why you should never take advice from your mom

We spoke to Thijs Vochteloo, co-founder of internet startup Whappbook. Their internet startup is focusing on making your daily valuable WhatsApp conversations tangible. How? When you delete your conversations on WhatsApp they will be gone forever. But what if, for instance, you had some really valuable conversations with your mother? If you don’t want to lose these precious memories, Whappbook could be just the thing for you. Thijs has a great must read for every entrepreneur, additionally being a dedication to mothers day.

Whenever you need to have some valuable feedback from your target group/ customer, you have to make a plan on who your going to ask. Rob Fitzpatrick gives you some lessons in The Mom Test  that are really beneficial for doing credible research on your product.

“They say you shouldn’t ask your mom whether your business is a good idea, because she loves you and will lie to you”. Mom loves you and doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. She tells you what she thinks will make you happy, not what is true. Most people want to be kind, like mom. But they will feed you compliments, answers without their own personal feeling, random meaningless ideas, and trivia – instead of viable data generating misleading false-positives like “That sounds great!” (but it’s useless).

This idea is a metaphor for how startups can fail to get good feedback in their research phase by asking the wrong people or the wrong questions. People will often try to please you. If you ask your audience what they think of your product, you can expect to get a bad answer. The answer you can expect is a lie, an answer that will satisfy you. It learns you to ask the right questions to your target audience and to find trustworthy interviewees.

You should definitely read the book yourself, but here are some tips from the book to give you an idea on what to expect:

+ Ask open questions and really listen. Don’t nod, confirm by saying “yes i totally agree” or try to steer the conversation by saying something like “would you..”. By doing this you can expect to get more genuine answers.

+ Ask about the lives of your interviewees. Not about yourself or your product/ business.

P.S. Still looking for a great present for mothers day or a way to keep your precious WhatsApp conversations? With couponcode BAMSTERDAM you can get a 20% discount on your Whappbook order (you can enter the code while in the order form).

// blog by Growth Hacking trainee Kjell de Raad