Customer discovery done right

filter_the_hoseI often show a video where the experiment board is demonstrated by two candidates who are talking about a customer-problem fit in the area of single-shoppers and their buying descisions. This is the video.

I get this comment a lot: ,,I think they pivot too radical” and I agree. If you are really into customer discovery mode, you should just see if a problem exist. And how. Most corporates I work with have a pretty good nose for problem-existance. So they won’t interview single-shopping females in the first place. I’ts more likely that they’ll search for other demographics and that the problem they want to solve (‘how do you keep track of your insurances’) is somewhat linked to problems they feel themselves. They scratch their own itch.

Problem with this situation is that customer discovery gets more hard. You’ll tend to listen to people agreeing with you (‘it’s a mess’) and you tend to forget or ignore any feedback (‘I don’t really bother’) which isn’t supportive to your discovery.

You can fix this by setting clear targets. Let’s say you want to speak with 20 people about their insurance-administration. You want 12 of them to have absolutely no clue what, where or how they keep their paperwork together. Then it’s more easy to clear out this specific set of people, instead of: ‘yeah, they all felt it was a mess’. So, in that case, customer discovery becomes a step in  validation.

Sometimes, the nature of a problem transports as well. So let’s say I want to help my girlfriend clear up her clothing closet. The problem I would identify is that the closet is too full. But interviewing her, this is only a problem when she actually buys new stuff. Because new stuff won’t fit, and that is a problem she hates more than a full closet.

So: see if you can identify the problem, and any problem that could be adjective to the problem you are trying to solve. See if these descriptions are more strong or identifiable as a core-problem.

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