How To Start a Startup Lecture – How to Run a User Interview

Presenter: Emmett Shear

Most startups are not making something that is useful for just the founder. You need to know what your users want. He started a startup where you are basically watching people play video games. Created a way at Twitch for them to easily talk to their users.

Finding users: Who would you talk to about a note-taking app for lectures

  • Students
    • different subjects
  • Professors
  • College IT
  • School administrators
    • This is who you would be selling to
  • Parents

Dig into details of the answers. Don’t ask them about specific features – in the first set of interviews you are going to hear the problems the users have. If they get into specific features, the users don’t really have that good of ideas around which features should be added.

  • Find extremes of people – you will get different responses if you are talking to college kids vs. high school kids vs. parents…

Getting feedback is good, but if it is coming from people who are already paying (and not leaving). The things that people who were NOT using the service and complaining about are the ones that you might need to listen to more. It is also really good if you can get users that are really well informed (have used your competitors as well). Look at feedback and don’t necessarily build what they ask for. Build for the goals they are trying to go after. Twitch dumped almost all of their resources into things that people never asked for.

Honestly, this was one of the less actionable lectures, he jumped around a bit and didn’t have a clear message.


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