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Everyone is lying to you (the book)

This post was originally posted on The Startup Toolkit. Rob (@robfitz) is the lead instructor on our Startup MBA – one week left to apply! Read more here.

Short version: I wrote a book about how to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea, even when everyone is lying to you. It will save you lots of time and money. If you’re doing any Customer Development, it’s a must-read. Learn more or just go buy it.

Regular version: Talking to customers is one of the foundational skills of Customer Development and Lean Startup, but it’s hard to do right and easy to screw up. And when you do it wrong, you get devious false positives which render the whole exercise pointless. It would be nice to be able to avoid those mistakes.

The book is a practical guide to 4 skills to help you do just that:

  1. Avoid biases and bad data by asking good questions
  2. Save time and avoid awkardness by keeping it casual
  3. Fix doomed product meetings with commitment and advancement
  4. Maximise your team’s learning through a lightweight process of prep, note-taking, and review

It also includes some handy tidbits like where to find conversations and how to take useful shorthand notes.

So, should you read it? Yes! If you follow this blog or have ever talked to me, you know that I’m somewhat obsessed with how to properly do Customer Development. The big news is that I’ve found an approach which works. It’s easy to learn and fixes most of the ways we screw up our customer conversations. It’s quick, casual, painless, and delivers real learning.

Learning how to ask good questions has been the single biggest improvement I’ve made to my startup life. I wrote this book because I think it’s also the best help I can offer to you. I hope you’ll buy it and read it (or at least go learn more).

Thanks :)

There is one week left to apply for our Startup MBA – please see more details here