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FIND THE WANT
CUSTOMER DISCOVERY
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Hi, I’m Liz.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Grow what
you eat.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
KNOW THE USER
MAKE THEM HAPPY
What I do:
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
KNOW THE USER | Data, research, user testing.
Pursue a substantiated understanding of the way a
person uses, lives with and perceives the experience
we create.
MAKE THEM HAPPY
What I do:
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
What I do:
KNOW THE USER
MAKE THEM HAPPY | Product design, management.
Work across disciplines + departments to make that
experience entirely positive.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Three years ago, Grove was just
a really complicated idea
we weren’t sure anyone
wanted.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
“Am I building
something
people want?”
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Probably not 😬
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
And that’s totally fine. Start testing and
revising your hypothesis now.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Product
market fit
takes time.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Where can you create value?
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Customer validation also proves
your idea is worthy of investment.
Where can you create value?
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
TEST THE PROBLEM
TEST THE SOLUTION
Customer Discovery
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
TEST THE PROBLEM | User research, market research.
Test your understanding of the customer’s needs.
TEST THE SOLUTION
Customer Discovery
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Customer Discovery:
TEST THE PROBLEM
TEST THE SOLUTION | Prototyping, user testing.
Test that your solution solves the customer’s need that
you identified.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
It’s a cycle.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Methods for
Customer Discovery
PART ONE: TEST THE PROBLEM
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Before you
write a line of
code.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
What problem are
you solving?
?
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
1 | Leave the Building
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Leave the
building.
REMEMBER THIS #1
Thanks to: Steve Blank
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
1 | Leave the Building
OBJECTIVES
Test my value proposition (am I building a thing
people care about?)
Identify pain points + opportunities in my
assumed market segment.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Things you need:
1. A list of questions.
2. A hypothesis you’re willing to change.
1 | Leave the Building
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Things you don’t need:
1. Understanding of the customer’s problem.
2. Existing customers.
1 | Leave the Building
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
At ModCloth, we talk to people when we first
have an idea. At this phase, our goal is to
understand customers’ current problems
around this idea and how they deal with an
issue we’re trying to solve.
MODCLOTH
1 | Leave the Building
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Google’s answer for the complexity of AdWords
was to hire 2,000 account managers to help people
use the platform. Pratt said one of the main reasons
for user confusion is that the terminology used by
the various platforms is wildly different.
ADHAWK
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Rica Elysée founded Boston Naturals, a meet-up
group for women of color. There, she realized many
had the same issues with their salons —
overbookings, late or canceled appointments or
just a general disappointment with how their hair
turned out.
BEAUTYLYNK
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Parker is second-generation pharmacist who grew
up behind the counter of his father’s mom-and-pop
drug store in Concord, N.H. Whenever he went out to
deliver prescriptions, he grew frustrated watching as
customers used Excel spreadsheets and day-of-the-
week pill containers to keep track of their
medications.
PILL PACK
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Feel your customer’s pain.
1 | Leave the Building
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Leave the
building.
REMEMBER THIS #1
Thanks to: Steve Blank
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
My two golden rules of user research:
1. Immersion is better than any other tactic.
2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY.
1 | Leave the Building
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
My two golden rules of user research:
1. Immersion is better than any other tactic. If
you're interviewing people outside of the
environment in which they'll be using your
product, you're missing 70% of the
observations you could be making.
2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY.
1 | Leave the Building
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
My two golden rules of user research:
1. Immersion is better than any other tactic.
2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY. The
fastest way to ruin insight is to ask a leading
question. Ask who, what, why, when, where,
how. Ask people to walk you through a
scenario in their own words.
1 | Leave the Building
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Tips for discovery conversations:
1. Get into research character.
2. Be fascinated.
3. Be neutral and encouraging.
4. Don’t judge or dismiss.
5. Build on the conversation.
6. When in doubt, clarify.
7. Listen, don’t lead.
8. Don’t pitch.
9. Watch body language.
10. Practice!
1 | Leave the Building
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
1 | Leave the Building
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Set up a landing page, collect emails.
Now!
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
OBJECTIVES
Test my value proposition (am I solving a
problem people care about?)
Get e-mail addresses (who cares about the
problem I’m solving?)
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Things you need:
1. A URL.
2. A value proposition.
3. A mailing list tool.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Things you don’t need:
1. A logo.
2. A blog, social media accounts etc.
3. A copywriter, designer, developer etc.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Right now, do
one thing well.
