Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Identifying Customer Needs and Prototyping

On October 6th, the Butler Venture Accelerator had a workshop on identifying customer needs and prototyping. This workshop aimed to help entrepreneurs to learn how to generate new business ideas based on customer needs.

Participants created a simple prototype of a wallet. In the process, participants interviewed their “customer,” created a simple prototype and pitched the prototype. To persuade a customer, having an interview with good question, making an effective prototype that captures partner’s requests and concerns, and delivering good pitch were all important.
These are things to consider when putting together questions, an interview, prototype, and pitch.

Good question:
• Think about what is going to happen in the future
• Be less ideal and ask in detail
• Focus on the function of the product
• Consider possibility of alternatives

Good interview:
• Let customer speak more than you do
• Ask specific reason
• Ask indirect question, such as question in experience
• Do not assume
• Ask open ended questions

• Tool to help visualization and explain better
• Easier to get feedback
• Physical to evaluation
• Proof of concept
• Provide some experience

Good Pitch
• Declare problem
• Clearly State problem and solution
• Explain why it solve the problem better than other existing product
• Involve emotion

This workshop provided a brief overview of business idea generation process. Identifying a customer’s needs, generating ideas based on customer’s needs, making a prototype and a sales pitch are the fundamentals of starting a business. When you have a business idea, use these tips to develop your idea into business opportunity.