During weeks 4 and 5 of the HTRLaunchPad program we saw confusion reigning with several of our software teams. Two completely changed course and others executed pivots to more defined markets and more focused solutions. During the last two sessions, weeks 7 and 8, things began to noticeably tighten up, in a good way. Minimum Viable Products become much more focused, the value propositions had much clearer value and we started to see the business model canvas worksheets become less complex and more understandable. Progress!
But we also noticed a direct correlation between the number of customer contacts being made and the amount of progress. Simply put, more contacts means faster progress and a much higher likelihood of success. You can understand all the principles of the launchpad methodology, make lots of educated guesses and fill out a canvas but it is all a meaningless exercise if you don’t get out and talk to people, lots of people. It is, to a high degree, a numbers game.
I have contended since my first introduction to this methodology that if any business or organization spoke with 120-180 customers over a three month period (10-15 contacts per week) and made sure at least two people were in on each conversation, they would experience a huge change in their understanding of their business. When you add in the methodology for getting the most out of these conversations, they become even more valuable.
Market research and surveys are great tools but live conversation reveals much more, including what you don’t know, how decisions are made and what people will pay for viable solutions. They will also tell you when your assumptions are wrong, before you invest time and money into them. This is why launchpad stresses that failures are a form of success: They keep you from exhausting resources on dead-end projects.
The message is clear: talk to more people every day.
*Image courtesy of free images.co.uk