Always Daisy Chain

Whenever I am asked for tips on Customer Development, there are two that I always give. The latter is to ask every person, “Who else do you think I should I talk to?”. It is unfortunate when people discount the value of this question.

The cynical view this question as a selfish way to use other’s hard-earned networks. Many fear that they will be viewed as professionally shallow by asking such a prying question. However, I have rarely found this to be true.

When I am asked to daisy chain for someone else, there may be an instance where I think, “Who does this person think they are?”, but that quickly fades as I realize the connection of two earnest people will mutually benefit them. If the pursuit is genuine and in the name of learning, I am always happy to help [1].

Next time you are doing Customer Development, don’t forget to ask. Next time someone asks you, don’t hesitate to give. We can all become a lot smarter in the process.


  1. The tricky part is to determine how genuine someone is being. It can be especially difficult when “slick” talkers are adept at putting on a facade and the genuine learners are awkward in their request so it comes across equally so. Typically a good rule of thumb is to how demanding they are in the specificity of the daisy chain. If they are only willing to speak to one of your key contacts, they could be using you.

Originally published at kevinyien.tumblr.com.

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