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Practical
Customer
Development
Cindy Alvarez
Director of User Experience,
Yammer (a Microsoft company)
The “lean startup” is:
• Use of low-cost and free
software frameworks and
services
• Rapid, iterative development
• Custom...
Customer development
doesn’t come naturally
to builders and do-ers
You’re wrong
half the time
At Yammer, nearly 50% of our projects fail to
ship because they do not move the intended
metric...
Each hour of
saves 5, 10, 20+
hours of
Tools:
http://bit.ly/14a30PQ
Customer Development
steps:
• Forming a hypothesis
• Finding potential customers to talk to
• Asking the right questions
•...
Forming a Hypothesis:
• Problem, not product
• Testable
• Narrower is better
I believe [type of person]
experiences [problem]
while performing [task].
Your potential customer:
Finding potential customers:
• Use your (extended) network
• LinkedIn
• Quora
• Domain-specific websites
• Stores, clubs, ...
Templates:
http://bit.ly/16K4mhM
Asking the right questions:
• What is the potential customer already
doing?
• Frustrations
• Constraints
• How they decide...
Getting customers to talk:
• Tell me about the last time…
• 60 seconds of silence
• No “yes/no” questions
• “Other people ...
Tell me about how you do _________
today…
Do you use any [tools/products/apps/tricks]
to help you get ________ done?
If you could wave a magic wand and be
able to do anything that you can’t do today,
what would it be?
(Don’t worry about if...
Last time you did ___________, what were
you doing right before you got started?
Once you finished, what did you do after?
Is there anything else about _________
that I should have asked about?
You may be wondering
about:
• Compensation for interviewees
• On-site, face-to-face, phone, other?
• Should I record?
• Wh...
Making sense of what you
hear:• Validates
• Invalidates
• Surprises
• Emotion
What to build next:
• What is your biggest risk?
• (Use the magic wand on yourself)
• MVPs are not scalable!
MVPs for learning can be:
• Concierge MVP
• “Wizard of Oz” MVP
• Single use case MVP
• Pre-order (“vaporware”) MVP
• Other...
Pick your metrics (for
example):• X% increase in signup conversions
• Y% decrease in time between signup
and successful ta...
You can ask questions anytime!
cindy@cindyalvarez.com or @cindyalvarez
(also stay tuned for Lean Customer
Practical customer development
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Practical customer development

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An overview of practicing customer development.

Published in: Business, Technology

Practical customer development

  1. 1. Practical Customer Development Cindy Alvarez Director of User Experience, Yammer (a Microsoft company)
  2. 2. The “lean startup” is: • Use of low-cost and free software frameworks and services • Rapid, iterative development • Customer development
  3. 3. Customer development doesn’t come naturally to builders and do-ers
  4. 4. You’re wrong half the time At Yammer, nearly 50% of our projects fail to ship because they do not move the intended metrics. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Netflix all agree that at least half of their feature ideas fail too. http://ai.stanford.edu/~ronnyk/ExPThinkWeek2009Public.pdf
  5. 5. Each hour of saves 5, 10, 20+ hours of
  6. 6. Tools: http://bit.ly/14a30PQ
  7. 7. Customer Development steps: • Forming a hypothesis • Finding potential customers to talk to • Asking the right questions • Making sense of the answers • Figuring out what to build to keep learning • Repeat as needed
  8. 8. Forming a Hypothesis: • Problem, not product • Testable • Narrower is better
  9. 9. I believe [type of person] experiences [problem] while performing [task].
  10. 10. Your potential customer:
  11. 11. Finding potential customers: • Use your (extended) network • LinkedIn • Quora • Domain-specific websites • Stores, clubs, and “real world” locations
  12. 12. Templates: http://bit.ly/16K4mhM
  13. 13. Asking the right questions: • What is the potential customer already doing? • Frustrations • Constraints • How they decide, how they buy, how they use
  14. 14. Getting customers to talk: • Tell me about the last time… • 60 seconds of silence • No “yes/no” questions • “Other people have told me…” • Who / What / When / How / Why
  15. 15. Tell me about how you do _________ today…
  16. 16. Do you use any [tools/products/apps/tricks] to help you get ________ done?
  17. 17. If you could wave a magic wand and be able to do anything that you can’t do today, what would it be? (Don’t worry about if it’s possible)
  18. 18. Last time you did ___________, what were you doing right before you got started? Once you finished, what did you do after?
  19. 19. Is there anything else about _________ that I should have asked about?
  20. 20. You may be wondering about: • Compensation for interviewees • On-site, face-to-face, phone, other? • Should I record? • Who needs to interview? • What if the customer isn’t useful?
  21. 21. Making sense of what you hear:• Validates • Invalidates • Surprises • Emotion
  22. 22. What to build next: • What is your biggest risk? • (Use the magic wand on yourself) • MVPs are not scalable!
  23. 23. MVPs for learning can be: • Concierge MVP • “Wizard of Oz” MVP • Single use case MVP • Pre-order (“vaporware”) MVP • Other peoples’ products
  24. 24. Pick your metrics (for example):• X% increase in signup conversions • Y% decrease in time between signup and successful task completion • Customer reports qualitative data
  25. 25. You can ask questions anytime! cindy@cindyalvarez.com or @cindyalvarez (also stay tuned for Lean Customer

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