#TheStartupLife — Week 2: Customer Discovery

what kind of startup founder takes a 4 day vacation?

This is my second weekly post about my summer startup experience. Last week, we followed Google Venture’s Design Sprint and we came up with a simple prototype that we tested on real people. After collecting tons of feedback from the 6 people that we interviewed, we were able to gain a lot of insights about what they cared about.

After discovering that there could potentially be a second market, we decided to start interviewing more people to test our assumptions this week.

After identifying who would fall under the group of potential customers, we started reaching out and inviting people to interview with us. We started with some of our friends who we thought would fall under the target market. Then we reached out to professors and other helpful contacts throughout the school. We even reached out to organizations and people on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. We weren’t trying to advertise ourself as a company but more as somebody who would want to contribute to their community.

After constant reaching out, we lined up a few people for interviews this week and next week. We also had two really long and insightful interviews, one lasted for about 2 hours! We also started testing another version of the prototype on our previous interviewees.

Reaching out to people and asking them to spend time with you can be a real painful process, but channels like Facebook, Twitter and ESPECIALLY Reddit can help a lot. The Summer Launchpad’s benchmarks for interviews is 15 per week and so far, we’ve gotten up to 10 people in the last 2 weeks(and 2 prototypes). Hopefully we will reach 15 interviews by the end of next week and get more insights from people.

Books and Resources

I’ve also started reading Steve Blank’s “Four Steps to Epiphany” I think it’s a very important book that every startup founder should read, and I feel that I should have started reading it a little earlier. I also reread Talking to Humans this is a great book that explains how to conduct customer discovery interviews in great detail along with examples.

There are a bunch of really helpful videos about customer discovery on Vimeo, I’ve tried to watch almost all of them and wouldn’t mind watching them again whenever necessary.

We’re going to continue customer discovery the next few weeks until we’re sure that someone would actually buy our solution. Stay updated! add me on Snapchat! @vd_thatte

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