I-Corps                              @ Arlington                             Best Practices for                           ...
WHY ARE WE HERE?         The goal of this session is to share ideas,         tips, tricks and secrets on how to best do   ...
CREATE VALID HYPOTHESIS     Apply the              scientific method     to customer discovery     Hypotheses must be      ...
DESIGN A TEST     Is your hypothesis true or false?                get out of the     All tests start with:     building a...
TALK TO 100 PEOPLE     You must gain             insight into your market.     You are doing             pattern recogniti...
MEET PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW     People you know will be nice and tell you what     you want to hear. Those interviews are  ...
GET INTERVIEWS EFFICIENTLY     Don’t waste time. Focus on     archetypes     Have a          purpose. Know why you are    ...
GET OUT OF THE BUILDING     This is the number one lesson of I-Corps. And     the hardest thing for researchers to learn. ...
INTERVIEW PROPERLY       Do not sell!       Don’t show a demo.       Don’t do a technical presentation       You are there...
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS     Always ask             open-ended questions     Don’t ask multiple choice questions.     Ask q...
WHAT ABOUT IP?     Never sign an NDA     Never ask people to sign an NDA     If you are describing your technology in deta...
GAINING INSIGHT     Facts are interesting     Insights are your goal     Be honest. Don’t be too quick to validate and too...
PIVOT     You do not face a business model until you have     a compelling     Customer-Value Fit     If you cannot find on...
LEARNING IS PARAMOUNT     The       knowledge       you gain in customer     discovery is critical to the success or failu...
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Best practices for customer discovery

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Best practices for customer discovery

  1. 1. I-Corps @ Arlington Best Practices for Customer DiscoveryWednesday, January 23, 13
  2. 2. WHY ARE WE HERE? The goal of this session is to share ideas, tips, tricks and secrets on how to best do customer discoveryWednesday, January 23, 13
  3. 3. CREATE VALID HYPOTHESIS Apply the scientific method to customer discovery Hypotheses must be falsifiable Be specific. No “ands” or commas You must avoid validation “people want to buy my product” == bad The inverse hypothesis cannot be ridiculousWednesday, January 23, 13
  4. 4. DESIGN A TEST Is your hypothesis true or false? get out of the All tests start with: building and talk to people Do not try to be statistically valid Do not stop once you have an answerWednesday, January 23, 13
  5. 5. TALK TO 100 PEOPLE You must gain insight into your market. You are doing pattern recognition Must have sufficient data points to see them 100 works. It is provenWednesday, January 23, 13
  6. 6. MEET PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW People you know will be nice and tell you what you want to hear. Those interviews are possibly harmful People you don’t know have no relationship to protect. Only they will tell you the truthWednesday, January 23, 13
  7. 7. GET INTERVIEWS EFFICIENTLY Don’t waste time. Focus on archetypes Have a purpose. Know why you are meeting. Be transparent. Tell them you are researchers, not selling, learning about the market, part of I-Corps. Ask for their helpWednesday, January 23, 13
  8. 8. GET OUT OF THE BUILDING This is the number one lesson of I-Corps. And the hardest thing for researchers to learn. In person meetings are always best. Phone calls are a terrible substitute. Surveys are garbage. GOFB!Wednesday, January 23, 13
  9. 9. INTERVIEW PROPERLY Do not sell! Don’t show a demo. Don’t do a technical presentation You are there to learn. Ask about how they do their job. Ask about their problems It’s about them, not you. Look for the unexpected. The surprisesWednesday, January 23, 13
  10. 10. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS Always ask open-ended questions Don’t ask multiple choice questions. Ask questions starting with: who, what, why, how Not: is, are, would, do you think, should ... ask why? then why? then why? again finish with what did I forget to ask? who else should I talk to?Wednesday, January 23, 13
  11. 11. WHAT ABOUT IP? Never sign an NDA Never ask people to sign an NDA If you are describing your technology in detail you are doing it wrong Focus on the what and not the howWednesday, January 23, 13
  12. 12. GAINING INSIGHT Facts are interesting Insights are your goal Be honest. Don’t be too quick to validate and too slow to disprove your hypothesis. Don’t just scratch the surface, dive deep don’t fear picking the wrong market Find the hidden motivations. Depth of understanding always leads to insightWednesday, January 23, 13
  13. 13. PIVOT You do not face a business model until you have a compelling Customer-Value Fit If you cannot find one, you will have to pivot new hypotheses and test Make Do not rush thru the process You do not have to finish with the technology you started withWednesday, January 23, 13
  14. 14. LEARNING IS PARAMOUNT The knowledge you gain in customer discovery is critical to the success or failure of your business Your current assumptions are probably wrong You must not try to validate what you already think or want to be trueWednesday, January 23, 13

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