9   +   8   =  

Customer Interview Part I

As per my post about client interview, it was time to face reality and understand the problem I am trying to solve. I went through some interviews with random people in Berlin. You will find my key takeaways below. Let me know what you think!

The process / Questions I asked:

  • When was the last time you googled for advice?
  • What is the last recommendation you received?
  • Why did you get a recommendation from this specific person?
  • Why were you happy or not happy with the recommendation?
  • How did you finally take your decision?
After we had a discussion on the perceived problem, I pitched my idea and asked for feedback + commitment for a yearly fee of 10$.

My key takeaways:

1. I ask the wrong questions

After a bunch of interviews with random people and some feedback from my personal friends and advisors, it was clear that my questions were not following a clear structure and it was difficult to generate value. The interviews went in all directions and it was hard to focus on the real problem.

I decided to simplify and adjust to the following:

  • When do you ask friends for a recommendation? (when and what was the last one?)
  • Follow with the 5 whys (ask why to all answers 5x)
This new methodology keeps the focus clear and gets deeper into the motivation of asking for recommendations.

2. My pitch sucks

Nobody understood immediately what I wanted to achieve. I had to make examples and rephrase half of my pitch. It looks like I was lost in my own world. I need to create a new pitch that people can relate to.

3. Nobody wants to pay – Low value perceived

People are not convinced I can solve their issue, it looks like they don’t need recommendations for all kind of decisions. My assumption is that I need to focus on a specific topic with a high-involvement decision-making process. (also based on discussions with some of my advisors)

4. Travel seems to be a hot topic

Everyone keeps speaking about traveling. It looks like recommendations are mostly needed when discovering the world. It seems like this will be my specific topic to start building the social search engine.

What are my next steps:

  1. Focus on travel
  2. Re-write my pitch
  3. Do new interviews