This article is part of a series of articles, as an example how to use Customer Development in practice. If you didn’t read the introduction, please read it first.

In part 7 and 8 we execute phase 2 of Customer Discovery. It is the phase to “Get out of the building” to test the problem: “Do people care”?
We use the checklists to fill. The checklists are all based on Customer Development from Steve Blank. In this part we describe checklists number 13, 14 and 15.

Checklist 13: Design tests
Goal: Devise experiments for testing the Business Model Hypotheses.

Reference: Chapter 4, Design tests and Pass/Fail experiments

  • List key area’s to learn  [Co-founders wanted]: Know how to do this
  • Design simplest pass/fail tests  [Co-founders wanted]: Know how to do this
  • Run tests  [Co-founders wanted]: Know how to do this
  • Process for tracking learning and insights from results  [Co-founders wanted]: Know how to do this

Exit criteria

  • Objective pass/fail tests for testing Business Model Hypotheses [Co-founders wanted]: Passed
  • Process for tracking results [Co-founders wanted]: Passed
Low-fidelity-MVP

Checklist 14 Build a low fidelity MVP
Goal: Develop a low fidelity MVP to test and assure problem customers care about the problem.

Reference: Chapter 4, Build your low fidelity MVP

Build a low fidelity MVP:

  • Splash or landingpage with value proposition  [Co-founders wanted]: Not done anymore. After many customer projects, we decided to make a pivot (see explanation below).
  • Benefits summary
  • Call to action (learn more, survey, pre-order):
  • Multiple MVP’s considered?

Exit Criteria

  • A simple live website or prototype for testing whether customers care about the app or site being developed  [Co-founders wanted]: In progress, link will follow

Checklist 15 Low fidelity MVP Problem test
Goal: Determine wheter enough people care about the problem the startup is solving or need it is full-fulling.

Reference: Chapter 4, Low fidelelity MVP Problem test

Invite customers to the Low Fidelity MVP

  • Push tactics [Co-founders wanted]: Meetups
  • Pull tactics
  • Paid tactics  [Co-founders wanted]: LinkedIn advertisements

Collect emails for future contacts

  • Measure response  [Co-founders wanted]: Collecting when landingpages are online
    • Raw web hits
    • Conversion rates
    • Time spent on site
    • Source of users
  • In-person interviews in addition to online responses  [Co-founders wanted]: Will be done
  • Process for analyzing feedback, determining scalability  [Co-founders wanted]: Will be done

Exit criteria

  • Robust customer interest in the problem or need
  • High response rate to startup’s proposed solution

The reason for the pivot:
During this project many potential customers were interviewed and if interested proposals were made. Summarized:

  • Main problem, that a unfunded startup experience is that the startup needs funding
  • Main problem, that a funded startup experience is that the finding needs to “spend” according the plan. The plan can be cheap freelancers till build an own in house team. The problems as described in the Lean Canvas were minor problems
  • Value propositions were not correct, but this could be fixed
  • The service needs to have a change in the mindset of startup entrepreneurs, this will take too much time to continue.

The benefit was that we didn’t have to make an MVP at all. Below the updated Lea Canvas:

Co-founders-Wanted-LeanCanvasFail

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