When it comes to “getting out of the building” and starting customer interactions, you might feel like an explorer entering a jungle – you know you want to find some gorillas and you know they are hiding somewhere among the trees, but it seems equally exciting and daunting to start looking for them (without getting lost, eaten up or beaten by a fellow hunter).
Thanks to a friend’s unique initiative, The Collaborative Startup that aims to aid startups grow their community for Customer Development reasons, I’ve just stumbled upon this valuable – and incredibly thorough! – list by Jason Evanish, mentioning dozens of potential ways of finding target customers whether you want to validate your product idea or you are just looking for some inspiration.
There are great ideas for both B2B or at least professional target segments (e.g. joining Linkedin groups, looking up relevant Meetups, joining discussions on Q&A sites like Quora or Quibb; or checking out data providing sites like Datanyze to see what services different websites are using) and in B2C (from comlimentary Kickstarter projects to Youtube and Twitter discussions).
One of the most interesting food for thought is to think about finding a potential complimentary service provider / startup you can collaborate with and do some cross-selling or cross-custdeving (grammar freaks, beware).
Once again, it is worth reading the full list to pick up some interesting ideas to get closer to that imaginary CustDev black belt level.