Is Your Business A Good Idea?

As entrepreneurs, especially in the starting phase, we constantly ask ourselves: "Is my business a good idea?" How do we answer that question?

"Oh Lean Startup suggests that we talk to customers!" How do we talk to customers?

Fortunately, last year at Leanconf, Rob Fitzpatrick taught us how to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea.

If you don't have time to watch the video, here's a quick summary:

  • Having customer conversation does not automatically equate to learning something
  • Compliment is the biggest enemy of real customer learning - it gives you false belief that your idea will work
  • You cannot approach customers with the mindset of wanting so badly to hear that your startup is going to work
  • When you are trying to learn, it is not about you. It’s about them, their problems.
  • If you talk about your product, customers will lie to you.
  • If you show your product, you must ask for commitments in the form of time, money or reputation risk.
  • Talking to your customer is just one type of experiment you can run to test if your idea will work. You don’t need to always talk to your customers but you need to know the insights to their lives and what they care about.
  • Customer interview may not be necessary for all businesses, if an easy method of validation could be found
  • Rob made money by connecting speakers and conference organisers using just emails (without any product/platform)
  • Presale and preorder is a good method to know if your idea will work.
  • Different industries use different approaches to learning about your customers. There is no one-size-fit-all approach.
  • Don’t spend too much time on customer development because after all, it is supposed to speed up your progress.
  • Successful customer development = You have a list of customers who will buy your product by the time you launch.
  • There are many tools out there to make use of for prototyping in almost every industry.

  • Throughout the presentation, Rob gave lots of examples of how different businesses learn if their ideas would work (Buffer, Escape the City, General Assembly, Airbnb, Flat Iron, etc.) Hope this talk has given you some ideas how to test your business idea and we wish you all the best in your business!

For more great, practical information like this come along to Leanconf this year


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