REMEMBER THIS #2
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
WHAT’S THE ONE THING?
Identify your core value proposition. Go hard on
that one thing.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
GET THE WORD OUT
Post to social media, contact friends + family to
share with their networks, email your own
network, pursue startup promotional sites like
ProductHunt.com and betalist.com.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
PURSUE CONTACT INFO
Landing pages are carefully designed to
optimize for conversion. At an early stage, just a
name + email is super valuable (see next steps).
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
WHAT DOES VALIDATION LOOK LIKE?
That depends.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
NOT SEEING USER GROWTH?
Consider backtracking to simplify and dig into
the customer discovery process.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
NOT SEEING USER GROWTH?
Leave the building again. Constantly verify >
adapt > verify > adapt.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
TOOLS
launchrock.com + mailchimp.com
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
1 | Leave the Building
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
So, now you have emails!
Contact them immediately and ask if you can
discuss your problem and idea.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
OBJECTIVES
Test my value proposition (am I solving a
problem people care about?)
Find out why people were interested in signing
up for my product or service.
Get direct feedback on our proposed solution.
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Things you need:
1. A screener survey.
2. Specific questions.
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Things you don’t need:
1. A product.
2. A prototype.
3. Incredible people skills.
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
#1: Screener Survey.
You don’t have time to talk to just anyone. A
screener survey identifies:
1. People in your target market.
2. A diversity of perspectives to interview.
3. People eligible to use your product (age etc)
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
#2: Specific Questions.
Use open ended discovery questions to identify
users existing behaviors + motivations around
whatever you’re digging into.
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
#2: Specific Questions.
For example, if I was working on a new
thermostat:
1. What kind of home do you live in currently?
2. When temperatures get hot or cold, how do
you stay comfortable in your house.
3. How has that changed in the last 6 months?
4. How did you prepare for your last trip? Walk
me through it.
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
1 | Listen, Listen, Listen
Insight: users don’t care about the science.
We thought people would love to learn.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Insight: users take pride in their space,
and it needs to be beautiful.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Insight: early adopters are invested in the
entire ecosystem of sustainability.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Insight: users already garden.
We thought we’d teach non-gardeners to garden.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Thoughts on surveys.
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Surveys are great if you want to…
1. Track changes over time — See what
changes before and after a feature launch.
2. Quantify issues seen in user studies — We
know [x] is a problem for some users, but
how many?
3. Measure attitudes, intents, or task success.
Thanks to: Elizabeth Ferrall-Nunge, UX at Twitter
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Surveys are not so great if you want to…
1. Discover underlying user needs — users
aren’t great at self-identifying.
2. Understand whether people can successfully
use your product.
3. Uncover user habits and behavior. Again,
people are really bad at self-reporting.
Thanks to: Elizabeth Ferrall-Nunge, UX at Twitter
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
My two golden rules of user research:
1. Immersion is better than any other tactic. If
you're interviewing people outside of the
environment in which they'll be using your
product, you're missing 70% of the
observations you could be making.
2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY.
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
My two golden rules of user research:
1. Immersion is better than any other tactic.
2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY. The
fastest way to ruin insight is to ask a leading
question. Ask who, what, why, when, where,
how. Ask people to walk you through a
scenario in their own words.
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Some insight is better than none, but beware
your solution bias when writing surveys.
Something we’ve definitely done wrong at
Grove (and I’ve now seen many times).
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Survey Tips:
1. Avoid leading questions.
2. Avoid agree/ disagree statements.
3. Beware photos + visual design.
4. Avoid comparison questions.
5. Randomize answer order.
6. Keep it short.
7. Avoid “nice-to-know” questions.
Thanks to: Elizabeth Ferrall-Nunge, UX at Twitter
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
1 | Leave the Building
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Will
customers
pay for this?
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
Things you need:
1. A prototype or product concept.
2. A way to accept payment.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Things you don’t need:
1. An actual product.
2. A final price point.
3. Sales people.
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Empty Wooden Box
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Empty Wooden Box
Artificially Planted
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
Empty Wooden Box
Artificially Planted
No Idea How Much to Charge
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Result:
Sold three units at $800+.
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Result:
Sold three units at $800+.
(The final product sold for $2400).
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
It’s not validation if there are no stakes.
