I’m excited to announce a project that I’ve been working on with KISSmetrics called Survey.io, which provides startups with a free and easy way to prepare, distribute and analyze an initial customer development survey. It includes the content of the survey I use to verify that a startup is ready for 12in6 to work with them.
I recommend sending the survey to a random sample of people who have:
- Experienced the core of your product offering
- Used your product at least twice
- Used your product in the last two weeks
Determine if you are ready to scale
For startups, this survey is an ideal way for you to determine if you should begin the final preparations before aggressively scaling customer acquisition. The most important question for determining how well your product is resonating with early users is question 2:
How would you feel if you could no longer use [product]?
- Very disappointed
- Somewhat disappointed
- Not disappointed (it isn’t really that useful)
- N/A – I no longer use [product]
If most of your respondents are saying that they would only be “somewhat disappointed” without your product, they are really telling you that it is only a “nice to have”. When asking users why they selected this answer, I often find that they are focused on commodity aspects of the product and they know of a replacement product. It’s very difficult to build a business around a “nice to have” product, so you should keep your burn low while you iterate your core experience to make it a “must have”.
If however, you find that over 40% of your users are saying that they would be “very disappointed” without your product, there is a great chance you can build a successful business on this “must have” product. This is the time to reallocate some development resources to optimizing your funnel and messaging as described in this blog post on the Startup Pyramid.
Survey.io to develop value proposition
The survey also provides some useful early feedback for verifying use cases, developing your value proposition and positioning against the most common alternative solutions. This feedback is directionally useful, but I recommend significantly more research (via customer surveys and interviews) before finalizing your value proposition and positioning.
I strongly encourage you to setup and run your own customer development survey via Survey.io. It only takes a few minutes and it free. Here’s the link again.