Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lean Coffee: Customer Segments

Today's Lean Coffee was hosted by Mark at BNOTIONS.

Some great points on customer segments:

  • Reference: Geoffrey Moore - Crossing the chasm
  • Get your early adopters to become evangelists, help you cross the gap
    • They give feedback and a slightly different perspective
  • Invest in retention more than acquisition --> referrals
  • Early majority requires training/support/documentation than early adopter
  • Early adopter term applies across many fields -- projects, organizations, etc.
  • Influencer -- Applies to music, cars, etc.
  • Identify people that have an active need, ask them questions
    • When they have a clearly identified problem, and the pain is high enough, they're much more open to new stuff
  • Segment your customers by talking to them and identifying similarities
  • How do you identify evangelists?
    • If they're supporting other users or otherwise being vocal (in a positive way)
  • Stats: Who is the most effective at bringing in users? Often the same people that use it the most
  • When you identify evangelists, give them stuff, help them help you
  • The biggest skeptics can become the biggest evangelists
  • Personal touch helps engagement -- send a note, give a phone call
That's it for today! What were your takeaways from the session?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lean Coffee: Fast and Focused

Adil at My City Lives hosted today's Lean Coffee about being "fast and focused".

Ironically, the topic drifted a bit, but there was a lot of great insight to be had, including:

  • Common Problem: Doing all parts in parallel - not a nice linear flow
  • There's a tendency to not do true customer development -- instead only validating the parts you've already built
  • Lean makes a startups a science -- takes away some of the romance
    • Question: Is Lean a "true science"? Premise: Fail faster
  • If you find out an idea is not valid, the learning from the failure is a success
    • Big Bang example: For Retrievr -- Spent $5-6K instead of $50-100K
  • Repositioning: Can be creative -- example:
  • Figuring out behaviour is the hardest part
    • Example: People don't actually spend time with their photos after they take them
  • Medical software: 6-9 months to fail -- 1 customer validated
  • Everyone wants to be the next Steve Jobs
  • Be careful of being "married to your idea" -- not willing to change
    • Do you want one "at bat" -- where you need a home run -- or a full career?
  • What is the shortest amount of time you need to get actionable data?
  • Lean really helps with you have a "hunch" -- within a few interviews, have a good idea
  • Do you focus on one industry? Good to have a "beachhead"
    • Too broad of an idea dilutes the MVP
    • Focus is key -- don't be afraid to focus on one segment
    • Much more compelling message if you reduce the scope
  • Messaging and positioning needs to be unique
    • Analogy: getting on a busy subway -- make yourself small and squeeze in
Great commentary from everyone today. Looking forward to the next!