Program Details

Talks about Customer Development

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Early Morning Talks9:00 AM - 11:15 AM

  • Test Your Way to the Right AnswerCustomer DevelopmentExperiments
    Anita Newton, Mighty Green Solutions, Adknowledge, @anitabnewton
    Room: Grand Ballroom

    Brand-new startups begin with almost zero customer data–a risky position from which to build a new product. But when you have very little money, how can you acquire critical information quickly? Anita Newton advisor, investor, and marketer at Mighty Handle, reveals how her bootstrapped, non-technical startup did clever customer development online, and rapidly tested its way into the customer insights it needed to sell its consumer packaged goods to the largest retailer in the world.

  • Overcome Your Own ExpertiseCustomer DevelopmentLean Impact
    Room: Grand Ballroom

    When you’re building a new product, your own domain expertise can–surprisingly–prevent you from recognizing your potential customers’ needs. Margo Wright, founder of Yenko, shares the customer-development approach she’s used to overcome the blinders of her expertise.

Late Morning Talks11:50 PM - 1:00 PM

  • Getting Very Big by Being Very User DrivenCustomer DevelopmentLean ImpactScaling
    Max Ventilla, AltSchool, INC
    Room: Grand Ballroom

    When you’re tackling a hard problem, the solution rarely comes from what you do initially. Rather, it emerges from what you do continuously–provided you set up systems to learn as you go. Max Ventilla, founder at AltSchool, explains how his organization is staying very close to its customers as its key mechanism for scaling up a large network of independent schools.

  • Getting Closer To Your Customers In StartuplandCustomer Development
    Room: Grand Ballroom

    When you’re moving fast to build and grow a new company or project, you’re bound to make mistakes as well as unexpected discoveries. Mikkel Svane, CEO & founder of Zendesk and author of Startupland, shares real stories from the front lines of starting Zendesk that explore how you stay in touch with the human side of customers and your business as you scale.

Concurrent Afternoon Talks 12:10 PM - 2:50 PM

Concurrent Afternoon Talks 23:05 PM - 3:45 PM

  • Live, No-excuses Customer DevelopmentCustomer Development
    Room: Gold

    When you have an untested concept, it’s easy to come up with reasons to avoid customer development or ignore the qualitative feedback you’re getting. Cindy Alvarez, author of Lean Customer Development and head of product design and user research for Yammer (a Microsoft company), leads several entrepreneurs through a live problem-solving session, highlighting actionable approaches to customer development challenges.

Concurrent Afternoon Talks 44:30 PM - 4:50 PM

  • Integrate Customer Feedback Into Your ProductCustomer Development
    Room: Crystal

    Your team is committed to customer development and conducting user research, but how do you integrate the information you collect into your product development? Hudl Product Manager Greg Nelson explains how his company ensures that the entire, cross-functional product team understands and can act on customers’ needs.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Early Morning Talks11:00 AM

  • Will They Buy It?Customer Development
    Steli Efti,, @Steli
    Room: Grand Ballroom

    Expanding on his Ignite talk from Tuesday night, Steli Efti gives examples of how he’s tested pricing with real experiments that didn’t turn off customers.

Concurrent Afternoon Talks 12:20 PM - 3:00 PM

  • Look Past Biases to Measure the Right MetricsCustomer DevelopmentLean Impact
    Ellynita Hazlina Lamin, Developmental Strategist
    Room: Fountain

    In 2012, social-impact consultant Ellynita Lamin launched a recovery program in a war-torn, economically depressed area of Indonesia. Early in the project, she realized that her own biases were preventing her from measuring progress accurately. She explains the steps she took to truly understand the community’s needs and focus on the right metrics.

  • Use Remote Tools for Customer DevelopmentCustomer DevelopmentRemote Issues
    Room: Gold

    You understand the importance of engaging directly with your customers as you develop products for them. But what happens when your user base is very far away? User experience consultant Holly DeWolf shares practical, cost-effective techniques for overcoming distance challenges and engaging with lots of customers remotely.

Concurrent Afternoon Talks 23:10 PM - 3:50 PM

  • Find Product/Market Fit Through Customer ConversationsCustomer DevelopmentProduct/Market Fit
    Room: Grand Ballroom

    You know that gathering customer feedback is critical to building a successful product or service. But how do you find potential customers to interview? And how do you ensure that your limited time with them will lead to meaningful insights that help you reach product/market fit? Intercom founder Des Traynor explains how to find the right customers, ask the right questions, and avoid common mistakes.

  • Become a Better Listener, Build More Profitable ProductsCustomer Development
    Jana Eggers, Jana Eggers, @jeggers
    Room: Crystal

    Leaders often focus on becoming better communicators and speakers. But becoming better listeners may be more important in running profitable companies. In this talk, Jana Eggers–consultant, former CEO at Spreadshirt, and former General Manager of Intuit Quickbase–teaches actionable tips for becoming a better listener and and thus ensuring that your customer development thus has a much deeper impact.

Concurrent Afternoon Talks 34:00 PM - 4:20 PM

  • The Questions You Should Be Asking Customers but Aren'tCustomer Development
    Zachary Cohn, Wonful Consulting, @ZacharyCohn
    Room: Gold

    When you interview customers, you don’t know what you don’t know–and you don’t know what questions you should be asking but aren’t. Zac Cohn, founder at Wonful, runs an exercise to teach you how to ask the right questions and uncover exactly what you need.