Customer Development and Research

Customer Development Tidbits of the Week

This week has been quite busy in the local CustDev scene – both when it comes to Small Talx and the Budapest startup ecosystem. Lean Startup Machine got a whole bunch of startuppers out of the building and I also reached a milestone with one of my partner teams, so it’s time to take a quick look at all the exciting happenings.

1) Customer Discovery in the making – my collaboration with a cool startup team 


My Customer Discovery project with Zinbox, a cool startup who are about to provide a disruptive answer to people’s problems with emailing got to the decision making milestone as planned (I deliberately would not say that it came to an end as I hope to be able to continue working with the guys), so it is time to commemorate the project.

We did an intense, complex CustDev bootcamp with the team as we conducted 22 in-depth (indeed!) problem-oriented interviews within 3 different potential target segments (Geeks, Office/Business and Ordinary people). We wanted to see how the concept should be formed, developed or iterated according to Pain points and which needs can be turned into marketable solutions, which segments may work as strong early adopter candidates.

We listened, we learned, we discussed, we grouped results and in the end, we came up with potential strategic sub-directions (with an apparently valid problem background) to further explore.

Besides this, we also ran a survey among those who were already on the sign-up list, in order to be able to profile them and get to know a bit more about their needs and expectations.

Thumbs up to the team who really got the hang of it and made great efforts and thanks to iCatapult who were helping us as a mentor in the process.

I will report about further startup research projects as time goes by as a good example to follow!  

2) Getting out of the building with experts at the Lean Startup Machine

As I have said, Lean Startup Machine arrived to Budapest this weekend to get us all LEAN. It was a great chance to meet CustDev & startup experts like Andreas Klinger, Robert Fitzpatrick and even Patrick Vlaskovits  via Skype (sorry to all those whose name I didn’t listed yet they also helped the teams as mentors in useful ways).

To cut the story short, teams formed at the weekend started to work on a business idea and iterated the original concept according to customers’ feedback – they had about 2 days to “get out of the building” and interact with target customers out there.

It was an intense challenge and even if it can only be treated as an essence or “instant sample” to the principles of Cust Dev and Validation (that has its natural “limitations”), I was happy to see how teams immersed themselves into the process and got creative.

Besides talking to people face-to-face, they also created surveys, called people on the phone, set up landing pages to drive conversion, published adverts on forums, printed flyers and even got people sign up / send text messages / got actual customers for their “MVP” or letters of intent.

Great job, guys and keep it up!

Here are some random photos of teams literally getting out of the building:)  

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