Those that seem to stay ahead of the curve are like wizards with magical powers. Successfully predicting what is next is extolled as genius and we all want some of that.
Much of the time though, great prognosticators are keen observers of their chosen environment. They collect data on what’s going on around them and these data may present them with a few distinct options. So they pick one. It either works or it doesn’t – based on how the data react. If it doesn’t they shift quickly to the next option. Rinse and repeat.
In startups, this IS the customer discovery process. It’s not magic. Learning how to do it once can launch a good company but long term success goes to those who figure out how to hardwire customer discovery into a continuous, almost unconscious process.
You should always measure the number of customer conversations you have over time and capture the information in some way. After a while it will seem like you just know things. Then resources will find you.
Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson