Interviewing users of a 2-sided market [Marketplace Chronicles]

As I'm building a founder-mentorship platform, I need to constantly drive interviews with users from both sides - founders (buyers) and experienced founders (sellers).

Often times, when I'm approaching experienced people for interviews, I struggle to understand the nature of questions I should ask:

  1. Do I treat them as a potential seller, since they're experienced? Or should I assume they'd be a buyer, since they're founders themselves?

  2. Should I "sell" my platform to them as a buyer or a seller? What do they get out of the platform since they're pretty skilled themselves compared to the startup mentors (sellers) on Sparrow?


I think a few ways to tackle this issue are:

  1. Build a buyer and seller profile - Your profile for your marketplace will evolve over time especially if you're still trying to figure out your positioning and target market. But that shouldn't stop you from having a semi-solid understanding of WHO you want to approach and WHAT skills they need to have.

  2. Build a schedule - Ah, I'm guilty of failing this part over and over again. But the idea of this is to commit to a schedule of reaching out to people for interviews / comments e.g., 1 buyer a day. It's critical to keep The Mom Test in mind (https://booksconcepts.com/the-mom-test-by-rob-fitzpatrick/) when conducting your interviews. TLDR - don't bias your interviewee into thinking your product is "cool" and "something they might use". Read that summary I just linked. Takes 20 mins to read, but saves you 20 x 10 mins in the future.


Are you building a marketplace too?
Got any tips for me and your friends on here?
Are you looking for long-term mentorship from experienced founders?
Give me a shout on Twitter (https://twitter.com/SparrowStartup)

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