Startup Mom
A blog based on my experiences building ParentScheduler

Yay! My Experiment Failed!

About listening to customers and then ignoring what they say.

27 Oct 2020, 3 minutes read

In my last post I mentioned how I did a whole new set of market research. I lost confidence for a moment. So much startup advice tells you how important it is to listen to your customers, and suddenly I feared I was losing touch. I was afraid I have set a direction in my mind that is detached from “what users really want”.

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I published in a few facebook groups, made a questionnaire. Asked some open ended questions as well as multiple choice. Answers were a bit all over the show but I felt there was a specific direction that came out that was different to what I had in mind.

So I went ahead and built it. Like I mentioned in my last post, I created the experiment though I did not feel convinced. And it was a complete failure. I built the feature, got about 20 new users to download the app. One used this new feature once. And not a single one of them came back again.

Could this be a result of my lack of conviction? Could this be because I didn’t really believe in this new solution? Maybe. But what I learned is:

  1. People can talk in detail about their problems but they don’t always know what is a good solution for them - that’s your job as an entrepreneur to find out.

  2. User feedback is a little bit like listening to your kids. It’s important to listen to them, really listen to them. Hear what they say on the outside, but also what lies underneath.

  3. You have a broader and higher perspective your customers do not and it is your role to guide the solution, not theirs.

  4. Don’t build things you don’t believe in. Even if people tell you it’s the thing, you need to have some level of inner connection with the solution you are building.

What I ended up doing is building the feature I initially planned on. The one I have stronger conviction in. And out of 6 new users, 4 came back the next week.

As I said, it’s possible that that other feature has the potential to be brilliant, but it’s also possible I’m not the right person to build it. I need to build something I believe in, cause if I’m not sure it’s good - how will I convince others?

I can’t say I found the elusive product market fit. True, out of the 6, 4 came back the next week. Yet only one returned the week after. However I’m also seeing more engagement out of new users, they are interacting with the app more often and for longer. I’m hoping this means I’m on the right track. I’m hoping I can nail a solution that will make a change for the better.

I’m about to launch a new round of testing in this direction. I’ll keep you updated.

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