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The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

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4.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,923 ratings  ·  242 reviews


The Mom Test is a quick, practical guide that will save you time, money, and heartbreak.



They say you shouldn't ask your mom whether your business is a good idea, because she loves you and will lie to you. This is technically true, but it misses the point. You shouldn't ask anyone if your business is a good idea. It's a bad question and everyone will lie to you at lea

...more
Kindle Edition, 138 pages
Published August 2019 by Robfitz Ltd (first published September 10th 2013)
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Mohamadreza Pourahmad بعد از خوندن این کتاب دید خیلی خوبی پیدا میکنید برای پرسیدن سوال های مناسب از مشتری های محصولتون، خوب یا بد بودن ایده هاتون رو میتونید با سوال های…moreبعد از خوندن این کتاب دید خیلی خوبی پیدا میکنید برای پرسیدن سوال های مناسب از مشتری های محصولتون، خوب یا بد بودن ایده هاتون رو میتونید با سوال های مناسبی متوجه بشین.
یاد میگیرید که با تعریف های خوب از ایده و کارتون بی جهت هیجان زده نشین
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Average rating 4.45  · 
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WhatIReallyRead
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to WhatIReallyRead by: teachers at my Digital&Product Marketing class
This book is amazing!

I recommend it to everyone who builds products, talks to customers, works in startups or has the desire to sell any ideas/products they came up with or made.

Why I loved it:

- it's a how-to book that offers concrete methods and tools to solve problems on tour path to a new product with an audience;
- it is full of specific examples of good and bad approaches, and reasons why a certain approach is good or bad;
- it is easy to read, short an
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Michael Dubakov
Outstanding book!

Main lessons learned:
1. Don't pitch your ideas to customers
2. Learn facts. Dig and ask more questions till you have exact facts and data
3. Don't mention your solution
4. Don't listen to opinions, collect facts and pain points instead
5. Compliments means nothing. Really nothing. Deflect them and dig deeper.
6. You can’t learn anything useful unless you’re willing to spend a few minutes shutting up
7. If you don’t know what happens next afte
...more
Andriy Bas
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
The best book for Customer Development I've ever seen!
Must-read for all CEOs, founders, Product Managers, and User Researchers!
My notes, in case you need: https://www.notion.so/uptechteam/The-...
Zornitsa Tomova
It's the second time I read this one and once again, I loved every page of it. The book is an amazingly simple, down-to-earth guide on what it means to 'talk to your customers' before you go ahead and build that thing. It's one of those books that you can reread in a few hours every time you're thinking of starting a new project and you'll always find something new and useful. If you want to keep your sight on what's important in the mess of a product's initial research & creation, read this ...more
Cat
This book is about having conversations with potential customers to see if your business is a good idea. It is not written by a UX guy, but someone from tech startups who has learned through mistakes. In some places it's a bit beginner, but it's fun to read, not pretentious, and at times laugh out loud funny. It's a good reminder of the basics and packed full of example dialogues. I actually put down the book I was working on to read this one and devoured it in part of a day.

It start
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Nikas
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't recommend this book enough. Simple, straightforward and immensely helpful. If you're only going to read one book about validating startup ideas, make it this one.
Sheida
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned quite a lot 🤔
Heather Aislinn
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insightful, clear, understandable and quick
Now I'm more sure how to ask questions, how to ask the right questions mind you.
Paras Dahal
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best business book I've ever read.

No fluff, no tedious and irrelevant stories, and no jargon filled generic crap. This is a manual for how to talk to customers for maximizing learning instead of fishing for compliments and ego boost. The writing is engaging and concise, and there is not a single page whose content can't be put to use immediately. I am sure I will come back to this book multiple times.

Highly recommended for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Louise
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
A short and to the point business-type book that's extremely helpful in conducting customer research. I heard about this book through an IndieHackers podcast episode and while one could get the gist of this book by just listening to the podcast, the details and examples in the actual book were worth the price of admission.
Ahmad Abugosh
A nice short book no how to have better conversations with potential customers when you're building an idea. The main concept behind the book is that you shouldn't ask leading questions or questions that expose your ego (what do you think of my idea?). Instead, you should focus on asking questions in a way where they don't even know that you're building something, so your ego is not exposed. So for example, you could ask people "is x a problem for you", "how did you solve this problem in the pas ...more
Evgenia Trofimova
Priceless.
The book is short and quite expensive, but each page of it is full of very, very useful examples and advise.
I wish I read this book before, and not had an experience of a failed startup, cause I asked wrong questions while doing user research.

I acquired each page slowly, processing and applying to life. I even gave three talks, incorporating the knowledge from this book before I have finished it. :)

The most useful book of 2018. And one of the most us
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Harold Saar
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to ask questions that are not biased? The book aims to make it easier to face tough questions. If you are setting up a business it is a must read for you. If your sales/pitch/validation conversations are pre-planned you will end up with lots of advice and much-needed information instead of going through meetings focusing on trivial stuff and keeping conversations comfortable.

I think I’ve never made as many underlinings and comments as I did on the pages of this one.
Askorbinka
It's complicated to evaluate this book without practicing its recommendations. So the true value will be discovered later. But the chapters where author talks about what questions should be asked to elicit customer requirements correlate with my experience as a business analyst. None of the good questions are about asking what functionality you should build. Talk about people and their life, not your product.
Andrus
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe not a fascinating page-turner, but a crisp very to-the-point and readable book on doing customer (development) interviews.
Martin Brochhaus
It’s nice.