It’s okay to sell a non-existent product. Make sure
you can reimburse the user! But go for the real
sale, in which the user thinks they’ve traded cold
hard cash for your product or service.
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
After selling?
We refined our roadmap and let our customers
know, giving them to chance to opt-out if they
didn’t want to wait 8 months.
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
After selling?
We refined our roadmap and let our customers
know, giving them to chance to opt-out if they
didn’t want to wait 8 months.
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Do things that
don’t scale.
REMEMBER THIS #3
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Optimize for learning.
That means doing everything in your power
to prove a hypothesis before building in
response to it.
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Looks
automatic.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Super not
automatic.
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Super informative!
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Optimize for
learning.
REMEMBER THIS #4
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
1 | Leave the Building
2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Talk to their users.
What do users love?
What do users want, and not get?
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
AirBnB got started by “what would people user
if AirBnB didn’t exist? — Craigslist, where their
users were already looking for apartment
rentals.
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
They scraped apartment data and put it on
their own site, then pitched those apartment
owners on using AirBnB as well.
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
We started testing all of our (few) competitors
products at home + at the office.
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Analyze the competitive landscape.
Your users certainly are. What’s your specific
segment you can address better than anyone?
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Criteria A
Criteria B
Criteria 2Criteria 1
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Low Yield
High Yield
AutomatedDIY
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
“Am I building
something
people want?”
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
“and will
pay for?”
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Confirm that yes,
you are — or pivot.
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Fast.
5 | Poach from Competitors
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
Listen more
than you talk.
REMEMBER THIS #5
liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack
liz.j.cormack@gmail.com
@lizco
Get in touch!

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Customer Discovery for Early-Stage Startups

  • 2. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Hi, I’m Liz.
  • 5. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack KNOW THE USER MAKE THEM HAPPY What I do:
  • 6. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack KNOW THE USER | Data, research, user testing. Pursue a substantiated understanding of the way a person uses, lives with and perceives the experience we create. MAKE THEM HAPPY What I do:
  • 7. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack What I do: KNOW THE USER MAKE THEM HAPPY | Product design, management. Work across disciplines + departments to make that experience entirely positive.
  • 8. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Three years ago, Grove was just a really complicated idea we weren’t sure anyone wanted.
  • 9. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack “Am I building something people want?”
  • 10. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Probably not 😬
  • 11. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack And that’s totally fine. Start testing and revising your hypothesis now.
  • 12. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Product market fit takes time.
  • 13. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Where can you create value?
  • 14. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Customer validation also proves your idea is worthy of investment. Where can you create value?
  • 16. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack TEST THE PROBLEM TEST THE SOLUTION Customer Discovery
  • 17. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack TEST THE PROBLEM | User research, market research. Test your understanding of the customer’s needs. TEST THE SOLUTION Customer Discovery
  • 18. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Customer Discovery: TEST THE PROBLEM TEST THE SOLUTION | Prototyping, user testing. Test that your solution solves the customer’s need that you identified.
  • 19. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack It’s a cycle.
  • 20. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Methods for Customer Discovery PART ONE: TEST THE PROBLEM
  • 21. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Before you write a line of code.
  • 22. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack What problem are you solving? ?
  • 23. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 1 | Leave the Building 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 24. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Leave the building. REMEMBER THIS #1 Thanks to: Steve Blank
  • 25. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 1 | Leave the Building OBJECTIVES Test my value proposition (am I building a thing people care about?) Identify pain points + opportunities in my assumed market segment.
