If you have been following my blog for the last couple of months, you know I’m in the process of doing customer development for Go Finish. As Go Finish is in the education domain we decided we will interview college students as our target market and we’ve interviewed 60+ students. It’s been a long process and at some point NOT fun! unfortunately sometimes this is what customer discovery is about.
So, so far we’ve got data about college students learning habits which is great, but it’s still raw data, we are not sure what we should do with it yet.
Seems like we are not focused on what we want to achieve with these interviews and perhaps we are still asking the wrong questions, though we’ve been thinking a lot about them and changed them a couple of times!
So, we need some break through and definite yes/no answers to know where we are heading.
So, what’s needed?
Because we are unclear and not sure if we had any real WOW moments (well, we did have a few but again, we are not sure what’s the conclusion from them) in our discovery process (I hope we didn’t miss them…) I decided to hop on the opportunity here in Beijing and join Steve blanks’ NEXT program run by Kevin Dewalt. It starts on April 10th and will run for 5 weeks.
I decided I want to join the program (eventually we joined as a team, our intern and co-founder skyping in from Israel) to make the customer development process the right way.
A few weeks ago though, I thought there was even an opportunity for me to join as a mentor to the class. Being a mentor feels great, but doesn’t help a lot if you want to be pushed and do your customer development right.
Even Kevin told me that if he wasn’t running the show he would have joined to be pushed and do his customer development the right way. Makes you think, no? Can anybody just either be a mentor or a fellow? There should be some hierarchy, no? This is how mentoring works…
So, if it’s not about expertise than what is it all about?
The answer is this: In order to do customer development, you need a LOT of feedback, and this is what it’s going to be about. All of us in the program have experience in the startup domain in one way or another, mentors and fellows.
So, the main issue here is actually PUSH. Push the follows to do the customer development process and do it right!
After all, It’s the push that matters from people you trust and can be very open with about your startup (Still thinking about making others sign an NDA before sharing your idea?). It’s about hearing what others has to say and listen…listen carefully. From my perspective, it’s also about being humble and open my mind to the process.
I mentioned before that I’m not happy with the data we’ve got so far with the customer development we’ve done. I feel that we need some change along with keeping in mind our initial target audience, college students.
Business Model Canvas Thoughts
Yesterday we worked on our Business Model Canvas. I must say I’m still not happy with it. still too vague and unclear, I anticipate this to change in the next few weeks.
But there are good things happening!
Filling in the Business Model Canvas already made us think about other target audiences and markets. These are markets we haven’t touched yet, and this is where the opportunity might be.
We are now looking at:
– High school students
– Parents to mid-school and high school students
Seems like we are too spread out now, I know. But it also feels we’ve got some more open windows to try.
So, this is a personal request from you, my readers. Program begins in less than 2 days, and the most difficult part is getting potential customers talking to you. It’s the hardest part finding them and schedule a time to talk to them.
If you are one of the target audiences mentioned (or a college student), I want to talk to you!
(Don’t worry, it’s a short 20 minutes talk…)
Please Tweet to me @StartupNoodle
Send an email: shlomo [at] Startupnoodle.com
Or simply use the contact form.
Now over to you
I want to hear about your customer development process. What difficulties you had and how you solved them? What were your WOW moments in the process?
Image credit: wilgengebroed