Great Entrepreneurship Is Artistry
So one of the things that have gotten lost in the midst of time at least was why I did customer discovery and this whole getting out of the building stuff, it’s very easy to confuse customer discovery with a giant focus group. Let’s go collect the sum of every possible customer need and let’s go run in and beat up engineering and tell them, here’s the list, we did discovery. See? This is what we need. That’s the antithesis. That’s, in fact, when I see my students doing that, I remind them I could still go back and change their grades.
Customer discovery and lean is all about informing the founder’s vision. If you don’t have a vision for what you want the world to look like when you’re done, you’re going to be whipsawed by every last person who talked to you.
There’s a phrase called profound beliefs. If you can’t go up to the whiteboard and telling me what you believe, what’s the world look like today? What’s it going to look like when you’re done? What are you going to change and why will the world move in your direction? And therefore, discovery and lean is all about running tests to validate your hypothesis.
Now, the one thing I know what you don’t is every one of your hypotheses are likely wrong on day one and you will be informed by those experiments and your vision will change over time, but it’s going to change because you had profound beliefs as you get educated and because you have another great attribute of being an entrepreneur is you’re agile. And the idea is to figure out which one of these things that people are asking for are actually the right direction.