April 21, 2019

Finding product-market fit… have you talked to your customers this month?

Courtland Allen @csallen

Some of the most common (and valuable!) startup advice is to talk to your customers. I even know one founder who makes it a point to talk a dozen of his users every day, either in-person or via a call.

We're two-thirds of the way through April. Have you talked to your customers this month? If so, what did you learn? And if not, why not?

  1. 13

    I've emailed out 5 different Typeform surveys to 6,784 of you in the past couple weeks, mostly in the last few days. They each had a different purpose. For example, one was to get a handle on the impact IH has on people. Another was to see what you all think about meetups. Etc. I've still got another 5 surveys I want to send out in the next week or two.

    So far it's been very insightful! I've only read through about 20% of the responses, but I've learned a lot. For example:

    • Most of you would be starting companies without IH. Half of you started before you even found IH.
    • Your #1 startup anxiety by far is growth, e.g. sales, users, and finding product-market fit. Your #2 is confidence in yourself as a founder and not knowing whether or not you're making the right decisions. Followed by hiring the right people and picking the right cofounder.
    • Your biggest complaints about the community forum are: posts not getting responses, a variety of UX issues, and not enough high-quality contributors ad insights. All fixable ;-)
    • Conversely, when discussion quality is high, the forum is your favorite part of the site. You also really like the podcast and want more episodes.
    • The biggest things you're looking to gain from IH are inspiration and motivation from your fellow founders, useful insights and lessons, and connections so you can learn from each other and/or work together. All things I can help you get more of.

    Overall, I highly recommend doing this! Typeform makes it pretty easy. It was a bit hard setting up the tags in ConvertKit so I wouldn't send the same surveys to different people, but their API made it possible. Just had to write some scripts for it.


  2. 3

    My product is fairly high touch right now so I am constantly talking to my customers.

    I've pretty much become friends with a few of them which is really awesome!

  3. 2


    I've talked to prospective customers and current customers for my Sales For Founders course on a daily basis and it's so useful!

    Some of the things I've learned:

    • How customers talk about the pain they experience ( == better copy on my landing page and emails == higher conversions)
    • I thought the main value of the course would be the content I produce. Instead, it's a mix of the accountability and the personalised coaching/advice. That's a bit of a blow because it means I have to adapt the product slightly, but super useful information I wouldn't have discovered without talking to customers...
  4. 1

    There is a really nice episode on hexdevs podcast that can help anyone looking for a product market fit :) https://podcast.hexdevs.com/episodes/16-finding-product-market-fit-with-kenny-mackenzie

  5. 1

    We get on video / audio calls regularly with our customers on Taskade using our own product. It's been invaluable to us.

  6. 1

    Talked to a handful of people already. New thing I learned this month (while reaffirming some other things from past conversations) is that my users are concerned with being able to store my data on their own servers. It's never been an issue for me to have users caching data and storing it (it's smart development IMHO), but because it's never been documented anywhere (I still lack a terms of use / service) there isn't a ton of clarity on the topic for people.

  7. 1

    Got a call scheduled with prospect but just getting one person on the phone has been incredibly hard. I think I've been doing cold email all wrong.

    1. 1

      What are some of the things that you were doing wrong and realise should have been done better?

      1. 1

        I don't know that I've actually improved anything. I am trying different messaging but it's still hit or miss, mostly miss. Trying a new framework from a book I read recently but that was meant for warmer leads not totally cold ones... we'll see how it goes.

        1. 1

          I'm not having any luck either. I always try to do so much research before cold emailing but out of 5 only 1 replies. I'm also tweaking and trying whatever I can. I hope you figure things out!

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