Lean startup · Customer Validation

What are the challenges you faced validating a problem your startup is solving?


November 23rd, 2015

I have been talking to startups about the challenges they face while they validate their products as many of them uses the lean startup method. 

Many startups stated that they are challenged spotting the correct persons to ask, formulate an objective interview and how to steer the interview to get the correct feedback.

Other startups stated that the process is time consuming and many times the interviewee takes the discussion out of scope. 

I was wondering what are the challenges your startup faced? 
Shape the future of online products

Peter Johnston Businesses are composed of pixels, bytes & atoms. All 3 change constantly. I make that change +ve.

November 23rd, 2015

We overrate our conscious mind. What we think and what we do are often separate.

For example there was a product focus group. Everyone was most enthusiastic about the product, gave lots of useful feedback etc. 

At the end they were offered £50 cash for attending or one of the products, which everyone had said was good value at £100. Every single person took the cash.

The moral: Don't believe surveys, customer focus answers or anything else - they will send you the wrong way. Set up trials to see what people actually do.

Gareth Genner

November 23rd, 2015

We have been performing customer discovery for a consumer facing service to facilitate P2P / sharing economy transactions. Over a year of exploration / idea development the feedback to one on one interviews was excellent, in fact, too good, leaving us to suspect we were being told what we wanted to hear. As we started applying to incubators which would involve founders quitting their jobs we wanted more confidence in the validation. We recently came upon Google Consumer Surveys which allow you to create a single question with 7 responses and have Google obtain 1,500 responses, which typically result from a 12% to 15% response rate. The report allows analysis by multiple demographic factors and surveys are completed in one to two days. And...the sticker cost is $150 but a quick Google search yields a $75 coupon. Conservatism justified approaching every key question with two surveys with different cofounders wording each and then comparing the results. There was remarkable consistency in the outcomes with a commonality that the narrower the definition of the products benefits, the greater the take up rate. The results have shown customer demand of 20x our targets justifying the cofounders taking the leap. Hopefully the incubators will be equally impressed! Gareth (truststamp.net) Sent from my cell phone. Please excuse brevity and typos.

Lawrence Lerner Digitalization and Transformation Coach

November 23rd, 2015

An interesting discussion, thanks for starting it. 

In the companies that you've spoken with, have they take a hard look at their audience and the real-world problem they are solving? One might ask if the audience is well or narrowly enough defined for the particular problem. I've run into cases where companies (large and early stage) are focused on the audience they believe is in need before applying a test.

Here are four tests you can apply for launching a product. The "Complete the Question" section may be most relevant for this thread. 


Liza Taylor Communication Specialist at Keyideas Infotech

November 30th, 2015

As per my experience, some startups failed to provide an eco-system of being expressive. The product conception and development is left only to the concerned product manager along with his or her team. Whereas the UI design professionals, Digital marketers and Content writers are being left uninformed. A thorough interaction needs to be initiated for the above professionals so that they can express their ideas. An open interaction  has to be there. The interaction should be done not just once but it should be done daily until one receives enough wrong points from the team. When someone provides an idea, his or her idea might not correspond with the actual objective. There can also be a situation where he or she hasn't fully understood the concept properly. One thing to be noted is that a product manager need to first receive endless number of misconceptions, misinterpretations, and irrelevant suggestions from the team. Some suggestions might be contradictory but it is important so that it can be clarified.