4th week: How to Start Validating Your Hypothesis

This is our fourth week, time goes fast, and many things happened last week. We would like to thank all of those that have been willing to talk to us and help us discover your life. Going to the supermarket seems to be an intimate, very personal and relaxation activity. Is it not exciting getting into the life of others and being able to help? We are finding it super duper fantastic. We love to help.

There are lessons learned this week that we would like to share with you. When we started our recruiting process to validate our hypothesis, we had no idea where to begin. We knew which kind of people we wanted to interview and we had a well elaborated list of the topics we wanted to talk about during the interview. However, the big question was: how are we going to find them? The only thing we knew was that we needed a lot of people and we needed to start as soon as possible. We decided to start with friends and family and go from there. This is common sense, you go to your closest connections and to the ones that can help you improve on your content and techniques. But, we wanted other people outside our closest connections, perhaps go to level 3 or level 4.

Based on our experience, here are some tips when recruiting:

1.       Start with friends and family: They are the more accessible people and it will help you get familiar with the process.

2.       End you interviews asking the person to help you recruit others: After thanking them for their time ask them if they could refer you to a couple of their friends. It works 80 % of the time and speeds your recruiting tremendously. They make an introduction and then when call them your are already Mr. bigpocket for them. When you interview and they like what they hear and the interaction they will do it.

3.       Ask people who are following you on twitter, facebook, bloggers, and members of internet communities: Even though we recommend start with friends, it is important to have a wide range of people to talk to. The internet is a great source for this. Recruit publicly, people interested will let you know. Appreciate it, recognize it. What they share is gold for you at this stage.

4.       Follow up your interviews: It is important to keep an open line of communication with the people you had interviewed, send them a thank you email and invite them to check your blog, website, and twitter. It is important to spread the word early on, it will help you with early adopters, they will soon be knocking at your door to see what you have for them.

When validating your customer hypothesis, most important is to get into your potential users life to understand them, to have a conversation and it is amazing how people share when you come with a connection intention. Well it sounded like a rhyme and it is what happen. You are there to hear and to be-friend, remember they could be your users and they will make your startup.

One of the reactions we found early on last week was that, when we told people this was an interview they were expecting us to ask them close ended questions or ask them to give us a range from 1 to 10. Event tough we refer to this process as interviewing, what we really want is to turn the interview into a conversation and let them express how a day in their life is.

At this point we have a concern, which is: when to stop on validation and re-iterate. Hopefully we find that out from the experts in customer development process @sgblank, @ericries, @danmartell.

Appreciations to all of those who voted for our startup logo. Also to all the people we interviewed and to all of those who will be chatting with us this week. Good news on our web domain, we solve the problems choosing some more generic domain name and one with a twist mybigpocket.com and grocerylovers.com. Not the ideal, but a step forward.

Learning from our last experience we bought these two domains before finishing the meeting. We wanted to make sure not to make the same mistake twice. Our website is not up yet but we are working on it and it will be up next week.

We have not finished with the interviews, we are still looking for people who like cooking, like or dislike going to the supermarket, uses a smartphone and would like to help a start-up.  If you or any of your friends meet any of these characteristics, contact us (bigpocket2009@gmail.com) we will love to get in contact with you.

For all of you out there, we have been receiving excellent feedback and greetings about our start-up diary. We will continue sharing each time with more to share with you. Feel free to make any comments, good or bad, we are learning and anything will help us to get where we want to. For you that are working on your start-up we are sure you will find interesting opinions from others and tips that will help you one step at a time. See you next week!!!

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~ by bigpocket on January 25, 2010.

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