Startups have to operate lean.
But that doesn’t absolve them from finding—and solving—a customer problem.
Finding the right problems can be elusive, even for companies that don’t have to operate lean.
Operating lean means that startups have limited resources.
Often missing from the resources they have are a dedicated insights team, UX research function, or market researcher, and the responsibility of identifying, customer needs fall to the entire team.
Using this Investigative Research process will ensure that a startup is:
- Solving the right problem
- For the right people
- At the right time
Investigative Research is well suited for companies with limited resources.
Investigative Research uses an abductive approach to gathering information. Abductive methods start with an observation or set of observations and then seek the most likely conclusion from the observations.
Investigative Research involves collecting, verifying, and assessing information in six SIMPLE steps.
Step 1: S—Surveillance
Surveillance is looking for potential problems you can solve for a particular audience or person. This is where you seek opportunities to improve the lives of others.
Step 2: I—Intelligence
Start gathering intelligence on the people and problems you have identified in Step 1. Take a look at reviews, social media, or any evidence that tells you how big the problems you have identified are.
Step 3: M—Map
You have identified opportunities to improve the lives of others, i.e. problems people have. Map these problems to the things that people are currently doing to solve them.
Step 4: P—Problem
Select a specific problem you can solve for them. It is also important to identify who is trying to solve the problem.
Step 5: L—Leverage
Develop a product or solution and leverage that to solve their problem.
Step 6: E—Execute
Have a bias for action in building your product using a series of “small bets and experimentation. Keep conducting research and incorporating that into your product.
Investigative Research will help startups stay lean, learn more, and move faster.