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A fatal flaw in early stage startups is customer and product discovery processes. Founders eager to gain insight will accidentally fall upon a dangerous response because of poor question formatting.

As founders look to the future they use words such as will and would. The problem with these is that it’s obsessed about the future. It does not cover the past nor the present.

Avoid wills and woulds and focus on every other question type.

When is the last time.
How difficult.
What would your world look like with this pain gone.

Finally instead of asking ‘will’ or ‘would’ you use the product. Ask them to buy it. Offer discounts if they are hesitant. The price doesn’t matter for most of it. Simply gaining a sale is critical in understanding if it’s a value for others.

If you discovery the person you’re talking to is not the right market. Then ask them if they know anyone you can speak to. Those two questions alone. Buy my thing today and who else can benefit. Will give you insights that are worth more than a million will or would you questions.

So to know the future give it up and instead focus on the past for insights and the present to obtain a yes or a no on whether it is a value worth purchasing.