – Mock Interviews •  Working in pairs •  Find out all about your partners dream car •  Dig into the reasons behind your partners choice e.g. When did you fall in love with the car and why? Of the reasons you shared, why are these the most important to you? How have you imagined using the car etc.
  • 84. Exercise – Mock Interviews •  Step 1: Interview Plan, 5-mins •  Write a list of all the questions you could ask and make a final selection of no more than 6-questions
  • 85. Exercise – Mock Interviews •  Step 2: Pair Interviews, 7-mins each •  Take it in turns to interview each other using the lists of questions you have compiled •  NB The person doing the interview should also take as detailed notes as possible
  • 86. RECAP
  • 87. Key points •  Customer discovery is about gaining deeper insight into your customer or your market •  Being told your idea is cool is not useful; seeing behaviour that validates your customer’s willingness to buy is very useful •  Prepare an interview guide before you get out of the building •  Get creative when trying to recruit people – if at first you don’t succeed try something new •  Sometimes observation is as powerful as interviews •  Don’t forget to get quantitative!!!
  • 88. Homework •  Before next week’s session •  Based on the key assumptions you’ve identified prepare an interview guide and find 5-10 interviewees at one degree of separation •  Approach and try to set up an interview •  Download Talking to Humans PDF and read pages 30-66
  • 90.
  • 91.
  • 92. Academic excellence for business and the professions Customer discovery Customer validation Problem – solution fit Problem – market fit
  • 93. Problem-Solution fit = You’ve identified a real-world customer problem and a possible solution
  • 94. Product-Market fit = You’ve built a product that early adopters will pay you money for
  • 95. Academic excellence for business and the professions Customer discovery Customer validation Problem – solution fit Problem – market fit Yay, this is awesome!