Customer Development & Customer Interviews

Customer Development

Q:         How do we know a problem is worth solving?

A:         Through frequent interactions and iterations with users to build the best products.

Finding Customers

What types of people or groups do you want to target?

In what places or forums can you find these users?

Interview Tactics and Best Practices

Interview questions should be based on our assumptions.

Research Topic:             Music Streaming

Assumption:                 “Users would be more likely to stream music on a mobile device if they did not have to utilize their data.”

Hypothesis:                  “If users did not have to use their data to stream media from their mobile device, then they will be willing to pay a premium for that service.”

Questions should test your hypothesis.

Interviewing best practice

  • Ask open ended questions.
    • Closed Q – Are you a Risk Manager?
    • Open Q – What do you do for a living?
  • Avoid inserting biased in to Questions.
    • Positive Bias – Wouldn’t it be great if….?
    • Negative Bias – Are you frustrated when…?
    • Neutral Bias – How do you feel when…?
  • Explore and probe answers…
    • Tell me more about that….
    • Can you remember a time when that happened?
    • Why do you need that?
    • When do you need to do that?
    • How often does that happen?
  • Be an active listener.
  • Interview in-person
  • Ask permission to record the interview
  • Have questions prepared ahead of time.
  • Be respectful of time.

Basic User Acquisition in Growth Hacking

The following notes were taken from reading Growth Hacking: A how to guide on becoming a Growth Hacker by Jose and Joe Casanova.


  • the 5th largest website in the world.
  • When Techcrunch began they’d update Wikipedia with links to their articles to drive traffic.


  • Allows you to share your presentations online
  • Produce solid presentations that are educational and provide value then post on slide share
  • Offer value to people, earn their trust and start moving them through the funnel


  • There are a large amount of Founders and CEO’s answering questions on Quora
  • Getting your Founder of CEO answering questions or contributing to discussions within your niche creates high-quality and valuable content


  • Meetup is a community based website dedicated to organising meetings in the off-line world
  • Face-2-face meetings can stimulate retention and referral
  • B2B  businesses can take advantage of industry trade shows, summits and events to foster growth and build retention

Viral Channels

Webmail Address books

  • Use a service like Openinvite and ensure you’re doing APIs for the four largets webmail providers: Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL, Gmail
  • For B2B – how about using LinkedIn?

Social Media API’s

  • Dont forgot to have presence on the major SM platforms (FB, Twitter, Foursquare, Linkedin) but also the up-and-comers (google+, Tumblr, Yammer, SalesForce)
  • Make sure your content is easy to share on social content sites like Reddit etc.

Phone Contacts

  • If you’ve got a mobile product make sure it contains a built in function that makes it easy for people to share it with their contacts

Facebook Apps

  • FB has over 1billion users

Contact Files

  • House email lists
  • Use them and make sure you’re ready to support other business users email blasts with appropriate CTAs


Basic Story Structure

Primary Message
  • The single most important thing you want the user to learn
  • This message supports all your business objectives
Secondary Messages
  • A group of key messages that extrapolate the primary message
  • All the facts, data, anecdotes & philosophies that prove your messages
Call(s) to action
  • What you want the users to do after they “get” your messages

Story Structure