Note: This post is part of a series describing my experience with the Lean Canvas.
With a filled out Lean Canvas in hand, my next task was to formulate some falsifiable hypotheses. These are aimed at helping me validate or discount my business idea. As described by Ash Maurya, a good hypothesis is clear, measurable and so can be easily be proven right or wrong.
A few hypotheses that I generated included:
- Crafting a story will be voted as the #1 customer problem
- Identifying a story will be voted as the #2 customer problem
- Providing guidance to production teams will be voted as the #3 customer problem
- “Identifying a story” and “Crafting a story” will be voted as “must-have problems”
- Early adopters currently spend 2+ weeks identifying and crafting a story
- Early adopters currently use business self-help books (e.g. “Made to Stick”) to identify and craft stories
With these hypothesis captured, I was ready to test them – and my idea more broadly – with others. One way of testing this idea is by putting the idea out in the public (more on that later); another is to conduct “customer interviews” with potential early adopters.
Customer Interviews: Crafting an Invite
The Lean Canvas recommends reaching out to 20-30 people. I set myself a lower bar of 10 people. I told myself that I would be traveling abroad, and didn’t want to leave people hanging should they get back to me (this was an excuse). I wrote down a list of folks who I thought would be a good fit for this product; inspired by the template provided in the Lean Canvas book, the email I sent out looked something like this:
As discussed in the Lean Canvas book (and from my own experience with design thinking), it would have been better for me to meet folks in person (the conversation is a lot more fluid, it’s easier to pick up on how people feel, etc). Given that I was in suburbia at the time, I did the next best thing: video Skype calls.
With emails sent out, and some calls beginning to be put on the calendar, what did I actually want to know from my potential customers? On to Post 3.