Customer Development Presentation

Unlike my classmates who headed to Silicon Valley from UC Davis upon graduation, I moved to Washington DC to work for a defense consulting firm. After a couple of years, "I dropped out" to write a novel, which I subsequently finished, explored the country for 3 months, finally landing in San Francisco and beginning my career in technology.

My book was (is) trite and sophomoric. After all, what insights do most 20-somethings have worth sharing? A lack of experience -- a lack of failure -- makes pontification shallow. One of my younger brothers, who was trying to make a living as a painter at the time, had a great comment. He said that he felt my book, like his art, was merely trying to say too much. That it wasn't that we didn't have good things to say, but that there was lack of discipline in focusing and examining in greater depth a few ideas, rather than "letting it all hang out."

I think young entrepreneurs suffer from a similar malady. But I'm going to leave it to you to ponder the connection between this and customer development and lean startups.

I actually bring this up because I recently did my first customer development presentation and I think I tried to say too much! I'm no Eric Ries, but really, I'm not a bad presenter. This was my first attempt at a new presentation and admittedly, I did not dedicate the proper time to building the deck up front.

So now the presentation has been made available on video.  I forced myself to watch it, which frankly, was rather painful. You know what I mean if you've ever watched yourself "perform." FWIW, I'm going to share it with you. Maybe you'll find something of value!

BTW, it cuts short not because I was removed with a hook, but rather due to technical glitches. (Yeah, right.)

Insights on how to improve or which parts you'd like me to concentrate on would be of great help!

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Customer Development Presentation”

  1. Sean Murphy August 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I think this particular talk might work better as a slide show with synchronized voice. It was hard to read the slides and the video was somewhat distracting. It’s easy to carry a pocket recorder to capture your voice, you can also do small clean up edits on an audio track that would be more noticeable on a video stream. I would also include more information at the event/location where you gave this talk and some background on the audience.

    Some specifics on the presentation. If you want to get questions from the audience ask them a number of questions before the formal talk starts and then periodically throughout. Questions that can be answered by a show of hands (e.g. raise you hand if you are currently involved in a startup, how many are thinking about doing a startup for the first time, etc..).

    If you want to get invited to give talks I would circulate and collect feedback cards during the formal Q&A portion of the talk (key comments and scores can be shared with prospective venues/groups) and I would add a page to your website that highlights your talks.

  2. ShanaC August 23, 2009 at 11:23 am

    While I can’t see the presentation from my BB, I can ponder your brother’s advice. Great art, the best, which all labor (including your presentation) requires focus and distillation. It also requires even more energy to experiment and push boundaries to keep it fresh. Sometimes, the lack will give you direction and its always good to go back for critique- don’t let formula keep you where you are though.

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