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Problem Discovery Interviews Are Not About Pitching

Daily 60 Second Startup Advice
Problem Discovery Interviews Are Not About Pitching

Hello friends, and welcome to another episode of "Daily 60 Second Startup Advice." In the ever-evolving world of startups, one term that often circulates is "problem discovery interviews." But let's be clear from the outset - problem discovery interviews are not about pitching.


Amidst the bustling landscape of entrepreneurial advice, it's not uncommon to hear ambitious individuals discussing their efforts to persuade potential customers about their groundbreaking solutions. However, this practice couldn't be farther from the essence of problem discovery interviews. Instead, these interviews are an opportunity to engage with your customers, particularly early adopters, in a different manner.


They are a means to delve deep into their world, unearth their challenges, and understand their pain points. In this article, we'll explore the intricacies of problem discovery interviews, emphasizing the importance of keeping the focus on problems rather than prematurely pitching your product.


If you are looking for ways to lay the foundation of a scalable business and looking for ways to find Product-Market Fit, then learning how to execute problem discovery interviews will save you months (or maybe years) of effort.

The Essence of Problem Discovery Interviews

Problem Discovery Over Pitching

When engaging in problem discovery interviews, the primary goal should always be to uncover problems, struggles, and pain points experienced by your potential customers. It's not about selling them a solution, at least not yet. These interviews are about listening, understanding, and empathizing.


In a world where everyone seems eager to present the perfect solution to every problem, this approach may seem counterintuitive. However, the paradox lies in the fact that by refraining from pitching, you open up a world of opportunities to innovate and create tailored solutions. Your objective is not to convince but to comprehend.

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Stay Out of the Solution Space

Picture startup problem discovery interviews as an exploration of uncharted territories. When you're in the midst of such interviews, you're not yet in the solution space. Your mission is akin to that of an archaeologist searching for hidden treasures. You're gathering information, insights, and knowledge about the terrain - in this case, your customers' needs and challenges. The treasure trove of solutions can only be unearthed once you've meticulously mapped out the landscape of problems. Prematurely venturing into the solution space can result in misalignment and missed opportunities.

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The Role of Empathy and Understanding in
the Problem Discovery Process

To conduct effective problem discovery interviews, empathy should be your guiding star. Put yourself in your customers' shoes, immerse yourself in their world, and genuinely care about their experiences. When you approach these interviews with empathy, you build trust and rapport with your customers. They'll be more open and candid in sharing their pain points, which is crucial for your problem-solving journey.

Problem discovery interviews are essentially an expedition into your customers' world. You're on a quest to comprehend their daily struggles, challenges, and obstacles. The better you understand their world, the more equipped you'll be to create solutions that seamlessly fit into their lives. These interviews allow you to see the world from their perspective, which is invaluable when designing products or services that truly resonate with your target audience.

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Conclusion: The Journey of Discovery In Startup Problem Discovery Interviews

In the world of entrepreneurship, problem discovery interviews are your compass, guiding you through the uncharted territory of customer needs and desires. Remember, the essence of these interviews is not to pitch your product; it's about uncovering the core problems that need solving. By staying out of the solution space and immersing yourself in empathy and understanding, you embark on a journey of discovery that can lead to innovative solutions tailored to your customers' unique challenges.

So, the next time you conduct a problem discovery interview, leave your pitch at the door and open your ears, your heart, and your mind. Your customers hold the keys to unlock innovation and success, and by truly listening to them, you'll be well on your way to creating products and services that make a real difference in their lives. And always remember to have fun on this enlightening journey of problem discovery; it's a process that can not only drive your business forward but also deepen your connection with your customers.

Full Text of the Video
Problem Discovery Interviews Are Not About Pitching

Hey everyone,


Today's startup advice is about the problem discovery interviews. 

During our mentorship sessions, we discovered that most of our mentees refer to pitching to customers when we ask them if they actually speak with their customers. 

A problem discovery interview is not about pitching. It's about speaking with customers who could be early adopters and asking them about their problems.

Because the main intention of a problem discovery interview is to uncover problems, the struggles and the pain points of your customers. 

It's not about pitching your product. 

You are not even in the solution space while we are trying to do some problem discovery interviews.

You're just trying to understand the problems. 

And when you uncover the problems, then you will be in association to create solutions to solve those problems. 

Please remember to not pitch to your customers during your problem discovery interviews. 

And please remember to have fun on the way.

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