The Mom Test is a specific set of simple rules to craft good questions to ask your prospective customers. It’s outlined on the premise that customer conversations are bad by default. The book is a practical handbook of customer conversations. Check my Mom Test book summary
Rob Fitzpatrick tries to make customer interviews easier, by laying out the process that works step-by-step. It lays out several rules of thumb to follow during conversations.
This article lists some of the best Mom Test quotes and lessons found in the book.
Let’s check them out.
To avoid bad data
1) People know what their problems are, but they don’t know how to solve those problems.
2) You're shooting blind until you understand your customers’ goals.
3) People will lie to you if they think it’s what you want to hear.
4) Anything involving the future is an over-optimistic lie.
5) If you’ve mentioned your idea, people will try to protect your feelings.
6) Watching someone do a task will show you where the problems and inefficiencies really are, not where the customer thinks they are.
7) People want to help you, but will rarely do so unless you give them an excuse to do so.
8) What you want are facts and commitments, not compliments.
9) Compliments are the fool’s gold of customer learning: shiny, distracting and worthless.
10) Ideas and feature requests should be understood, but not obeyed.
11) The more you’re talking, the worse you’re doing.
To ask important questions
12) You should be terrified of at least one of the questions you’re asking in every conversation.
13) You’re searching for the truth, not trying to be right.
14) There’s more reliable information in a “meh” than a “Wow!”
15) You always need a list of your 3 big questions.
To keep it casual
16) Learning about a customer and their problems works better as a quick and casual chat than a long, formal meeting.
17) If it feels like they’re doing you a favour by talking to you, it’s probably too formal.
18) Give as little information as possible about your idea while still nudging the discussion in a useful direction.
To commit and advance
19) When you fail to push for advancement, you end up with zombie leads.
20) Customers who keep being friendly but aren’t ever going to buy are particularly dangerous.
21) If you don’t know what happens next after a product or sales meeting, the meeting was pointless.
22) The more time (or reputation, risk and cash) interviewees are giving up, the more seriously you can take their kind words.
23) It’s not a real lead until you’ve given them a concrete chance to reject you.
24) In early-stage sales, the real goal is learning. Revenue is just a side-effect.
To find conversations
25) If it’s not a formal meeting, just have a good conversation.
26) If it’s a topic you both care about, find an excuse to talk about it.
27) Go into discussions in search of advisors, not customers.
28) Keep having conversations until you stop hearing new stuff.
29) It’s about quickly learning what you need, and then getting back to building your business.
To choose your customers
30) If you aren’t finding consistent problems and goals, you don’t yet have a specific enough customer segment.
31) Good customer segments are a who-where pair. If you don’t know where to go to find your customers, keep slicing your segment into smaller pieces until you do.
32) Get to a specific, best-possible customer and grab a few of them to move the business forward.
To run the process
33) The customer (and learning) has to be shared with the entire founding team.
34) If you don’t know what you’re trying to learn, you shouldn’t bother having the conversation.
35) Everyone who is making big decisions needs to go to at least some of the meetings.
36) Make a note of emotions and highlight the specifics with different symbols.
37) Notes are useless if you don't look at them.
38) Share learnings to your team as quickly and as directly as possible.
Those were all the Mom Test book quotes I have for you.
Join Book Blabbers WhatsApp group to bond over books, memes and quotes.
Subscribe to Book Blabber's Bulletin to get book summaries, reading tips and occasional hugs in your inbox.