In the previous email, I shared how April Dunford says to lead with your unique insight when pitching your product.

But how can you uncover insight if you don't really know what it is? Let me share a tip that's worked for us as we work through positioning our open source game engine, Excalibur.js.

We had the hypothesis that Excalibur was a good fit for web developers who had no previous game development experience.

To test whether this hypothesis had legs, we actually started to chat with our community members.

I recommend two resources that will help you get better insights from your conversations with customers, prospects, or community members:

The Mom Test is a quick read and provides tons of straightforward "rules of thumb" – it probably took me 2-3 hours tops to get through it. Deploy Empathy has more tactics and tips/scripts for actually performing the interviews.

These should be "must reads" for anyone who has to talk to people as part of their product development – so DevRel, POs, PMs, marketers, SDRs, founders, and yes, engineers. So... basically everyone? Yes.

By having "customer conversations" we were able to validate our hypothesis, plus we got plenty of insights to help build out our developer persona (which also doubles as our ideal customer profile, or ICP).

Better customer conversations will help you:

  • Avoid false positive validation
  • Be an active listener
  • Ask better questions
  • Empathize more deeply
  • Develop richer personas
  • Stop thinking of only yourself
  • Write more effective copy
  • Design better developer experiences
  • Uncover pain points
  • Know your audience more deeply
  • Be less sales-y

We're still in the process of scheduling chats, but already we can more concretely say why Excalibur appeals to people and why it differs from what's already on the market – in other words, it has helped us refine that "insight" April talks about.

Have a lovely day,

How to have better chats with developers (Uncovering your product's unique insight, part 2)

Want devs to love your product?

Hi 👋 I'm Kamran. I'm a consulting developer educator who can help your DevRel team increase adoption with better docs, samples, and courseware.
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