Lean startup · Customer Validation

How do you find people to do customer interviews?

Claudia Goga Founder at Chocolicious

January 5th, 2016

Surely when it comes to customer development, and conducting interviews, we could start with our network and ask for recommendations.

How about the times when you need to interview people from other countries or when you don't have many people who represent your target, in your network? Do you post ads or use tools like mTurk? Are there any platforms where we could connect with people open to be interviewed?

Scott McGregor Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.

January 5th, 2016

Yes, Founder Instiute actually encourages people to use google ads, mTurk, KnowYourTargetMarket and mailChimp as ways to test a target market before committing to developing a product or market. Remember that unless you are targeting a tiny market most of your future customers are currently unknown to you so these kinds of ways to test ideas can be better th at reflecting future response than the feedback you get from existing friendly prospects you know well.

Frank Kelly

January 6th, 2016

Being a fan of the whole "lean startup"/ "customer development" methodology, I have to quote Steve Blank

"Customer Development is the process of how you get out of the building and search for the model. Customer Development is designed so that you the founder(s) gather first hand experience about customer and market needs.
It can’t be delegated.

Let me say it again: Getting customer feedback can not be delegated."

http://steveblank.com/tag/customer-discovery/

Siarhei Harbachou Looking around

January 5th, 2016

Thank you Scott, helfull for me as well.

Claudia Goga Founder at Chocolicious

January 6th, 2016

Scott, can you tell me more about KnowYourTargetMarket? I can't seem to find it on google.

Scott McGregor Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.

January 6th, 2016

By the way Founder Institute, fi.co has lots of great advice from experienced mentors in its free online resources. There are several posts on how to survey target markets.

Luke Szyrmer Forward-Thinking, Creative Software Product Manager and Author

January 5th, 2016

The same way you would if you'd be marketing the product: either you need to spend time on free sources of traffic (ie. content marketing) or use paid source like pay per click to target exactly who you want to reach. Customer Validation forces you to think in terms of your path to market. 

Advertising is an option. I've used it in past for customer development and discovery, although roughly 1 out of about 40 people who signed up for a sample were willing to be interviewed. Also...it's worth keeping in mind that you are establishing a relationship with each person (it's not just 1 customer development interview). They are often happy to continue engaging with you, regardless of how you established contact. 

Scott McGregor Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.

January 6th, 2016

I miss remembered the name, it is Ask Your Target Market: AYTM.com