How to Talk to Customers and Validate Your Business Idea


Interview with Rob Fitzpatrick sharing how to validate your startup idea by having useful conversations with your potential customers.

Rob is a veteran entrepreneur and marketer having run bootstrapped and VC backed companies over the last 10 years. He’s also a Y Combinator alumni.

Why should you listen?

A startup idea that sounds great in your head isn’t always going to be a hit when you put it in front of the market. You can spend months of your time and thousands of dollars to see all your hard work fall flat.

Better go talk to the market first. See what they think and whether they’re prepared to pay for your big idea.

Steve Blank calls it “getting out of the building”.

It’s not always easy talking to potential customers but this podcast will give you some tactics to get you started.

There’s also some good conversation around entrepreneurship and starting a business.

3 lessons…

  • If you’re going to start something, try to serve a market you already understand and already have connections with. It’ll save months of your time.
  • How much do you like spending time with your target customers? You’re going to be spending a lot of time thinking about, and being with those types of people. It’s going to suck if you don’t like them.
  • Look for someone who already has access to customers – an email list or big social following. Working out a partnership will give you a head start

Will your next startup be a success? The truth is, you can never be 100% certain until you test your idea — but you can save yourself 12 months of time by talking to your customers first.

In this episode, Rob Fitzpatrick joins us on the podcast to share how you can validate your business idea by getting better feedback.

We discussed:

  • Why you shouldn’t sell to customers you don’t understand
  • The brilliant payoff of going out into the real world to talk to people
  • How to ask intriguing questions that get your customers to open up
  • Why your personal network is far more valuable than you realize
  • The surprising reason your breakthrough idea isn’t about profitability
  • Exactly what type of customers you should go after to build quickly
  • How to identify your core skills and monetize your top strengths
  • Why beginning conversations with your pitch is a major mistake