Customer Development and Research / Product Development

How to build better startup products by getting feedback from customers

Or, we could say “how to build products better“. Or, in some cases, how to end up not building your product at all. This is why it’s very important to talk to customers from the moment an idea is starting to take shape in your head.

When a startup incubator program called Digital Factory asked me to do a workshop about the process of “customer discovery” a couple of months ago, I was glad to take the opportunity. I believe that every project owner, product developer and entrepreneur should “get out of the building” as soon as possible. They need to start interacting with real people, as those people will eventually decide the faith of the whole business.

42% of startups that went on the rocks failed because there was no market need for their products.

That’s exactly the kind of hard truth that all entrepreneurs need to learn, so I pimped the presentation a little and embedded the slides into this post to make it accessible to all. Scroll down or go to SlideShare to download it: How to build better startup products by getting feedback from customers

Customer Development 101: How to be a more empathetic entrepreneur and a smarter businessman

Some of the tidbits you’ll find in the deck:

  • How to avoid building a product that nobody wants and validate your ideas before wasting your time.
  • How to collect feedback from your target markets to make better and faster decisions about product, marketing, customer experience etc.
  • Get out of the building: where and how to do ‘research’ with customers and users on a shoestring and where to find these people
  • What to ask: how to set up hypotheses and phrase the right questions
  • How to test your idea through an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
  • Real-life examples based on my experiences with 25+ tech companies and startups, including interview and MVP projects
  • Advice from the lean startup movement’s most important thought leaders
  • Bonus: recommended books and blogs to read


It’s impossible to cover all these topics while trying to avoid getting into PowerPoint Purgatory for using 9px fonts or wordiness. Though I really hope that it motivated you to search more about these topics on this blog or elsewhere and start testing your ideas as a reality check.

Cover image: CrowdBabble’s Why Startups Fail memes


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