I want to interview potential customers for my two-sided app idea, so I can learn from them for insights (should I develop first web app or mobile app, is this a real problem, can I provide a better way to have this done? How much they spend, or lose (time, money) Etc), how should I do this? I do have access to potential customers in a Facebook Group I participate. Should I contact each one Individually or Post a link to get interested people sign up for the solution and then contact them? Or both? Or something else?
Hi, I have done this numerous times at both concept/pre-product stage but also once a product is built and trying to figure out "the problem it solves" (this generally happens after someone has tried to take it to market and no one is buying).
Do you understand how your future users "solve" this problem right now? Observation is a great tool to understand this and then asking to talk to people about their lives in general, and gently leading them to talk about the area you think you solve. If you ask them if something specific is a problem (such as in a FB post, ads etc.), psychologically people feel the need to give you some feedback etc. and you end up basing everything on false assumptions. The other thing is if you ask users if they want certain features and technology, the answer is always yes because people think they want choice, but actually only want limited choice. Your choice of platform should be according to easiest way to solve the problem for end users but also the quickest way for you to build an MVP too and test these assumptions.
This early stage of problem market fit can help inform your marketing pitch, MPV/roadmaps etc. so it is good to listen and learn. I am happy to give you some time free of charge if you want to talk further.
Yes, just make a post on the Facebook group and if they comment, you can also message them.
Furthermore, I would go where your potential customers are (gym, golf club etc.) and just ask them, hey I'm making an app, can I ask a few questions.
Make sure, you have talked to the owner of the club before. He/she will also probably provide you with a good insights.
But don't spend too much on that, it can be quickly analysis paralysis.
After you have gotten around 5-10 customer insights, build the mobile app. However, don't spend more than a week or two building it. Your problem isn't building the app, it's getting 100,000 users on the app, since you have a two sided market place.
So, you should focus your energy on the market as soon as you can. Of course, you need a shiny, non-crashing app for that, but not in the beginning. In the beginning, you can just approach potential customers, get feedback, then approach potential customers with a simple, not so shiny-yet app. Then you need find a way to get 100,000 of them on your shiny app.
Ask smart questions they've never heard before. This causes anyone to think good of you and it interrupts their daily autopilot mode and forces them to think and then have a unique interaction with you. Overtime, this method can establish an authentic relationship which should be your goal with customers and business friends alike. Even better, create a string of unique questions that cause them to view your pitch for themselves the same way you view it for them. As for contacting one vs many, that's a trial and error question. Start by asking for feedback on your questions to the group (and be transparent about your intentions) because the interested people will help you "close" them... and then use the finished product to pitch the next most interested people in the group (perhaps people that are posting things related to your pitch).. and then finally, you can pitch all else remaining. Make sense?