One of the challenges of interviewing customers, is analyzing the results. I’m typically left with a pile of terse notes, and a handful of questions:
- What were the most common pains?
- If my assumption was invalidated, what do I do next?
- Were there any major themes that I missed?
My solution? Post-It Notes. Video walk-through below.
The Lean Startup Conference
recently asked me to run a workshop on the Science of Pricing
. As I started to write the workshop’s description I realized I knew what I wanted to teach
, but had no clue what entrepreneurs wanted to learn
So I got out of the building and I interviewed a handful of founders about the difficulties they had pricing their products.
Here’s how I use Post Its to organize the mess of interview results:
Step 1: Find the Nuggets
The first thing I do is go through my notes and bold the salient points.
Step 2: Create One Post It per Nugget
Then I write up an (online
) Post It note for each of the nuggets in one of my interviews.
Step 3: Repeat, with a Different Color
Then I repeat the process for another interview using different colored Post Its (you’ll see why later). This is why I use electronic Post Its – I don’t have enough real-life Post It note colors.
Step 4: Group Notes as you Go
As I create the Post Its, I group common themes together.
Step 5: Keep Only Groups of Post Its
Once I’m finished creating the Post Its, I usually have quite a mess. To clean that up, I get rid of any Post It that was only mentioned by one customer and keep everything that was mentioned twice+.
Step 6: Sort by Popularity
Next I prioritize the groups of Post Its based on how many customers mentioned those concepts. This is where the different colored Post Its come in handy.
Step 7: Harvest your Learnings
Finally, I create a summary with the core concepts and screen shots of the Post Its. Now I have an easy to read report of the findings, in order of importance, complete with real customer quotes!
This is the shit.
If you create one of these, whenever you have a question about what problem you’re solving, “features” you should add to solve it, order to do things in, etc., you can turn to this report and instantly recall your customer’s needs. Bonus
: you can easily share it with team members, advisers and potential investors.
For me, all that was left, was to combine what I learned into a description
Not sure what to do with all the notes you took during your customer discovery interviews?
Use Post Its to separate the signal from the noise.
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