Preparation & Setup

Welcome to our Customer Discovery Playbook!

This process is designed to help you and your team find (or regain):

Customer Focus - Who are you building for? Why? Why now? How do you know? - What do you know about them already and how can you learn more? - How can you continue learning about them as they, your product, and the world continue to change?

Product Focus

  • What is your best opportunity to serve this customer with a new product or feature? How do you know?
  • How can you test your solution ideas in the market without overbuilding them first?

A Strategic Plan

  • What resources and roles are required in order to start testing solutions?
  • What are the clues you should be looking for along the way that will indicate you’re on the right or wrong track?

Who this playbook is for

This is the program we run with participants in our incubator program. We’ve also run this playbook with solopreneurs and early-stage teams just getting their idea out into the world, with seed-stage startups whose first idea failed to find product-market-fit (PMF), and with companies who are over a decade old and whose software is used by thousands of people every day.

We have yet to find a team that doesn't benefit from discovering who their best customer is and focusing their efforts on that best customer.

How to run the playbook

We’ve found that a dedicated team can run the entirety of this playbook in 4-8 weeks. Individual exercises in the playbook can also be valuable to run on their own in a single day or a single week.

However you decide to run it, we recommend having as much of the team involved in as much of the work as possible, especially interviewing customers.

Nothing drives team alignment and momentum like shared empathy for a customer’s pain point!

Background reading

The concepts and tactics we cover in this playbook were informed both by our own product work over the last 20 years, and by ideas explored in the books below.

  • The Right It by Alberto Savoia
  • The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
  • Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres
  • Sprint by Jake Knapp

📌 Ideally, your team will be able to read these (in this order) before beginning the activities in this playbook, but they are by no means prerequisites.

Project artifacts

These are some of the artifacts that will result from the activities in the playbook. Some are not linked because we haven’t generated good examples yet; we’ll add them once we have!

Talk to one of our product experts about building success into your process.