Last week we barrelled ahead with the Market Validation Course, setting the teams up with collaboration tools like Slack and Google docs, assembling the mentors, watching introduction videos, and completing the week’s workbook. Week two’s focus was on uncovering insights from customer interviews. Teams wrote a script, conducted interviews to challenge the assumptions they had for their solutions, and had a first meeting with their mentors.
Mike, Graeme, Jono and Richard of ProfitCubed.
3-year old startup, ProfitCubed, had spent a lot of time building the back end of their solution, which integrates with Xero, to provide simple, smart, actionable business intelligence for SMEs. By Tuesday, Founders Jono Dale, Mike Capper, Graeme Middleton and Richard Jarvis had completed 20 customer interviews and were aiming to have had 32 by the end of the week.
“We were surprised by how willing people were to talk to us about their pain points,” said Jono Dale. “We did get a few that were skeptical that we weren’t trying to sell them something, but there were no negative reactions.”
Using social media platforms like Linkedin and Facebook to reach people within their own networks, before expanding into the Market Valication Course cohort’s networks, and then onto the networks of their accountant and so on and so forth. Jono and his three co-founders thought they had done market research three years ago before building their MVP (minimum viable product), but found this to be a “whole different experience”.
“We’ve already discovered that we’re going to need to make a lot of changes to our solution,” admitted a surprisingly upbeat Jono.
“We now know, that our original target market [startups], don’t want to pay for anything. Through interviews, we’ve identified entrepreneurs who have been inside of a failed company as the perfect customer for us, because they’ve learned that if they don’t monitor key factors, there is a huge risk of failing again.”
Even with the really valuable insights so far, twenty interviews are not enough for the team. They’re still looking to talk to any founder or decision maker within a SME, and would love you to get in touch with them on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to share your experiences.
Stay tuned for next week’s update. Until then, get your application in before December 2nd!