The rules for customer interviews & validating your assumptions


Here’s a great video series posted by some of our Startup Weekend Organizers in other cities.  These three videos (more on the way) help entrepreneurs to understand how to interview a potential customer – Not to sell them something, but to understand their needs (validate your assumptions).  Once you understand a customer’s needs, you can effectively build a product that’s exactly what they want.

Here’s a basic outline of what the videos cover:

  • No Pitching  (Remember, find out what THEY NEED, not ask them if what you already have works)
  • No Ice Cream Questions  (Don’t ask questions that won’t validate your assumptions… Of course everyone would want XYZ)
  • Pull, Don’t Push  (Pull information from the customer, don’t channel them where you want them to go or you won’t get real answers)
  • N of 1 is not Proof (Don’t take one person’s word for it, validate your assumptions across many people to make sure you’re right)
  • Past Behavior —> Future Behavior  (Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior)
  • Ideal Self —> Actual Self  (People talk about what they’d like to do or be, but asking about past behavior lets you know what they really do)
  • Stories are better than statements (…Tell me about the last time you did this… Use open ended questions to get customers to tell you a story)

Watch the Videos here