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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

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Chapter 6. How to Get Out of the Building with the Validation Board

Thousands of entrepreneurs, tech leads, UX practitioners, and product managers have downloaded the Validation Board since its launch. While the Validation Board process has been proven time and time again in our workshops, there’s one aspect that might trip up the teams trying it out on their own: how to actually “get out of the building” and run an experiment on potential customers.

The first thing you should know is that there are Three Methods of Customer Validation, with increasing costs of execution. None of them involve writing code, which is even more expensive to execute.

We developed these methods at Lean Startup Machine by observing techniques from hundreds of startup teams. Here’s how to do them so you get real results.

Note

Required reading: “10 Things I’ve Learned” by Cindy Alvarez.

1. The Exploration Method

image with no caption

Exploration is based on ethnographic research techniques. The goal of exploration is to collect a lot of data on potential problem sets within a given industry or customer type, and to collect detailed stories about customer behavior.

Techniques (in Decreasing Order of Cost and Quality of Data)

  • Observation: seeing the problem actually happen

  • Re-enactment: attempting to simulate or re-create the problem

  • Interviews: listening to the customer tell a story about the problem

Note

Required reading: “12 ...

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