How to use a Mom Test Survey to Scale your Customer Discovery

Lizzie Brough
Apr 18, 2019 · 5 min read

Hey! I’m Lizzie. Meet Ben (Ben — if you’re reading this — apologies for making it seem like you have a gigantic head 😂) and Gelb, to my left 👋.

Recently, the three of us joined forces for the Zero to Revenue challenge.

We took one product, Briefing Room, from idea to revenue in just one week, all while live-streaming the experience.

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We’re not normally so green-looking :-)

We aimed to pull back the curtain on the realities of start-up life and hosted 40+ fellow founders, investors and eco-system experts to share their wisdom with our viewers.

MVP or More?

We were inspired by the lean startup model of build, measure, learn and the design sprints outlined by Jake Knapp in Sprint. But we had to balance those models with the reality of wanting to push something that people would value enough to pay for by the end of the week.

Everything about the week had to be designed with efficiency in mind. We had to work smart. We were super strict about how long we had to discuss things, what would be decided before the week, when we simply had to make a decision and take action, what tools would be useful, and which processes would be overburdensome.

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The Sprint book by Jake Knapp

Customer Discovery

The same was true for our customer discovery. As a massive fan of in depth customer interviewing I got to work scheduling customer discovery interviews with potential customers all over the world. I used MeetingBird to allow fellow early stage founders and investors to pick a time that worked for them in their time zone. I love how MeetingBird can auto generate a Zoom code for each meeting, it lets you setup reminder emails, and you can prompt your guests to answer questions before a call.

The automation allowed me to build a scalable process which was really important when we had such little time to get as much customer insight as possible. I recorded the customer interviews that I had over Zoom straight to the cloud and was able to air them as part of our live-stream for the Zero to Revenue challenge. These interviews sparked good conversations within our Slack community about the process of customer discovery where there was interest in exploring when these interviews can morph into sales opportunities.

If you’re just getting started with customer discovery, Neil Patel’s 26 Customer Development Resources is a great resource.

The Mom Test

To supplement the customer discovery interviews I was doing, I created a Mom Test to get in front of more founders and investors to help us identify the problem that lead us to create Briefing Room — the product we took from idea to revenue in one week.

When you do outreach asking for people to fill in a survey you’re asking for their most valuable resource — their time. So I wanted to make the survey as fun as possible. I began to build out a Mom Test on landbot.io

So I got to work creating the survey.

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It grew arms and legs. I had a quippy comeback for every answer, something fun to say to prompt the next question. Heck, the flow even included 🍰 and 🥦 — what’s not to love!?!

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I really like how easy it is to design different flows on landbot.io The drag and drop means it’s easy to get pretty intricate with your IFTTT logic.

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landbot.io Mom Test preview

I even had strong gif-game, I liked making people smile!

Buuuuuuut, my design had its flaws. I’d got carried away with using this epic, powerful and simple tool and had got distracted from the reality that I was asking people to invest their time in giving me info and I hadn’t explained too much about why they should do it or how long it would take them.

Success or Failure?

In true lean startup style, you could say I’d run my first experiment and my validated learning was that I needed to make the following tweaks:

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landbot.io preview of simplified Mom Test for Briefing Room

I had great conversion from this slimmed down version of the Mom Test. It allowed us to identify the problem that early stage founders don’t know how engaged their investors are. That gave us the focus for Briefing Room, and helped us create the product scope, challenging ourselves to hit the sweet spot between feature-creep and demonstrating enough value that people would pay for the service.

Now that I’ve had the chance to play with landbot.io more, I know what it’s capable. Next time, I’ll start by answering these key questions — sometimes it’s worth reading the user manual before diving in! 🛠__________________________________________________________________

Zero to Revenue Challenge

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Personalised dashboards for investors.
Powerful analytics for founders.

We built briefingroom.co and got to revenue, all in 1 week.

Some stats:

1 Week @zerotorevenue

40+ Talks from founders, makers, investors and ecosystem experts

$150 in revenue

10 Signups

1 Product @briefingroomhq

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Zero to Revenue

3 Founders 1 Week Zero to Revenue

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