What I Learned about my Product Startup through Interviews

My name is Fauzia Lala and I am the creator of Eske Antbacterial Designer Contact Lens Cases. The individuals who helped me run this experiment are John Sechrest, Adam Berk, Boone Bergsma and Jon Kolodychuk. The link to my specific hypothesis on trello is THIS.

I am part of an experimental incubator that gives startups and entrepreneurs funding in exchange for testing and sharing leanstartup hypotheses.

I THOUGHT that if I interview 10 contact lens case users, I’ll find that those between the ages of 25–45, who earn > $65K, workout at least once a week, Asian or Caucasian — have at least one problem with their contact lenses and have exactly one problem with their cases that they are aesthetically unappealing. Despite not having functional problems with their cases, after educating them, 70% of the described persona above will want to buy Eske cases and willing to pay $10-$15 for one. the rest 30% will just change their cleanliness routine and discard their cases more often.

ACTUALLY there is a wider age group with an interest in these cases. I didn’t think students would be my target audience, but in fact students who are supported by someone who earns >$100K salary per year are more likely to buy an antibacterial case because of recurring hygiene issues. Parents of these students are also likely to buy such a case for them (students). Also, the salary range is subjective. Those who earn $45K but are single and only support themselves are likely to purchase an antibacterial case as well. Moreover, only 70% of contact lens case users had problems with their contact lenses — I thought this number would be higher.

While I was accurate about how many contact lens wearers have issues with their contact lenses, I was WRONG to assume that people cared about the aesthetic appeal of their cases just as much as their antibacterial properties. Only 40% of contact lens case users actually reported any issue with their cases and only 1/2 of these (of the 40%) cared about the aesthetic appeal of their cases as a secondary factor. No one reported their cases being ugly are a primary issue they have with their cases.

There’s also a disconnect between need and demand and this SURPRISED me. 90% of this segment said they would buy an antibacterial case; this includes 20% of those who claimed to have no issues with their lenses or cases. Two-thirds of those who said they would buy an antibacterial case said that they are willing to pay up to $25 per case which is $10 more than the max I expected ($15).

My next experiment (will update with Trello link as soon as I have one) is to take this small sample size and test is on a larger data set. I’ll run Facebook ads for 1 month, where I’ll send readers to my landing page and then through a funnel of emails educating them with the problem. At the end of the month, I’ll see how many email addresses I collected and use these to define my new persona (age, salary, gender, ethnicity, activities, interests etc.) which will be a lot more accurate than my sample of 10 above.