The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick -
October 22, 2019.
Gaze Upon the Elephant
Sometimes we comfort ourselves by asking questions which don’t actually derisk the business or resolve those critical, big, scary, lurking questions. We ignore the elephant in the room.
Let's say we suspect that teachers from the poorest schools are completely overloaded, and that our tools would save them time so they could better educate their students. We go talk to them and confirm that yes, they are completely overloaded. We then spend weeks with them, figuring out exactly what they dream tool would do. Unfortunately, we’ve missed the elephant, which is that the poorest schools may not have the budgets available to pay us what we need to sustain and grow the business. We’re liable to spend a huge amount of time exploring a real and urgent problem, only to hop into the deadpool due to our customer’s budgeting issues.
Startups tend to have multiple failure points (e.g. the problems of the teachers and the ability of the schools to pay us). If any of these conditions doesn't exists, we must overhaul our idea. It’s tempting to obsess over the most interesting of several failure points and ignore the others. And then we miss important questions.
Written by Bookcademy.
In this case, what is the elephant in the room?
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