Network News: Are you talking to your users enough?
Your success requires the aid of others
Make something people want
In his essays such as this and this, one of the gurus of the startup world, Paul Graham, tells founders to ‘talk to users’. That sounds simple and straight forward however PG, as he is known, writes that a lot of the time founders have many challenges, such as trouble raising money or getting traction and revenue, and it turns out that their product simply isn’t good enough.
Shouldn’t a founder know whether their product is good enough or not? Of course, but how?!
In the beginning talking to users can be uncomfortable. The best startups start off obscure but then become obvious so the ever-contrarian and confident founder often thinks they know best.
To defend that approach, some founders point out that Steve Jobs said, “Some people say, ‘Give the customers what they want.’ But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, ‘If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!’”
But even with that approach Steve went on to say, “People don't know what they want until you show it to them.”
Until you show it to them. So yes, founders have to forge ahead and invent the future, but almost immediately founders have to get out there, show off their product and talk to users to answer the ultimate question: Did they make something people want?
The best way that founders can figure out what’s holding people back from joining/using/buying what they’ve made is by talking to users and identifying the groups who definitely will and definitely won’t use their product. Talking to users gives the founder examples, case studies and stories that can feed into product, marketing and sales discussions in order to help solve those fundraising, traction and revenue challenges.
That’s all very well and good, but if you’re a founder how do you know who to speak to, how to approach them in a compliant way, what to ask and how to incentivise them to talk to you?
One solution is Ayda, founded by Shifra Cook. Shifra first met Matthew and Katie in 2015 and has been to many meals and parties with 9others over the years. To build upon her career in the research industry she founded Ayda in 2018.
Ayda is an all-in-one specialist solution for user research and takes care of managing research participants, documentation and incentives. Clients include Mediacom and Saatchi & Saatchi as well as a growing number of startups and scale-ups.
If this resonates and you think you ought to be talking to your users more then email Shifra on firstname.lastname@example.org or connected on LinkedIn here.
You can see Ayda’s own case studies here.
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