November 3, 2012 by startupengineering .
Why is the old lady looking down? [Image]
Lesson 1: Unprompted, people viewing this image divide fairly evenly between those who see an old lady looking down, and those who see a young woman looking away. But mentioning the old lady in the question dramatically skews the results.
When you’re trying to discover customers, avoid asking questions that predispose the customer to a certain answer.
[image life outdoors]
Where are these people sitting?
Lesson 2: This was a test done by Robert Laws, a doctor who ran a Scottish mission in what is now Malawi during the 1800s. In general, Westerners see a family sitting in a room, with the corner in the background and a window looking on to some vegetation. But when Laws showed East Africans the picture, they saw a family group sitting outside, with a tree in the background and a box or basket sitting on one woman’s head.
You imagine you know your product, but a customer might know something completely different. You could be Starbucks selling coffee, while your customers are buying a warm indoor social space to hang out, that happens to serve coffee.
[image throwing] What’s the difference between market demand and product?
Lesson 3: Nothing. What your customer needs, and the way she needs it presented, are the exact mirror-image of the product you need to build.