The 4 Steps of Customer Discovery

  1. Define a Hypothesis: Form a hypothesis that defines both the problem & the solution. A way to frame this is to fill in the following sentence: My idea solves [insert problem] by [insert solution].
  2. Define Your Assumptions: In the hypothesis, you are some assumptions about the idea: The problem is actually a problem. The solution will actually solve the problem. The market has this problem are are willing to pay.
  3. Ask (Good) Questions. Target people who you believe could be potential customers.
  4. Evaluate & Refine: Incorporate what you’ve learned & repeat the process

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Customer Discovery “is all about questioning your core business assumptions.” (Brant Cooper, author of The Lean Entrepreneur)

Performed correctly, Customer Discovery is a customer-centric, scientific process that puts evidence behind an assumed product-market fit:

  1. Observing and defining a phenomenon (problem or market need)
  2. Developing a hypothesis about a solution to the problem (business idea)
  3. Conducting an experiment to test the hypothesis (getting “out of the building”)

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Customer Discovery Hypotheses

Different kinds of hypotheses reflect different stages of your Customer Discovery journey:

  1. Problem Hypothesis: Validate the problem you’re looking to solve. Is it an actual problem? What’s the scope of it? Why does the problem exist? 
  2. Solution Hypothesis: The solution to a problem you’ve identified. Does it actually solve the problem in the customer’s eyes? 
  3. Price Hypothesis: Is it feasible? Can it generate revenue? Are customers willing to purchase? 
  4. Go-to-Market Hypothesis: How will distribution work? How will users find your product?

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Customer Discovery questions are open-ended & nonspecific. You are letting the customer lead the conversation & tell you about their struggle. Example questions:

  • Tell me how you currently do _____________________.
  • How is that process working for you?
  • If you could do anything to improve your experience with ___________________, what would it be?
  • What’s the hardest part about ______________?
  • What do you like/dislike about ______________? 

Pay attention to the words, attitude or tone of voice. They can reveal huge insights.

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Types of Customer Pain Points
  • Financial - refer to customer challenges about the amount they pay for a product or service.
  • Support - refers to the level of support a customer needs to complete their interaction with your business. The customer may need help on their way to purchasing a product.
  • Productivity - refers to challenges a customer faces in terms of their efficiency. In a B2B setting, clients may want to improve their internal processes and use your solutions. 
  • Process pain points mean prospects have less favorable experiences on their way to the checkout.

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How to Use Customer Pain Points to Improve Sales and Business Practices

europeanbusinessreview.com

With the growth of agile transformation and larger corporates adopting startup principles, the idea of failure itself is now one that is largely embraced as a means of testing ideas quickly. Fail fast. Move fast and break things. These are the mantras of modern product teams.

The benefits of a fail-fast culture are that you can quickly test ideas and iterate. However, strategy involves the opposite of failing fast: patience, intuition and persistence.

Agile and the fail-fast culture prioritise failing as a means of learning as quickly as possible and moving on to the next experiment.

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Why Products Fail - Department of Product

departmentofproduct.com

The "Consumerization" of Enterprise

Slack, Dropbox or Zoom have applied specific strategies to win customers – tactics that resemble those of consumer companies rather than enterprise firms.

The go-to-market playbook for early-stage B2B founders:

  • Taking a consumer approach to enterprise
  • Product positioning through category-creation
  • Generating repeatable and non-associated revenue (e.g. “crossing the penny gap”)
  • Building a strong sales organization

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How David Sacks built the first bottom-up playbook for enterprise

wfh.substack.com