(Kevin Dewalt, Founder of All Aboard!, is constantly helping startups 1-to-1. When he’s not angel investing or playing golf, he’s always available to help out someone just getting started with lean startup. So I reached out to him to chat about his approach to user onboarding. You can find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or his blog)
Like Tristan, I’m a big advocate of systematically building a company using Lean Startup techniques. On the surface, they are trivially simple - like interviewing customers before building a product.
But as most Lean Startups quickly discover, identifying customer needs and building a product that satisfies them are just the beginning. You still have to get customers to find your product, understand how it fits into their lives, start using it and ... hope hope hope ... pay you for the opportunity.
That is, you have to sell. We’re advocates of a technique that bridges the gap between early Customer Development and traditional sales: concierge onboarding.
Concierge Onboarding Continues Customer Learning
**Concierge onboarding is helping a customer, 1-on-1, so he can get value from being your user.** In simpler terms, getting users on the phone so they’ll actually use your friggin’ product.