Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yes Virginia, You Can Discover Your Customers!

Going through the customer discovery process, proposed by Steve Blank, is akin to some serious self discovery. Imagine trying to identify the intrinsic motivations of your user base - trust, happiness, fulfillment, personal goals, how much they'll spend, etc. This ain't easy stuff, and for the SaaS world, it is even harder as you continue to push the boundaries of your products and services to keep subscriptions alive!

But I've learned one very important lesson throughout my years of SaaS sales/marketing, and pursuing mountain/alpine sports, and that it is all about RISK! The customer discovery process, market research, customer advisory councils are all worthless if you don't get your user to take a risk with you.

By risk, I mean...

  1. Will they spend money to buy your product? 
  2. Will they spend their time to use your product? 
  3. Would they recommend your product to a peer or colleague? 

Me looking to take a risk at Phil's Trail jump line in Bend, OR
Risk means reward, but it starts with risk... So in any product manifesto or customer discovery/engagement process you must, must, must find out if your user is willing to take a risk on you!

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