Market Research

From this weeks source material, I learnt the importance of market research and it’s relevances to the different types of applications that can be made. It has reaffirmed the importance to understand who the market is, their demographic and their relevance towards the applications I wish to make whilst also making sure to take note of whether their needs are currently being met by competition and if so how?

Jobs to be Done

Further research led me to a framework called Jobs to be Done that can be used to help accomplish the task of understanding a customers motivations.

“Why do you hire a product? To do a specific job! What is that job?”

A book I’ve found that describes this framework very well is When coffee & kale compete by Alan Klement.

“Customers buy products for one reason: to improve their life-situations. This process of using a product to turn an existing life-situation into a preferred one is called a Job to be Done.”

It’s important that I understand my customers pain points. These are problems that they are having in life-situations that might be able to be solved. This process is typically done by collecting data and can and should be from many different sources. Once these paint points are acquired, the possibly more tricky part is coming up with the solution.

Continuous Research

Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, talks at google commenting that in all agile practises there is someone that can give an authoritative, definitive answer to design questions and takes that further to suggest, in entrepreneurship that assumption breaks down. We, as entrepreneurs, are working on products where nobody knows what the customer wants. The problem is known, the solution though is not.

“a startup is an experiment”

You build a minimum viable product (MVP), only to learn if the product may be successful and to establish a baseline of how the customer behaves now. Once the baseline has been established you can then use methods like split testing and data collection analysis at every incremental change to judge if the product is improving. This process gives quantitive evidence whether the product needs to pivot or to persevere. This process is validated learning which means you’re not just guessing in the dark when creating something new.

Build -> Measure -> Learn

Creating an application is an experiment and continuously throughout the whole process of making the application we should be experimenting and adapting to make it as successful as possible, measuring the markets response and iterating upon it, whilst remaining ready to pivot!

Product/Founder Fit

Often in the pursuit to create a product, trying to find both a market that has the ability to pay and a product that market is willing to pay for, an important concept is missed.

Before rushing to create a product, stop and ask: “do I even want to serve this market?”

Product/founder fit is explained incredibly well in Justing Jackson’s article You want more than product/market fit with the main takeaway points being:

  1. Is this market a good fit for me?
  2. Is this product a good fit for me?
  3. Is the company structure a good fit for me?

Summary

A Job to be Done (JTBD) is a process. A customer has a job to be done, they buy a product to complete it and thus they get the job done. The importance is that a JTBD describes how a customer wishes to change. If I can learn of that change, I can potentially build a product to help complete it. Meaning I can build a product a customer might be willing to pay for.

SMART Goal

  • Specific - Identify Jobs to be Done that Stamp helps to complete.
  • Measurable - Create a journal post that documents three Jobs to be Done that you have identified.
  • Attainable - Use your experience working in the industry and your preconceived ideas as to the reason you made the application to help identify these Jobs to be Done.
  • Relevant - Understand the market to which Stamp sits in and the jobs it aims to help the customer complete.
  • Time-Based - Publish the journal post by Sunday 24th March, 2019.

Further Reading

  • Sprint by Jake Knapp.
  • The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank.
  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

References

  1. Jobs to be Done
  2. When coffee & kale compete by Alan Klement
  3. Eric Ries’s talk at google
  4. You want more than product/market fit by Justin Jackson
  5. Stamp