  • 26. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Things you need: 1. A list of questions. 2. A hypothesis you’re willing to change. 1 | Leave the Building
  • 27. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Things you don’t need: 1. Understanding of the customer’s problem. 2. Existing customers. 1 | Leave the Building
  • 28. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack At ModCloth, we talk to people when we first have an idea. At this phase, our goal is to understand customers’ current problems around this idea and how they deal with an issue we’re trying to solve. MODCLOTH 1 | Leave the Building
  • 29. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Google’s answer for the complexity of AdWords was to hire 2,000 account managers to help people use the platform. Pratt said one of the main reasons for user confusion is that the terminology used by the various platforms is wildly different. ADHAWK
  • 30. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Rica Elysée founded Boston Naturals, a meet-up group for women of color. There, she realized many had the same issues with their salons — overbookings, late or canceled appointments or just a general disappointment with how their hair turned out. BEAUTYLYNK
  • 31. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Parker is second-generation pharmacist who grew up behind the counter of his father’s mom-and-pop drug store in Concord, N.H. Whenever he went out to deliver prescriptions, he grew frustrated watching as customers used Excel spreadsheets and day-of-the- week pill containers to keep track of their medications. PILL PACK
  • 32. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Feel your customer’s pain. 1 | Leave the Building
  • 33. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Leave the building. REMEMBER THIS #1 Thanks to: Steve Blank
  • 34. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack My two golden rules of user research: 1. Immersion is better than any other tactic. 2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY. 1 | Leave the Building
  • 35. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack My two golden rules of user research: 1. Immersion is better than any other tactic. If you're interviewing people outside of the environment in which they'll be using your product, you're missing 70% of the observations you could be making. 2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY. 1 | Leave the Building
  • 36. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack My two golden rules of user research: 1. Immersion is better than any other tactic. 2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY. The fastest way to ruin insight is to ask a leading question. Ask who, what, why, when, where, how. Ask people to walk you through a scenario in their own words. 1 | Leave the Building
  • 37. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Tips for discovery conversations: 1. Get into research character. 2. Be fascinated. 3. Be neutral and encouraging. 4. Don’t judge or dismiss. 5. Build on the conversation. 6. When in doubt, clarify. 7. Listen, don’t lead. 8. Don’t pitch. 9. Watch body language. 10. Practice! 1 | Leave the Building
  • 38. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 1 | Leave the Building 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 39. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Set up a landing page, collect emails. Now!
  • 40. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have OBJECTIVES Test my value proposition (am I solving a problem people care about?) Get e-mail addresses (who cares about the problem I’m solving?)
  • 41. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Things you need: 1. A URL. 2. A value proposition. 3. A mailing list tool.
  • 42. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Things you don’t need: 1. A logo. 2. A blog, social media accounts etc. 3. A copywriter, designer, developer etc.
  • 43. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
  • 44. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
  • 45. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
  • 46. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
  • 47. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Right now, do one thing well. REMEMBER THIS #2
  • 48. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have WHAT’S THE ONE THING? Identify your core value proposition. Go hard on that one thing.
  • 49. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have GET THE WORD OUT Post to social media, contact friends + family to share with their networks, email your own network, pursue startup promotional sites like ProductHunt.com and betalist.com.
  • 50. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have PURSUE CONTACT INFO Landing pages are carefully designed to optimize for conversion. At an early stage, just a name + email is super valuable (see next steps).
  • 51. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have WHAT DOES VALIDATION LOOK LIKE? That depends.
  • 52. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have NOT SEEING USER GROWTH? Consider backtracking to simplify and dig into the customer discovery process.
  • 53. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have NOT SEEING USER GROWTH? Leave the building again. Constantly verify > adapt > verify > adapt.
  • 54. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have TOOLS launchrock.com + mailchimp.com
  • 55. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 1 | Leave the Building 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 56. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen So, now you have emails! Contact them immediately and ask if you can discuss your problem and idea.
  • 57. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack OBJECTIVES Test my value proposition (am I solving a problem people care about?) Find out why people were interested in signing up for my product or service. Get direct feedback on our proposed solution. 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 58. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Things you need: 1. A screener survey. 2. Specific questions. 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 59. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Things you don’t need: 1. A product. 2. A prototype. 3. Incredible people skills. 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 60. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack #1: Screener Survey. You don’t have time to talk to just anyone. A screener survey identifies: 1. People in your target market. 2. A diversity of perspectives to interview. 3. People eligible to use your product (age etc) 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 61. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
  • 62. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
  • 63. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack #2: Specific Questions. Use open ended discovery questions to identify users existing behaviors + motivations around whatever you’re digging into. 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 64. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack #2: Specific Questions. For example, if I was working on a new thermostat: 1. What kind of home do you live in currently? 2. When temperatures get hot or cold, how do you stay comfortable in your house. 3. How has that changed in the last 6 months? 4. How did you prepare for your last trip? Walk me through it. 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 65. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 1 | Listen, Listen, Listen Insight: users don’t care about the science. We thought people would love to learn.
  • 66. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Insight: users take pride in their space, and it needs to be beautiful.
  • 67. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Insight: early adopters are invested in the entire ecosystem of sustainability.
