So you wanna start a startup?

You’ve heard the siren’s song. You’re done with the commute. The meetings. Management. More importantly, it’s not about what you’re tired of. It’s about who you were meant to be and what you were meant to do. You can’t help but be creative. You want to build something you own. You want to bet on…

4 Customer Discovery Tips to Follow Before You Write or Pay for a Single Line of Code

If you’re starting an early-stage startup and you haven’t heard this nugget of truth yet, you will soon: “You’ve got to get out of the building.” This doesn’t mean go for a walk to clear your mind and get the blood flowing. It means you have to get out of your cozy little bubble and…

With Customer Interviews, Pretend the Stakes Are Low … Even If They Aren’t

When you’re kicking off customer interviews to collect feedback on a design or prototype, one of the most important things you should say is: “None of the designers are on the call. You aren’t going to hurt anyone’s feelings.” Or: “We’re in the very early stages here, so please feel free to shoot down anything…

Is the 800lb Gorilla In Your Market Susceptible to Disruption?

Do you find yourself in a market with a long-standing, dominant player, and you’re wondering: “Are these folks susceptible to disruption?” Or, maybe you’re trying to get a handle on what all this disruptive innovation talk is even about. What is disruptive innovation and what is just good old fashioned and perfectly noble “somewhat better…

How to Identify Unmet Customer Needs with Jobs to Be Done

I’ve been fascinated by the Jobs to Be Done approach to product design for a while now, and something that I hear quite regularly as I talk to other folks about JTBD is: “I think I get it. But how exactly do I apply it?” Tony Ulwick’s book, “What Customers Want” provides some answers to that question. That…

Start Over with Simplicity or Reduce Complexity?

I was having a conversation with a client recently and they’d more or less come to the conclusion that they needed to do a hard reset on the company and rebuild their application. Not an easy decision to reach. Painful on multiple dimensions. I’ve been in this very situation myself and a question I had…

Kano Model (Part 2): Creating Your Survey

Creating a Kano Model Survey This is part two of a three-part series exploring the Kano Model and how to go about uncovering where your users would place your product’s existing and considered features. Start here for a better understanding of where to begin with your Kano Model Survey. Now that we understand what the Kano Model…

Kano Model (Part 1): Understanding the Kano Model

What is the Kano Model? Developed by Noriako Kano in the 1980’s, the Kano Model says that your customers will react in one of the following ways about each of your product’s features: ๐Ÿ˜ Delighters: “Nice! I didn’t expect that, and I love it!” ๐Ÿ˜Ž One-Dimensional: “I like that. I’ll have a little more please, and don’t take any away.” ๐Ÿ˜ Must-Haves: “Well…