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3 books that shaped Spixii's approach to customer development

2 min read

Just as innovation does not happen in a vacuum, nor does design. Here is our UX designer Matteo's pick of books that have shaped customer development at Spixii and underpin our key values: being humble and the art of listening.


 The Mom Test: How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you, Rob Fitzpatrick

How do you really validate your ideas?

Think back to the last time you asked for someone's opinion on your work. Did you receive great feedback but have a feeling they were sugarcoating the truth? 

The Mom Test helped us embrace humbleness, look away from our personal bubble of thoughts and look towards the market. Starting sincere dialogues with insurance customers helped us create something they actually wanted, instead of what we guessed they might like.

This was one of the most important readings at the beginning, especially as we defined our product-market fit. Many of the principles also apply to design, when user testing, conducting surveys or interviewing potential customers.

You shouldn't ask anyone if your business is a good idea. It's a bad question and everyone will lie to you at least a little. As a matter of fact, it's not their responsibility to tell you the truth. It's your responsibility to find it and it's worth doing right."


The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products That Win, Steve Blank

Turn your ideas into experiments

A Silicon Valley classic.

While talking to customers, Blank's methodologies help ensure thorough and accurate customer development.

When approaching a new project, it's easy to throw a tonne of ideas and doubts on the table .- even more so when you are excited by the potential! Yet, it is hard to tidy those ideas up and create something cohesive. This book helped us tackle the brainstorming stage step-by-step. Now instead of throwing everything on the table, we put them there piece by piece.




The Lean Startup, Eric Ries





A scientific framework for design and quickly proving a concept

If we were to build a Spixii library, The Lean Startup would be the first to sit on the bookshelf. The Holy Grail of startup books, you can apply Ries' approach to customer development anywhere and everywhere. Ries' secret? Listening. While creating a solution, it's really important to do customer development early on. Once you have some customer insights, you can build and iterate from there.

After reading The Lean Startup, we left our offices and asked insurance customers for their stories. From here, we could see the problem. People were frustrated. From millennials to baby boomers, the process of buying insurance online or filing a claim was difficult and often stressful. We also realised that many people first messaged a friend or family member to ask for help. This was where the idea for Spixii was born: a chatbot that could help customers make better informed decisions.

Whether you are a co-founder or heading innovation for an insurance company, this is a must-read.


What books have shaped your approach to customer development? Let us know in the comments below.

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