  • 68. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Insight: users already garden. We thought we’d teach non-gardeners to garden.
  • 69. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Thoughts on surveys. 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 70. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Surveys are great if you want to… 1. Track changes over time — See what changes before and after a feature launch. 2. Quantify issues seen in user studies — We know [x] is a problem for some users, but how many? 3. Measure attitudes, intents, or task success. Thanks to: Elizabeth Ferrall-Nunge, UX at Twitter 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 71. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Surveys are not so great if you want to… 1. Discover underlying user needs — users aren’t great at self-identifying. 2. Understand whether people can successfully use your product. 3. Uncover user habits and behavior. Again, people are really bad at self-reporting. Thanks to: Elizabeth Ferrall-Nunge, UX at Twitter 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 72. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack My two golden rules of user research: 1. Immersion is better than any other tactic. If you're interviewing people outside of the environment in which they'll be using your product, you're missing 70% of the observations you could be making. 2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY. 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 73. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack My two golden rules of user research: 1. Immersion is better than any other tactic. 2. Ask open-ended questions ONLY. The fastest way to ruin insight is to ask a leading question. Ask who, what, why, when, where, how. Ask people to walk you through a scenario in their own words. 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 74. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Some insight is better than none, but beware your solution bias when writing surveys. Something we’ve definitely done wrong at Grove (and I’ve now seen many times). 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 75. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Survey Tips: 1. Avoid leading questions. 2. Avoid agree/ disagree statements. 3. Beware photos + visual design. 4. Avoid comparison questions. 5. Randomize answer order. 6. Keep it short. 7. Avoid “nice-to-know” questions. Thanks to: Elizabeth Ferrall-Nunge, UX at Twitter 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen
  • 76. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 1 | Leave the Building 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 77. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Will customers pay for this?
  • 78. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have Things you need: 1. A prototype or product concept. 2. A way to accept payment.
  • 79. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Things you don’t need: 1. An actual product. 2. A final price point. 3. Sales people. 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
  • 80. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have
  • 81. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Empty Wooden Box
  • 82. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Empty Wooden Box Artificially Planted
  • 83. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have Empty Wooden Box Artificially Planted No Idea How Much to Charge
  • 84. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Result: Sold three units at $800+. 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
  • 85. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Result: Sold three units at $800+. (The final product sold for $2400). 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
  • 86. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack It’s not validation if there are no stakes. It’s okay to sell a non-existent product. Make sure you can reimburse the user! But go for the real sale, in which the user thinks they’ve traded cold hard cash for your product or service. 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
  • 87. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack After selling? We refined our roadmap and let our customers know, giving them to chance to opt-out if they didn’t want to wait 8 months. 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
  • 88. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack After selling? We refined our roadmap and let our customers know, giving them to chance to opt-out if they didn’t want to wait 8 months. 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
  • 89. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Do things that don’t scale. REMEMBER THIS #3
  • 90. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Optimize for learning. That means doing everything in your power to prove a hypothesis before building in response to it. 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have
  • 91. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Looks automatic.
  • 92. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Super not automatic.
  • 93. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Super informative!
  • 94. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Optimize for learning. REMEMBER THIS #4
  • 95. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack 1 | Leave the Building 2 | Pitch the Product You Don’t Have 3 | Listen, Listen, Listen 4 | Sell the Product You Don’t Have 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 96. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Talk to their users. What do users love? What do users want, and not get? 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 97. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack AirBnB got started by “what would people user if AirBnB didn’t exist? — Craigslist, where their users were already looking for apartment rentals. 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 98. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack They scraped apartment data and put it on their own site, then pitched those apartment owners on using AirBnB as well. 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 99. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack We started testing all of our (few) competitors products at home + at the office. 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 100. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Analyze the competitive landscape. Your users certainly are. What’s your specific segment you can address better than anyone? 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 102. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Criteria A Criteria B Criteria 2Criteria 1
  • 103. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Low Yield High Yield AutomatedDIY 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 105. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack “Am I building something people want?”
  • 106. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack “and will pay for?”
  • 107. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Confirm that yes, you are — or pivot. 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 108. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Fast. 5 | Poach from Competitors
  • 109. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack Listen more than you talk. REMEMBER THIS #5
  • 110. liz@grovelabs.io | @lizco Liz Cormack liz.j.cormack@gmail.com @lizco Get in touch!