Start / Scale / Disrupt 09 - We talk to Rob Fitzpatrick about what makes a good startup idea

Christopher Goodfellow
Sift Media
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We were lucky enough to talk to Rob Fitzpatrick, entrepreneur and author of The Mom Test, about testing startup ideas and how to talk to customers.

Fitzpatrick distilled what he learned starting up both successful and unsuccessful businesses into a handbook for entrepreneurs. In the podcast he talks about his experience and covers advice including:

  • The startup community's strange relationship with failure
  • How to get value out of meetings
  • Why it's sometimes good to hassle people at parties
  • Investigating feature requests
  • Becoming London's "failure guy"

The inspiration for The Mom Test came through Fitzpatrick's own experience in his first tech startup.

"This is going horribly," he remembers thinking. "I'm having plenty of meetings and they're going well, but nothing's closing." The penny dropped when an advisor cut him off after three minutes in front of a potential client.

"He'd seen exactly what I was doing wrong and I saw exactly what he was doing right; I was opening with my pitch and spent the whole meeting pitching. I'd leave with no new information about what the customer cared about. It means you're not getting better at it. Your product isn't going closer to the mark and your pitch isn't getting better."

He went on to build a model that helps startups establish the demand for new features, products and services.

Listen to other episodes of BusinessZone's Start / Scale / Disrupt podcast


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