Advice: Talk to your customers!


I think that when a lot of people are starting their businesses and really building off of their ideas for the first time, they get scared of their potential customers.

Here’s a huge Startup Secret: Always be validating with your customers!

Your business means nothing if you don’t have paying customers that love your product. So why not go talk to them? Ask them what they like and don’t like about the product. And really push on what they don’t like. You can’t improve your product unless you have feedback.

What are some examples of when you talked to your customers and changed your mind on something?


And another thought on this too…

The customer is who, ultimately, is going to decide if you have a great idea or not. I see lots of entrepreneurs who think they have a great idea, they go build it, then they try to sell it, convinced that what they have is better than the competition.

But if you don’t spend time early with the customers, understanding their needs, and understanding how you solve that problem uniquely well (see materials on CORE value and 4Us) - not in your eyes, but in theirs! - then you’re likely to end up with a product/service that’s really hard to sell and where the points of differentiation aren’t clear - and selling on “we’re better” or “we’re cheaper” is almost always a really tough place to be!

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Great advice here @Claire and @Martin!
Days ago I decided to completely change which idea I will pursue. I came to realise that the idea I originally was aiming for was a bit too large even for an MVP, and decided to go for another one. Still though, in regards to validating with customers, I myself belong to the target group in both ideas. In the first one, a software application for medical researchers, I’m a PhD student myself and had been frustrated with the problem for years. I asked around among other colleagues also in research and they mostly agreed. My plan was to create an email survey to all medical professors in Sweden and not only try to validate my idea with them, but also ask them about pain points in their work today.
The idea I’m pursuing instead is initially aimed at parents, especially to ones with newborns. I have a 11 month old daughter and the idea was to solve a problem I’ve seen during this time. Currently on my parental leave, I’ve spent the entire week walking around I my home town more or less harassing other parents asking about the idea, just to get a grip on the feasibility. So far, all great results which really boosted my decision to make this 180°!

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