30-Day Problem Discovery Workshop

Understand your customers better than they do.

30-Day PD is a cohort-based workshop designed by Ash Maurya (author and creator of the Lean Canvas) that teaches you how to uncover big-enough problems worth solving using carefully scripted customer interviews.

Understanding Your Customer's Problems Grants You Super Powers

If you can describe your customer’s problems better than they can, there is an automatic transfer of expertise — your customers start believing that you must also have the right solution for them. Marketer, Jay Abraham, calls this phenomenon the “Strategy of Pre-eminence”.

You’ve probably experienced this at your doctor’s office. After receiving a successful diagnosis, you probably believed your doctor had figured out your ailment, and you rushed to fill the prescription they’d ordered — even though your doctor was simply following a systematic process of elimination by unpacking your symptoms using educated guessing.

Deeply understanding your customers better than they do is the first step to building products and features your customers cannot refuse -- because they are met with instant problem/solution fit.

The Problem With Problems

While the idea of starrting with problems before solutions is simple, doing this effectively can be quite challenging. You can’t simply ask customers to list their top problems because

  • they often don't know. There’s a reason why people go to therapists. It often takes another person to go beyond surface problems and get to root causes.
  • they may not want to tell you. If admitting to a problem makes your customers feel vulnerable or uncomfortable, unless they know you, like you, and trust you, they’ll deny having the problem.
  • you’ll bias their responses. When you lead with a problem, you cast a spotlight on specific issues, which tends to exaggerate your customer’s response. It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.
  • they might give you a solution instead of a problem. Be wary, that even customers are prone to the Innovator’s Bias. When asked about a problem, they will often tell you their idea of how to solve the problem versus explore the problem fully with you. A mis-diagnosis here is a recipe for going down a rabbit hole.

This is why surveys and focus groups fall short at the early stages of a product. They are validation, not discovery, tools. The best way to discover problems worth solving is through one-on-one customer interviews.

But simply talking to customers is not enough. You have to know how.

Problem Discovery is a Skill

The good news is that problem discovery is a skill which means it can be learned. The fastest way to learn any skill is through deliberate practice, perceptual learning (e.g. using simulations), and rapid feedback.

Here's how we do this:

  • We break down problem discovery into 3 basic skills: Prospecting, conducting interviews, and capturing insights.
  • We teach you step-by-step techniques for executing each skill which you'll get to practice using simulations we've designed.
  • Once you've acquired a skill, you'll get to hone it further through real-world practice i.e. running customer interviews and capturing insights.

Idea Not Required

Working with existing ideas is often mired in existing biases, sunk cost fallacies, and a shroud of confidentiality — all of which limit teams from taking off their blinders and really see the world of possibilty. In other words, our natural predisposition for falling in love with our solutions (innovator's bias) gets in the way of uncovering real problems worth solving.

It is for this reason, that we first teach you the skills of problem discovery by practicing them on products other than your own. Starting with a clean slate helps you check your constraints at the door — making it easier for you to see the world in a completely new way and rewire your foundational mindsets.

Once you learn to see the world differently, you can then readily apply this new lens to growing any existing product or launching a new product thereafter.

Who's it for?

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Innovators and intrapreneurs
  • Product managers
  • Makers and visionaries charged with building the next generation of products that matter

"This program not only changed my approach to building my startup, but it made sure I was focusing on loving the problem and not the product, and constantly reminding myself that the product is the whole business model and not just the MVP itself."

James Spalding
CEO of VOALÁ

How is 30-Day PD Structured?

In 30-Day PD, you learn by doing. The program is delivered over four online workshops (2 hours each) run weekly over 30 days. These workshops teach you the skills you need to acquire to deeply understand customers.

In between workshop sessions, you'll get to apply everything you learn using a battle-tested curriculum, online tools, and by way of running customer interviews.

WEEK 1: THE CUSTOMER FORCES MODEL

In this workshop you'll learn the behavioral science of how customers buy and use products. We'll build on this model in subsequent workshops.

