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Talking to Humans

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,254 ratings  ·  141 reviews
With a foreword from Steve Blank, Talking to Humans is a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development, an indispensable skill for vetting and improving any new startup or innovation. This book will teach you how to structure and run effective customer interviews, find candidates, and turn learnings into action.
Kindle Edition, 75 pages
Published September 21st 2014
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Shreef A
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is recommended by Steve Blank. That was the main reason to read it. I found the book to be delivering exactly what it promised to deliver, and in a an easy, practical way. No unimportant theoretical stuff, but a lot of practical real life stories and examples. The book is a short read, and that's a plus. ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one is a good book for starters who wants to know how to approach people in order to make a products into sales. Also, it is best for people who are not new in the business with products that need sales...

It's a practical guide in customer relations and development, product innovation or improvements, and how to convert learnings, ideas into action.
Jose Papo
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is so good! It's a must read for everyone working in a startup and also everyone who works turning "requirements", features or needs into products. Talking to Humans is a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development. It teach you how to structure and run effective customer interviews, how to focus on assumptions and how to turn learnings into action. ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I finished reading this in a few hours. You can get this book for free at their website.

Easy to understand. Useful information. Comics to keep things light, funny and understandable.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book for finding out more about customer development. It is very straight to the point, giving just the right amount of examples and explanations. On the other hand, it is very similar to The Mom Test and I consider that one to be more comprehensive.
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I came across an interview[1] with Andrew NG recently and I quite randomly picked
one of the books he suggested.

This is a super short, crisp, onto the point advice on understanding your
customers and what they want from your product. The book highlights the need for
a systematic approach to analyzing the feedback, and tells you how to do that.
The book eventually talks about topics like balancing customer feedback and
product vision, systematic interviews, validating assumptions etc.

Something I shou
Marco  Piras
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The basic take-away is that interviews should be organised in this way: part 1. behaviour and mindset where they only talk about their issues and past solutions they used - part 2. feedback on product or prototype where they feel they can be brutally honest about calling your baby ugly. // During both parts I try to talk 5% and listen 95% (silences are fine, too - they need to think) and I follow a basic list of questions (based on some assumptions I make before and I want to confirm or deny). W ...more
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was reading an interview of Andrew NG where he highly recommends this book, so I picked it up. This book is essentially for people who are working in a startup or intend to start one. Through stories, it shows how one needs to focus on assumptions at work place and work towards qualitative customer development.
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Inspired by this book (and The Mom Test), I wrote a blog post recently.

Problems and Nuisances
Check it out here:
Stephen So
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Short and concise book to open up the world of communication to budding entrepreneurs. To get out there to talk to "humans" might seem like common sense, but there are some little tips that are extremely helpful -- don't sell, ask for advice first.
"If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." Henry Ford
Gowtham Injamuri
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've spent a good part of my time at Tata Motors to speak to users and ask about their experience with the vehicles we made. This book would've helped a lot at that point but i guess it's never too late to understand how to do customer research.
Recommend this to anyone who wants to talk to customers for their ventures.
Some solid advice and frameworks are in there.
Shyam Sunder
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short and crisp. Worth reading.
Abhinav Srivastava
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A short book but explains in detail how to go about knowing and then talking to the customers. A good read if you're into product development. ...more
Saran Sivashanmugam
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Insightful quick read. If you're someone thinking about developing a product or startup this is a must-read. This goes beyond the details of the vague advice "talk to the customer". The books explain then"why" rather than the "how". ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech-read
So helpful on so many levels. From simple lists of question types that you should not forget to ask to ingenious ideas (and encouragement) of how to get people to talk to you.
Kyle LaMotta
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great read when planning your customer interviews

This is great, concise guide that will help you plan how to approach and what to say to your potential customers. The advice is very helpful and a good supplement to Lean Startup series.
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book for a basic, quick intro to talking to customers to validate your product assumptions. Not ground breaking but very fast to read and gives some very solid advice.
Nasos Psarrakos
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Awesome for customer development tactics. Small and to the point
Ivan Khokhlov
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"The art of being a great entrepreneur is finding the right balance between vision and reality."

"First, I want you to walk a day in your customer’s shoes and actually go out and buy a pillow. Second, I want you to observe people in the process of buying a pillow. And third, I want you to talk directly to them."

"Human beings have an amazing ability to hear what they want to hear (this is called “confirmation bias”). Go into each session prepared to hear things that you might not want to hear."

