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How To Talk To Users | Startup School
YC often says "talk to your users", but actually doing that is surprisingly tricky. YC Group Partner Gustaf Alströmer gives non-obvious advice on how to talk to both current and potential users, how to run a great user interview, and how to interpret the feedback in these conversations. Apply to Y Combinator: https://www.ycombinator.com/apply/ Work at a startup: https://www.ycombinator.com/jobs Chapters (Powered by https://bit.ly/chapterme-yc) - 00:00 - Introduction 00:26 - Outline 00:42 - Best founders learn from their users 03:23 - Who should I talk to? 05:58 - How to interview potential customers 09:42 - Follow ups & Don't ask these questions 14:37 - MVP prototype session interviews 17:04 - Summary #startup #entrepreneur #sales
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My notes on “How to talk to users” with YC Group Partner Gustaf Alströmer
Why to talk to customers
Founders need to talk to future customers before they start building a new product
The best founders talk directly to the users throughout the lifetime of the company to gain valuable insights about their needs, wants, and pain points.
→ Better understanding of their current habits, processes, and solutions.
→ Identify potential opportunities, understand problems users are facing, and validate assumptions you may have about your product.
By talking to users, you can also capture feedback about your product, and have an opportunity to iterate on ideas and create something that delivers the most value to your target audience.
Where to find people for an interview:
→ Acquaintances, LinkedIn, Reddit forums, Slack & Discord forums, Facebook groups, In-person events.
How to interview:
→ video, phone or in-person
→ build rapport
→ don’t introduce your product
→ listen, don’t talk
→ ask open-ended questions
→ take notes or record (with permission!)
What to ask:
→ Tell me how you do X today
→ What is the hardest thing about doing X?
→ Why is it hard?
→ How often do you have to do X?
→ Why is it important for your company to do X?
→ What do you do to solve this problem for yourself?
Example questions to ask:
Focus on understanding the user's needs, wants, and pain points.
- What challenges or problems are you currently facing in this space?
- How do you currently address this problem?
- What are the biggest pain points associated with this problem?
- What would you want to see in a product or service that could help with this?
- What would make the perfect solution for you in this situation?
- What other solutions have you tried?
- What do you think would make your life easier with regards to this problem?
It's important to remember that the goal is to understand the users and their needs, not to make a sale.
Ask open-ended questions and allow the user to talk as much as possible.
Be empathetic and not too pushy.
Use follow-up questions:
→ What do you mean by that?
→ Can you tell me more about that?
→ Why is that important to you?
Don’t ask these questions:
→ Will you use our product?
→ Which features would make our product better?
→ Yes/no questions
→ How would a better product look like to you?
→ Two questions at the same time Focus on problems, not features.
→ synthesize your learnings
→ create problem/solution hypothesis
→ start sketching MVP