Customer validation: the four golden questions
Steve Blank’s blog is awesome but its latest post is very well timed for me: it talks about customer validation. Customer discovery is understanding who has problems that you can solve. But customer validation confirms that these are problems that people could and would pay to solve them. Blank’s four golden questions are:
- Did the customers know they had a problem?
- If so, did they want to change the way they were doing things to solve that problem?
- If so, how much would they pay to solve the problem?
- Would they write us a Purchase Order now before our supercomputer was even complete, to be the first to solve their problems?
These are all questions I asked when considering the lead customers for my start-up, but I did so accidentally. Furthermore, only in retrospect is it clear to me the time I would have saved if I had asked these four questions to all the hospitals we approached. I had also felt irritated when talking to investors who wanted to talk to my early customers. But on reading Blank’s blog post I now understand that they wanted to ask questions like these, and that this was a valuable thing for all of us.