In the wake of starting to talk to potential users for Heartfelt, I've found this amazing piece on how to talk to (potential) users: https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6g-how-to-talk-to-users
While I'd recommend you to watch the whole thing, I've summarized the video for myself to be better able to execute. Since I've already done so for myself, I wanted to share this with you as well:
Questions to ask a potential user:
- What is the hardest part about doing the thing that you're trying to solve?
Ex.: What is the hardest part about working on a group project with school computers?
- Tell me about the last time that you encountered this problem.
- Why was this hard?
- What, if anything, have you done to try to solve this problem?
- What don't you love about the solutions that you've already tried?
Another idea: Test your user interview strategy on yourself. Try to walk through a situation where you've encountered that problem.
Ask the person if you could record the interview. In any case, try to get as much information as possible saved.
When you have a MVP already that you're testing with customers then ask:
- How much does this problem cost you today?
- How frequently do you encounter this problem? Do you encounter it on an hourly basis, a daily basis, a quarterly basis, yearly basis?
The best first customers are ones that have this problem very frequently.
- How large is your budget for solving this problem?
And when the business has grown, to measure how close you are to product-market fit, simply ask:
- How would you feel if you could no longer use <your app>?
very disappointed, somewhat disappointed, not disappointed?
Measure what percentage of people chose "very disappointed". If 40% or more chose this answer, you achieved product-market fit.