The following is a short excerpt from the book The Startup Owner’s Manual:

Once your Business Model Canvas is done, it’s time for your team to “get out of the building” to test your hypotheses. You need to answer three key questions:

  • Do we really understand the customer’s problem or need?
  • Do enough people care about the problem or need to deliver a huge business?
  • And will they care enough to tell their friends, to grow our business quickly?
  • Regardless of whether you have a physical or Web/mobile product, Customer Development experiments are short, simple, objective pass/fail tests.

Start by asking yourself, “What do I want to learn?” And, “What’s the simplest pass/fail test I can run to learn?” Finally, think about, “How do I design a pass/fail experiment to run this simple test?”

The goal of these tests is not just to collect customer data or get a “pass” on the test.

It’s something more profound and intangible: entrepreneurial insight. Did anyone end your sales call by saying, “Too bad you don’t sell x, because we could use a ton of those”? That’s the kind of feedback you’re looking for.

More of this kind of advice can be found in my post 20 Things Not to Do Before Starting A Business.