WEEK 2: RUNNING A PROBLEM DISCOVERY SPRINT

This workshop breaks down the 3 steps for running effective customer interviews.

WEEK 3: UNPACKING INSIGHTS

We'll cover how to post-process your raw interview notes into actionable insights.

WEEK 4: ADVANCED TACTICS

Interviewing is a skill that gets better with more practice. We'll discuss more advanced techniques for running interviews.

30-Day PD in a Nutshell

Delivered 100% online in multiple timezones.
Attend from anywhere.
4 weekly workshops.
2 hours each.
Learn by doing.
Recruit, interview, and capture insights.
Coaching sessions with a certified coach.
Get feedback.
Online tools.
Put what you learn to practice.
Community.
Discussions and private forums.

Register for 30-Day PD

This program is hands-on and delivered over 30 days.

GENERAL ADMISSION

$2,499/attendee

-or-

$1,249/attendee for teams of 2-5 people working on the same project.

Most large companies will reimburse you (ask your manager or HR team).

STARTUP, NON-PROFIT, OR STUDENT

If you're a student, work at a qualifed non-profit, or a startup (with under 10 employees, less than $1 million in annual recurring revenue, and less than $2 million in funding), you qualify for discounted pricing.

$1,499/attendee

-or-

$749/attendee for teams of 2-5 people working on the same project.

SAVE MORE WITH AN ACADEMY MEMBERSHIP

An academy membership includes participation for your entire founding team (of up to 5 people) in this workshop and our 30-Day Business Model Design workshop

Regular membership is 2,999/year or 12 monthly payments of 299/mo.

Discounted membership is 1,999/year or 12 monthly payments of $199/mo.

The bundled workshops alone pay for the price of membership. In addition, you'll get access to all our stage-based playbooks and tools, community, and coaching resources for a year.

The next cohort-based workshop runs from May 16th - June 13th, 2022.
Cohorts are limited to 10 teams and are run in multiple timezones so you can attend from anywhere.

"If you're interested in entrepreneurship/innovation, forget going to Harvard Business School (FYI, I am an MBA graduate of HBS). Apply these concepts instead. Had I done so, I know I would have saved myself much time, money, and the attendant dead brain cells."

Z. Bynum

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your refund policy?

Due to the high-touch nature of this program, we only accept a limited number of participants into each cohort. As a result, we have a no refunds policy once the program starts.

We understand that circumstances change and if you find that you need to defer your participation to a later cohort, we can move you one-time to the next available cohort.

Why should I join this program? Can't I get the same learnings from your books and free videos?

For the same reason that we attend schools and universities, or elite athletes hire coaches -- for experience, advice, and external accountability.

That's what makes this program different from traditional courses. In addition, we are constantly evolving and refining our framework. You'll learn a completely revised problem discovery process with updated interview scripts and offer testing techiques not covered in any of our books.

Is this a remote or onsite coaching program?

The coaching program is run 100% online using the LEANSTACK platform to deliver courses, tools, and livestream events. We also have coaches in (almost) every timezone region which means you can attend from anywhere.

How much time will I be required to dedicate to this program?

We recommend allocating 10-15 hours a week.

How do timezones work?

We run the live workshop sessions in 3 timezones (Central US time, London time, and Sydney time). You specify your preference during registration which determines your cohort. The 1:1 coaching session will be coordinated to mutually fit. Everything else is handled asynchronously over the LEANSTACK platform.

Can you introduce me to investors?

Yes. We partner with a number of accelerators who teach our playbooks in their programs and are happy to introduce you to investors if fund-raising is part of your goal.

I still have questions!

Just drop us an email at team@leanstack.com or use the chat widget in the bottom-right corner of your screen.

"Life's Too Short to Build Something Nobody Wants"

Ash Maurya
Author, creator of Lean Canvas, and founder of LEANSTACK.

The next cohort-based workshop runs from May 16th - June 13th, 2022.
Cohorts are limited to 10 teams and are run in multiple timezones so you can attend from anywhere.