Practical Customer Development
4.5 (76 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
256 students enrolled

Practical Customer Development

The Mom Test with Rob Fitzpatrick
4.5 (76 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
256 students enrolled
Created by Rob Fitzpatrick
Last updated 11/2017
Current price: $11.99 Original price: $39.99 Discount: 70% off
4 days left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • How customer conversations go wrong, and how to fix them
  • How to ask good questions to avoid biased and unreliable data

  • How to transition from learning into sales

  • Dealing with tricky situations like marketplaces or hostile meetings
  • How to spot problems in your recent meetings and to build the processes to avoid those mistakes in the future
  • A bit of familiarity with the concepts from Lean Startup wouldn't hurt, but you'll be fine without it.


They say you shouldn't ask your mom whether your business is a good idea, because she loves you and will lie to you.

This is technically true, but it misses the point. You shouldn't ask anyone if your business is a good idea. It's a bad question and everyone will lie to you at least a little. It's not their responsibility to tell you the truth. It's your responsibility to find it.


Talking to customers is one of the foundational skills of both Customer Development and Lean Startup. We all know we're supposed to do it, but nobody seems willing to admit that it's hard to do right and easy to screw up.

This course is going to show you how customer conversations go wrong and how you can do better. It's a quick, practical 2 hours of videos and workshops that will save you time, money, and heartbreak. 


While you can certainly benefit from this course as a solopreneur, the 4 workshops within it are designed to be done together with all the key decision makers from your team: product, sales, strategy, and any others whose jobs depend on understanding the customers.

You'll finish with a customer learning plan, an audit of your recent key meetings, and a simple bare-bones process for capturing and spreading your customer insight in the future. 

Hope you'll join us!

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone who is interested in creating a new startup, business, or product
  • Current or aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Anyone who is launching a new feature or update to their current product
Course content
Expand 8 lectures 01:35:35
+ Practical Customer Development
8 lectures 01:21:16

A quick peek at who the course is for, what it covers, and how it can help you.

Preview 04:59

You're busy, and talking to customers takes time. In this section we look at how much time it actually takes, the scenarios where it's worth it, and those where it isn't.

Preview 08:32

The biggest mistake in talking to customers is believing that all feedback is good feedback. Because really, bad data is worse than worthless since it just makes you more confident about the wrong answer. In this section we learn how to ask good questions and avoid the feedback fallacy.

The feedback fallacy and good data
In this workshop, you'll brainstorm what you need to learn from your customers and formulate questions to do just that.
Customer learning goals
1 question

One of our biggest challenges is figuring out whether someone is actually going to buy, or whether they're just being friendly and supportive about our idea. In this section we'll learn how to differentiate between the two.

Figuring out whether they'll buy
One of the best ways to improve your customer development process is to review your past meetings and game-plan your upcoming ones. In particular, we'll be looking at what sort of commitments you're asking for (and should ask for) at the end of the ones that go well.
Recent meeting audit
1 question

The process of learning changes a bit between selling to enterprises, consumers, and the SMEs in between. Understanding the differences can help ensure you're applying the tools to your own situation.

What's different in B2E and B2C

Some customer conversations are great fun and go exactly as I've said so far. But others can get difficult. Whether you're talking to someone who is bored, hostile, or defensive, there's still usually a good solution. 

Tough conversations
People who aren't your customer - journalists, investors, experts - can also be a source of key information. This worksheet will help you develop useful questions so you're prepared for when you inevitably bump into these folks.
Learning from non-customers
1 question

All the insight in the world is useless if it isn't in the heads of the people who are meant to be using it to make their decisions -- whether about product, strategy, marketing, sales, or anything else. In this section, we'll review the bare minimum processes and habits to ensure you don't waste the learning you've gathered.

Sharing the learning to your team

A quick review of what we've covered, and a few final words of advice as you set out to put this all into practice.

Final thoughts
Sharing what you learn with your entire organization is as important as gathering it in the first place. In this assignment you will develop a plan to share the learning with the people who need it.
Assignment 4: Your Learning Plan
1 question