So you’ve done a bunch of interviews. How do you know when to stop, and then start building? Use this article to learn a couple of different methods.
Robert Graham of WhiteTail Software, and this awesome guest post on cold calling asks:
@whitetailsoft https://twitter.com/#!/whitetailsoft When do you stop #custdev efforts and build the product? I’ve been wrestling with the details of #leanstartup.
I talked to 30 people before I realized that a certain idea of mine was a crappy idea, and about 40 people before starting WP Engine. Here are the details of both of those customer development experiences.
But there’s no one “number.” Food on the Table — a now-famous lean juggernaut in Austin run by IMVU alum Manuel Rosso — talked to 120. Capital Factory 2011 alum GroupCharger talked to 50 before building and another 50 after that. At AppSumo, another Austin startup with startling growth, Noah Kagan talked to 0 people initially, but maintains ruthless pressure on a tight and measurable product.
There’s two ways to decide when you should stop talking and start building.
Way #1: Go until boredom.
Recently at WP Engine I did some brand new customer development for a new project that we think will revolutionize WordPress blog management. I spent 30 hours talking to WordPress consultants, but I didn’t have “30” preset in my head. I knew to stop when the process got boring.
The first dozen calls were a blizzard of activity — my note-taking fingers furiously trying to keep up with new information being revealed, theories getting alternately validated and blown away, unexpected customer segments arising, and new ideas recombining from the primordial soup generated by introspective, honest, provocative conversation with thoughtful people who were “living the pain” we’re trying to solve.