My advice: talk to 20 customers over the next 2 weeks

I had a conversation with a new start up yesterday that is innovating in the recruiting industry.  I asked them how many of the customers that will pay them money they had spoken to in developing their product. I can't remember whether the answer was one or none but I know it was not enough.  They then told me that the main motivator for buying decisions was cost reduction. There was no way they could know this -- it may have been right, but they couldn't know it because they hadn't spoken to enough customers. My advice was simple -- spend the next 2 weeks and talk to 20 customers. Leave your pre-conceived notions at home and focus on understanding their perspective on their job and suppliers. Listen. Take notes. At the end of the process -- thinkin again about the product and business you are building.