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framework - lean startup playbook - generative market (1)

Guest Post: Preparing Customer Discovery Interviews

(Nick Noreña, a Lean Startup Coach at TriKro, works with teams and organizations to help them implement Lean techniques in their daily business. An entrepreneur at heart, his favorite thing to do is work with early stage startups. If he's not in his office in San Francisco, you can probably find him on a long bike ride, or on Twitter and LinkedIn.)

This is Part 1 of a two part blog post on effectively using the data you gather from customer discovery interviews. Check out Part 2 here.

As a Lean Startup coach, I get the opportunity to hear a lot of questions about the challenges of implementing Lean methodologies. One question I hear a lot is: "How do I use the data I get from customer discovery interviews?" This post is the first in a two part series on making sense of the qualitative data we get from talking with customers.

Part 1 focuses on what you can do before and during a customer discovery interview to make life easier for yourself after the conversation is done. In part 2, I will focus on finding patterns in the data you have collected.

Before the interview

Alright, so you've figured out that you should be talking to your users to learn something about your product/service. But what are you doing to prep for those conversations? How are you spending your time during those conversations? Well, the good news is that even if you don't prep for or take notes during your customer conversation, you are still doing more than the entrepreneur who is sitting at her desk all day trying to figure out what is wrong with her product. But here's how you can do more:

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Triangulating the User Experience

Real Startup Book: 2nd Update

We have a new update for the Real Startup Book available here:

For those unfamiliar with this project, please read our first update.

Since the Real Startup Book is under Creative Commons, anyone will be able to use, remix, and rehash what we come up with under the terms of that license. If you’re not familiar with Creative Commons, it basically means the book will be like open source software: free to use for the benefit of the community.

It will also be written by the community. Everyone who contributes will be listed as an author.

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framework - lean hype cycle - inspiration

Why You Should Experiment with User Onboarding

(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.

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The Illusion of Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance Tip: Go for Flow Instead

Here's a work life balance tip, forget about it.

I discovered a deep problem in my own work life balance and figured out a simple hack to fix it that took only a minor modification of my behavior and almost zero effort: Forget balance and go for flow.

The Illusion of Work Life Balance

It started with realizing that work life balance is a bad concept.

Work is a subset of life. It isn’t a separate, distinct thing. I’m fortunate to enjoy my work and it’s a part of my life.

What we generally mean when we say we “don’t have work life balance” is that we’re exhausted when we get home. We’re unhappy. We’re stressed.

We’re unable to muster the energy to be present with our family and loved ones. (Or perhaps we don’t have the energy to go out at the end of the day and try to meet some potential loved ones.)

I’ve had this same issue and it’s not a lack of balance. It’s a lack of flow. And I have a fix.

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lean startup books

The Real Startup Book Update

Last time I wrote about The Real Startup Book I was asking for lean startup interns...

The response was overwhelming. 38 people expressed interest in helping and most of them weren't interns...they were real practitioners like Sean K Murphy, an OG of lean startup, and Luke Szyrmer, who is writing a whole book on landing pages. They all wanted to either share their experience or just learn something new.

So in the interests of the project, we're opening it up under Creative Commons. This means that anyone will be able to use, remix, and rehash what we come up with under the terms of that license. If you're not familiar with Creative Commons, it basically means the book will be like open source software: free to use for the benefit of the community.

It will also be written by the community. Everyone who contributes will be listed as an author.

Continue reading