How to do Problem Interviews

How to do Problem Interviews

Problem Interview

Together with Olav Loen we are now working on a digital version on Playing Lean. In this process we want to “practice what we preach” and have a lean startup approach to the entire process.

The goal of the problem interview is to figure out who the early adopters of your product are going to be, what problems you can help them solve and how they solve these problems today.

In the problem interview, you should really avoid pitching or selling your idea when talking to potential customers. The focus should be on learning.

We started doing problem interviews a few weeks ago with following script:

  1. Tell me a story about the last time you facilitated a Playing Lean game.
  2. What was the hardest?
  3. Why was that hard?
  4. How do you solve it now?
  5. Why is that not awesome?

To be sure we dig deep enough we had following memory joggers:

  • Remember to make notes about emotions
  • Remember to ask 5 why's
  • You should perform these questions 3 times per customer.

Justin Wilcox of Customer Development Labs explains it brilliantly in this Youtube video:

Need some help with doing Problem Interviews? Ash Maurya, Author of Running Lean and creator of Lean Canvas wrote a great Problem Interview Scrip that you can follow.


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