Poor customer development is the single biggest reason products fail. Jakob Marov argues that customer development is crucial, especially in the Saas B2B space.
Customer development process. Everybody talks about it. Everybody.
Yet surprisingly, not that many people actually walk the walk.
I understand it – the process is freakishly gruelling. I hated it, for example: why would anyone half sane try her best to dismiss her shiny new idea. To find that nobody, not even her mom, cares about it.
It’s against human nature to seek negative feedback. That’s why so few people do it. We rather just rush into building our dream product. It’s sexier.
And it’s probably also the single biggest reason why most new products fail. Now, after having done it a couple of times, I would argue that customer development is crucial, especially in the SaaS B2B space. And not just to learn whether your idea makes sense.
No, the potential learnings go way beyond that. Here are my four biggest benefits of a well thought-through customer development process:
- Get initial customers: Fast track your way to the first 10 customers.
- Meet potential advisors: Get to know influencers and opinion leaders that know your industry and could eventually help you as advisors.
- Connect with future employees: Meet potential hires that work or have worked in a similar industry.
- Build a network of super fans: People that can help you spread your content marketing and help with customer and hiring referrals.