The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how founders can avoid customer development mistakes.

Customer development is a four-step framework for discovering and validating the right market for your idea. It is used by founders to build the right product features that solve customers’ needs and much more. Customer development is crucial to the success of a product, therefore it has to be done the right way.

In this week’s episode, Steli and Hiten dive into what  Customer development is, why it’s important, some common mistakes founders make when they do it and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:35 Why this topic was chosen.

01:27 The biggest common mistake founders make.

02:56 Another common mistake founders make.

04:47 Why there are different types of product validation.

06:04 Why giving you money is a much stronger form of validation.

07:22 Another big mistakes founders make.

10:05 Why not being able to reach enough people is not an excuse.

10:44 Why you should never stop doing customer development.

10:59 Why product-market fit is not a static status.

3 Key Points:

Customer development has nothing to do with your product.

Founders will use different lingo to make their business look bigger than it is.

Customer development never ends.



Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti ...



Hiten Shah: ... And this is Hiten Shah.



Steli Efti: And today on the startup chat we want to talk about customer development mistakes to avoid for founders. So here's the deal, like Hiten, you and myself, we talk to founders all the time, a lot of them are kind of early stage founders and they're in the “customer development” phase, and they come to us to tell us that they've done customer development and they think they have product market fit in now they're worrying about all the other stages that are, that are about to happen for them. And when we talk to them and ask exactly what they did in customer development, who they talk, what they found out, we realized sooner or later that they've made big mistakes in the way they think about customer development or the way they executed on it. So I thought it would be useful for us to share some of those kinds of biggest reoccurring themes and mistakes to avoid. So when kind of young founders or new founders are going out to do customer development, they avoid these mistakes and they don't waste time, right? So, right of the bat Hiten. If you had to think about the biggest common mistake that most founders make when it comes to customer development, what comes to mind?



Hiten Shah: It always, it always starts for me with their speaking to the potential customers and people the wrong way. So they're introducing bias in what they're saying. And so then when, when I talk to them what ends up happening is I just can feel the bias. I can just feel it so that they ask questions like, would you use my product instead of asking what's the biggest challenge you have? And I think that's a very distinct difference that many founders, despite all the material about customer development and how to talk to the customers before they are your customers and all that kind of stuff, people just gloss over and they miss and they think talking to customers or prospects or early, you know, talking to people early about your business has to do with your product. And in my opinion and the way that I learned customer development, it has nothing to do with your product it has everything to do with that person, their problems and their stories and everything you can learn about them with no information about what you're doing or your product. And I think that's like the biggest mistake people make,

Key points in this episode

In this episode

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