The New Startup Weekend NEXT

Up Global (formerly Startup Weekend) recently asked for a hand retooling content for their Startup Weekend NEXT program. Honored to help an org doing such great work, I jumped at the chance and together we shot a series videos we fondly call, “Customer Discovery Hacks.”

How to Get out of the Building

Many entrepreneurs know it’s important to get out of the building – what we have trouble with, is figuring out how:

  • Which segment should you start with?
  • How do you ask for an interview?
  • What should you ask during an interview?
  • What do you do with their answers?

Our hope is the Customer Discovery Hacks series will inspire entrepreneurs with concrete examples, so they can get out of the building no matter what part of the world they’re attending Startup Weekend NEXT.

Customer Discovery Hack #1

Without further ado, here’s our first hack: Which customer segment should you start with?

The text version of this topic is available here: Giving your Customers the SPA Treatment.

If you’d like to do this hack in-person, with feedback from mentors and a cohort of other passionate entrepreneurs…definitely check out Startup Weekend NEXT.

What’s New about NEXT?

Started last year as a 5-week program dedicated to hands-on Customer Discovery training, Startup Weekend NEXT has listened to their customeres and shifted towards and an “accelerator prep” program.

The NEXT team has done a great job talking to impactful accelerators (Tech Stars, et al), understanding the skills that founders are missing when they apply to their programs (and subsequently get rejected). With that in mind, NEXT is designed to give founders:

  • An understanding of big vs small market opportunities
  • A primer on bootstraping vs angel vs VC funding
  • Pitch coaching
  • And marketing strategies

…in addition to the hands-on Customer Discovery mentoring they’re known for.

Of course NEXT is eating their own dog food, so there may be (should be!) changes as they continue to give the course, but I think it’s a solid program and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn Customer Discovery by doing it.

You don’t learn customer development by reading about it…you learn by doing it @SWNext Startup weekend customer development

Join the experiment – subscribe via Email or RSS. Our next post will be Customer Discovery Hack #2: Asking Customers for an Interview.

First time to Customer Development Labs?

Check out our most popular experiments:

  1. Interviewing 100 customers in 4 hours with MTurk
  2. The Hacker’s Guide to Getting Press
  3. You’ve interviewed customers. Now what?

5 comments

  1. Nick Soman

    Every time I read one of these I learn something.

    You’re really, really good at this. Like maybe “next Steve Blank” level good. If you don’t hear that enough, here’s one more. :)

    • Justin Wilcox

      Thanks Nick – that means a lot – and you’re the first! I’ve never heard anyone smear Steve’s name like that before ;)

  2. Andrew Eckhardt

    This is excellent.

    It is applicable to more than just which potential customer base to go after first.

    If more people looking to start a business applied this method to their initial potential customer base a lot of expense and wasted time could be prevented by making it glaringly obvious that a business won’t work (at least not as initially planned.)

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