Discovering what customers care about

I’ve recently got a 2nd team to manage and managed to get them a new leader as well. The team isn’t exactly lean and mean in its development skills, and there’s also some work on their customer friendliness. This means the two of us have to work on process management, project management and product management skills.

I recently received Eric Ries’ The Leader’s Guide to Adopting Lean Startup at Scale which turns out to be a handy book for those willing to experiment. I’ll be sending the below notes to my new team leader so his team has some kind of process to find out and externalize what their customers care about.

Imagine a customer who isn’t you

What are your beliefs what a product should include — then talk to customers to validate that set of assumptions.

  1. What are your customers like?
  2. What are their problems?
  3. How are they trying to solve those problems now?
  4. What are their needs and goals?
  5. What would make them happy?

Imagine the moment of delight

The next thing would be to find out where and how you can bring value to your customer. What is their need and how do you envision to solve it? It’s where your business vision and the customer’s actual need intersect. That’s something you can (and must) validate.

Simplify: what can you remove so that you can launch tomorrow?

What can you remove from your MVP so that you can launch tomorrow? Was there something they could not do in order to launch that week?

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