Customers are Always Right (Until They’re Not)

This post is part of the Startup Edition writing collaborative. Read more about this here. When you get a request from a customer, one of the following quotes just might come to mind: “The customer is always right” –Marshall Field “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to…

Go ahead, build a Thingamajig.

When the folks at LittleBitsย asked me to test their latest kit of snap-together DIY electronics, I was really excited. As a gadget-loving person, I love the idea of creating a Rube Goldbergian perpetual motion machine. I even the idea of putting together models and understanding how electronic circuits work. Yet I’ve never gotten around to…

The Minimum Viable Beta Program, and how to build it.

Let’s say you’re starting a new company, feature, or product. You have an idea that you want to test with some beta customers. So what would you do today to “get out of the building” (in best Steve Blank Lean Startup style) once you’ve done some initial customer development to determine your Minimum Viable Product…

Running a “Friends of the Company” Usability Session

One of the best ways to learn how real people view your product is to ask them to complete a set of tasks that you think all customers “should” be able to do. Think of this as a directional usability test, where you can get some feedback on the way “normal” folks use your product…

What’s the point of trying a beta product?

Beta Customers are the Best Test Customers You Have In Steve Blank’s excellent blog post on Startup First Principles, he describes a startup as “an organization built to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” A key driver in building a repeatable and scalable business model is to find the kind of (friendly and…