Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Problems Worth Solving

Today at Lean Coffee Toronto, we discussed the topic of "Problems Worth Solving".

We focused primarily on Customer Development and validation with some great discussion points:

  • Relatively few products ever see "the light of day"
  • Very few businesses (10%?) make it past the 2-year mark
  • There's often a difference between end user and the person who's going to pay, ie. the customer
  • Value chain: Need to talk to everyone, but be careful about focusing only on one piece at a time
  • Developing a product inside a service business
    • Risk of being introverted when you develop in-house
    • Risk of entrenching vision and ability to pivot
    • Often need to take a step back and talk to people outside
  • Customer development
    • Validate your problem first
    • Then validate your sales process and ecosystem
  • Is it acceptable to sell a product that isn't 100% finished yet?
    • Yes. Find out if the idea sells. If yes, go to next step.
  • Lean: Is there a kisk of killing bad ideas?
    • Yes, but very small compared to the risk of building something nobody cares about
  • Most devs are not good salespeople naturally
    • Need to develop your sales skill set
    • Session idea: Lean sales?
  • Danger of "sales people" do customer validation -- might get overly optimistic early results
  • Using Google ads, etc. to test hypothesis / validate customers
    • A few people had tried this
  • Kickstarter is essentially the Lean model (but need a US bank account)
Thanks to everyone for their participation, and to Mark at BNOTIONS for hosting and moderating.

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