How often should I ask for customer feedback in the early stage of my startup?

Clint Oram / November, 2017

Description

Clint Oram, Co-Founder and CTO of SugarCRM explains why you need to constantly get customer feedback to iterate quickly and improve your product.

Video Transcript

How often should I ask for customer feedback in the early stage of my startup?

The question is how often do you ask for customer feedback in the early stages, and I’m going to say very often. I put that within the context of an agile development methodology and focusing on a minimum viable product. I am a huge fan of Marty Cagan and the work that he’s done around the Silicon Valley product management group and his book “Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love”, I think is the full title of it, and if you haven’t read that book, go read Marty Gagan’s book absolutely.

In there, he professes what is, in essence, an agile methodology of consistently iterating on the product development and engaging with your customers to get feedback. This is something we did in the early days, we released often, we released early, we got feedback, we listen to it and you can do that when you have no product debt behind you when you have no customers to support. You can engage constantly with that feedback process and that’s critical in the first year.

What I absolutely don’t recommend, and frankly abhor as a process, is people who go into a cave and think they’re building the perfect thing and disappear for 1 to 2 years and then pop out and say “hey look what I built” and then nobody buys it and they say “well, why did that happen?”. This is why agile methodology is so critical. Build that minimum viable product, engage and get feedback, iterate quickly, release early, release often. Another way of describing it, start small, think big, move quickly.

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