Naveen Arun
Nice quick reference for startups engaging in primary market research, and a good fit for my current needs. Of course, I have yet to verify that the contents actually improve startup performance in practice. The book is written like a desk reference (thus making a rating inappropriate - it would feel like giving a rating to a dictionary), and there is plenty valuable intuition contained within, e.g.:

- Don't pitch/sell your product to interviewees, as they will either try to brainstorm new featur
Anna Rasmussen
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I chose this book after wanting to gain a better understanding of “how to” perform customer discovery and interview users. Another good book to read as a follow up of The Lean Startup.

The book offers great practical tips and templates for planning, conducting and interpreting interviews and I will be implementing a lot of these ideas into my work. I found the descriptions and warnings about confirmation bias, leading questions and making sure you are asking the right audience particularly usefu
Ana González
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to read this workbook for an entrepreneurship and it was very interesting and to the point.
I loved that it is free in their website and that it is short and well written. You have just the right information in a concise book.
I recommend it if you want to start with something and talking to people in order to start going out the building !

Me dieron este -workbook- en un curso que estoy tomando de emprendimiento y se me hizo sumamente interesante y aterrizado.
Me encantó que lo pudiera co
Anirudh Jain
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Quick Summary: This is based on steve blanks lean startup playbook and customer development. It teaches us how to refine the process of validating ideas and assumptions before diving headfirst to business.

I like the structure of the book, the first half has a fictional entrepreneur who is going about his customer development so that it becomes relatable and the second half talks about the nuts and bolts of the process. Though a short read and at some points, it might seem obvious but should not
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick guideline about product research and customer interviews along a lengthy fictional story. It's a nice lightweight and free introduction to get the reader thinking on his own. I found the fictional story quite boring though.

If you want a 2-page ghist, find the blog article around which this book is written on the author's homepage. I quite like this as a cheat sheet for interview preparation.

4th-star only because the book's still free on if you're using it not for profit
Surabhi Purwar
It's a recommendation from a colleague who I am working with on an idea, so obv the text was extremely relevant to me. Very basic and intuitive, but really valuable. You'd feel that you know a lot of this stuff, but often it doesn't surface to your mind when needed and so, if there's a book that puts it's out with several examples, it really does the job well.

Read it:
+to understand one of the core processes of starting-up
+to have yourself told that you can't be running with passion and excitemen
Nihal Vrana
Dec 03, 2020 rated it liked it
From its name, it sounds like a guide for alien spies coming to Earth; but actually, it is about how you conduct interviews within the framework of product development in start-ups. This is definitely a need for start-ups as such interviews, if done properly, will prevent you from falling into love with your bad ideas and also vet out the good input from bad/malicious input. So, I appreciate the idea; it is a bit lazily written (it is a course material though, my course material is equally lazil ...more
Abdullah Al Ansari
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extremely beautiful and meaningful book when it comes to insights about your personal view of your business and how you have a false impression about it , the images as they are little but they carry deep meaning of what is it like when you become biases to your business ideas , I can't forget how much I laughed in the middle of the clinic while I saw the picture and that sense of humor itself made the lesson learned deeply inside my brain .

I read it as a recommendation during my reading in ( D
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Talking to Humans has wonderful tips for conducting customer interviews for product development. I have never done any customer interviews, but I feel like I have plenty of tools to use from this book. It's short, simple, and filled with good advice. I especially liked the first chapter. The author tells a tangible story about two scientists that interview customers for a new product based on their invention. It is easy to imagine being in the same position as the scientists and helpful to think ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
By far one of the shortest books I've read in a couple of months and the most successful in delivering main points without circular arguments and overwhelming suspense. Exceptionally detailed examples that strengthen the main points, guiding the readers throughout every single process as we learn to make sense how every example relates to our own field of profession. ...more
Murat Tortopoğlu
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
really helps you get out and talk to customers.

First time entrepreneurs and product mangers should read this book.
It doesnot cover the detailed mechanics of the customer interviews but really helps you get out and talk to customers.
It helps you find out uncover the real pain points and business wise priorities.
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Herzolex Ultra 1 1 Feb 23, 2018 10:23PM  

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“My target customer will be? The problem my customer wants to solve is? My customer’s need can be solved with? Why can’t my customer solve this today? The measurable outcome my customer wants to achieve is? My primary customer acquisition tactic will be? My earliest adopter will be? I will make money (revenue) by? My primary competition will be? I will beat my competitors primarily because of? My biggest risk to financial viability is? My biggest technical or engineering risk is? What assumptions do we have that, if proven wrong, would cause this business to fail?  (Tip: include market size in this list) You should be able to look at this list and spot” 4 likes
“The art of being a great entrepreneur is finding the right balance between vision and reality.” 3 likes
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