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How to do Customer Development Interviews to Validate your Startup Idea



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Slides from a talk at Lean Startup Machine Ultimate in San Francisco, CA on December 7, 2013.

I'm writing a book on How to Build Customer Driven Products based on tactics like the ones in this presentation. You can sign up to learn more here:

These slides help you understand the keys to lean startup methodology to interview customers.

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How to do Customer Development Interviews to Validate your Startup Idea

  1. 1. How to do Customer Development Interviews Jason @Evanish December 7, 2013 Lean Startup Machine San Francisco, CA
  2. 2. Everyone knows you should talk to customers.
  3. 3. But no one talks about how to actually do it.
  4. 4. Let’s make this easy.
  5. 5. Who is Jason @Evanish? 100’s of customer development interviews with: Cofounded: Blog my learnings at:
  6. 6. A Customer Development Interview is like a house…
  7. 7. It starts with a good foundation.
  8. 8. Then you build on it.
  9. 9. Finally, you add the roof.
  10. 10. Your foundation is the
  11. 11. The walls are
  12. 12. The roof is your to
  13. 13. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts.
  14. 14. Build the foundation: Get to know the you’re interviewing.
  15. 15. Person Questions: • Who are they? What’s their role? • Where do they interact with peers? • How do they find new products for home or work? • How much time do they spend on [Task X]? • How is their budget handled? Let’s write the script
  16. 16. Learn about them & their role in the industry
  17. 17. Problem Questions: • What are your top 3 challenges you face in your job related to [industry]? • Why? Tell me more… • What’s frustrating or time consuming about [problem area]? • If you could wave a magic wand… what would the solution be? Let’s write the script
  18. 18. Learn if they have the problem you’re solving
  19. 19. Solution Questions: • Does this solve any of the problems we discussed earlier? • Would you be willing to pay for this? • Are you interested in signing up to be one of our early users? • What’s your biggest concern with my product? Let’s write the script
  20. 20. Gauge their interest & gather feedback
  21. 21. Contact me…I’m happy to help. On Twitter: @Evanish Email me about mentorship, advising or consulting: Find all my Lean learnings at: Find a detailed, blog form of the interview process at: And tips for finding your first customers at:

Editor's Notes

  • Emphasize that any outreach is about having a conversation, not that you’re trying to sell them anything. Everyone likes to help, especially when you’re only asking for 20 minutes of their time. Giving off the vibe you’re trying to sell something will always turn people off.
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