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Book: The Mom Test

Ideation Business Entrepreneurship Feedback
  • Asking customers questions to get an idea of the business is an art.

  • A bad test is when you blackmail people to say yes to your idea.

  • A good test is one where you learn about the lives and world views of the customer.

  • People will lie to you if they think it’s what you want to hear

  • Get to know what they’re really trying to do and why as fast as possible

  • Filter our the less important problems from the really important ones.

    • Some problems just don’t matter
      • Ex: The customer doesn’t care enough or it doesn’t pay
  • Watching someone do something can give unique insights over where they think the problems are

  • When discussing problems, talk to the people who matter

  • Ask people what questions to ask them.

    • They might help you
  • Look for strong signals

    • What have people paid for in the past?
  • You shouldn’t tell people what their problems are and they shouldn’t tell you what the solution should be

    • People know what their problems are but they don’t know their solutions
    • You own the solution, they own the problem
  • Avoid bad information at all costs. Includes:

    • Compliments. Deflect them/ Ignore.
    • Fluff. These include lies/ Useles info.
      • Ex: “I would buy that. It changed my life.”, zealots etc
      • Tie them to reality. Understand their past and their actual actions
  • The reason for a lot of fluss is that people describe who they want to be. Not who they are.

  • Always take time to dig deep into people’s motivations and emotions

    • Do not jump into building
  • Listen. The more you’re talking, the worse you’re doing

  • Ask the important questions.

    • One proxy is the questions that carry the risk of destroying your imagined business.
    • Don’t shy away. Face reality.
  • Bad news is good!

  • Zooming in on a problem should be delayed until we’re certain the customer has that problem and cares about it.