Maybe the only downside is, even though it is a super short book, it is still extremely repetitive: 40% of the book is the exact same message:

“DON’T PITCH! Ask about THEIR lives, their problems, their current solutions/workarounds”.

However, given how easy it is to fall back into "pitch mode", maybe it is worth hammering that message into my brain.

We are about to launch a new product soon at my company and we do have an extremely narrowly segmented customer gro
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Anoochan
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is such an amazing book!
Heavily recommended by colleagues in office, I was generally apprehensive of the hype and was fairly certain that this book would let me down. But I couldn't have been more wrong. I'd say it's totally worth the hype.

Some very practical and hard hitting facts are conveyed in a very easy to consume manner. Being centered around conversations, the book is rife with examples of both 'things to do' and 'things not to do' during customer and stake holder conversations. I
...more
Aamna
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredibly useful book. Highly recommend if you're into building products.
Niklas Laninge
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short and relevant guide anyone working with customer development can and should read. There are some great questions ready to be copy/pasted.
Sina Saeidi
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I took another step forward into business :)
I learned good stuff about the evaluation of the idea and discovering customers.
Bart Rietveld
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It is simple to read and full of useful and well explained tactics on how to get the information you need out of a conversation with a customer. I'll definitely come back to this book.
Ahmad hosseini
A fantastic book for entrepreneurs!
this book helped me to realizing my mistakes in talking to customers. This book introduces simple rules for talking to customers:
1- Talk about their life instead of your idea
2- Ask about specifics in past instead of generics or opinions about the future
3- Talk less and listen more.
This book is a practical how-to, and includes good examples of meetings. The interesting thing about this book is that its author is a technician, not a seller! ...more
Vlad Calus
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A practical book on finding what works in your idea and get the first steps toward building a functional, useful and customer-paying MVP/product.
Bruno
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Gives pointers to which questions startups should ask, and what to avoid. Apart from context, this is indeed what requirements analysts also (should) apply. The challenge is the same: ask questions and have nice conversations that identify the need, not the solution. Prepare your stuff and couple back / communicate afterwards.
Anton Diatlov
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The must-read book for every entrepreneur and product manager. It is easy to read, short and clear. Rob Fitzpatrick provides a lot of tips and tricks for customer development that is applicable to every early-stage company.
Ivaylo Durmonski
As the author mentions in the book, “You shouldn’t ask anyone if your business is a good idea. It’s a bad question and everyone will lie to you at least a little.” Instead, you need to about their life instead of your idea.

The Mom Test is an amazingly simple, down-to-earth guide on how to talk to your customers before building your “thing.” It’s full of specific examples of good and bad approaches, and reasons why a certain approach is good or bad. It’s probably the best book about v
...more
Aleksandar Mićović
If you're going to spend any time talking with customers, I'd say that this book is pretty much required reading. It goes over how to do this in an effective, and informal manner that just plain makes sense. Many products from startups are solutions in search of a problem, so is it even a surprise that 95%+ fail? The concepts outlined in this book will help you avoid this, and give you the confidence to find the right problem to be solving, and just as importantly the right people to be solving ...more
Elena
If you ever find yourself thinking about opening your business or becoming a marketeer/sales rep, this book is for you.
It's short, easy to read and focuses you on the basics that people kinda know yet still usually miss in real life:

1) focus on customers' issues, not your product;
2) don't fish for compliments (these are just saving face techniques), ask hard questions;
3) if they say it's a problem but they haven't attempted to solve it, it's not a problem (they' won't pay you
...more
Freya
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
I took longer than expected to complete reading The Mom Test but that was because the content was very helpful and I wanted to take time to absorb it.

Fitzpatrick has written the book well and the content is laid out well with examples and thoughts. It gets you thinking deeper into having conversations and understanding them. There is also a cheatsheet at the end.

An excellent book if you are someone who conducts a lot of conversations and interviews. I think it's excellent in theory, now have t
...more
Jenny
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This is hardly the first business book that's really just a dozen bullet points awkwardly stretched over a hundred or so whitespace-heavy pages, but it's uniquely painful to read. Got 2/3 of the way through and finally just gave up and skimmed the "cheatsheet" at the end. Lowlights:

"The Mom Test" itself, explained with wooden dialogue that ends with "Won't you have some lasagna?"

"Everything can be a lie." Maybe this is normal in sales?

"It's like your startup h
...more
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Rob is an entrepreneur of 12 years. He went through YCombinator (s07) with an attempt to figure out social advertising before Facebook managed to do so, which obviously didn’t work out so well. He has raised funding in the US and UK, built products used by customers like Sony and MTV, designed and Kickstarted a card game, cofounded the education agency Founder Centric, rebuilt a little sailboat, a ...more
“Trying to learn from customer conversations is like excavating a delicate archaeological site. The truth is down there somewhere, but it’s fragile. While each blow with your shovel gets you closer to the truth, you’re liable to smash it into a million little pieces if you use too blunt an instrument.” 3 likes
“The world’s most deadly fluff is: “I would definitely buy that.” It just sounds so concrete. As a founder, you desperately want to believe it’s money in the bank. But folks are wildly optimistic about what they would do in the future. They’re always more positive, excited, and willing to pay in the imagined future than they are once it arrives.” 2 likes
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