Interview Series #1 episode 1: Sam Carter asks Jake Higgins about the major challenges organizations most commonly face and they can solve them.
The CEO of Fospha, Sam Carter, asks Jake Higgins, the co-founder of Growth club about the major challenges organizations most commonly face and they can solve them.
Sam Carter, CEO of Fospha, asked Jake Higgins, a founding partner of the Growth Club about the major challenges organizations most commonly face and they can solve them.
Sam: The idea of this series is to try and sort of over the course of a series of interviews, collect sort of consistent themes and trends like the really big burning topics, challenges and solutions that people in the space have. And so we're delighted that you're here. And the thing will be themed around four big questions, so I'll get straight into it.
Question number one is the types of organizations that you've worked with in current role and in previous roles, what are the kind of the big consistent challenges that you've seen that they have had and how has the organization and you gone about solving them?
Jake: Yeah, big question.
Sam: Sorry. It's a massive one to start with.
Jake: So yeah, in terms of challenges, I think a lot of people might have an initial product market fit, whether that's an app, whether it's DTC, consumer, whatever it might be. But then as they scale, that initial kind of customer economic situation doesn't scale with their spend. And I think that's the perennial problem that startups face. How do you handle that journey from early adopters to late adopters?
And for me, there is probably too much emphasis on often the marketing itself or the channels or what have you. And I think really most of the big gnarly problems that I've seen organizations come up against have really been solved by not just the great quantitative data that companies like Fospha can provide, but the qualitative data. I really think people who spend more time doing non-biased user testing, non-biased customer interviews, will really start to understand the problems and the real talk around their product. And the ideal scenario is that you hunt for all the bad news because if you can take the feedback from a prospect or someone who abandoned cart or someone who's never heard of you, you can take that negative feedback, be it on the product or the marketing, make those changes. It's like a law of gravity, right? It's like nature conversion rate will go up. So I think some of the biggest challenges around how does that initial product market fit scale and how do we understand the different customers in different demographics and how do they think about our marketing and think about our product? And one of the best solutions I've seen to that is doing very systematic customer development. I'm a big advocate of the book The MumTest, spelled in the American sense, Mo M. It's a quick primer, you can read it on a train ride, but it teaches you how to ask non-biased customer interviews.
And I think people should do that more. What I notice is that it doesn't float to the top of the to-do list, even for some of the best companies out there. And look, we've been there. You get to your desk and you have a to-do list that's probably too long speaking to strangers about why your product and marketing is terrible. It doesn't often float to the top. And so you have to be really disciplined to take the time to do that. But it is worth.
Sam: It got to be prepared for hearing things that you don't really want to hear.
Jake: That's the ideal scenario. And if you just speak to your current customers, it can become an echo chamber. And sometimes that happens, right? People have product market fit with an early adopter audience. The echo chamber gases them up, as it were, and then they raise on a big valuation.
And then when it comes to deploying that capital, they find that actually how that product market fit scales through those lateral adopters is not the same as it was in the outset, which is why it's so important to have great quantitative tools like Fospha and so on, and also great qualitative data. It's those two things because those two things combined can give you real intellectual honesty about the situation you're in. And a lot of the time you work with organizations or you see organizations that don't have the intellectual honesty, they don't know their current situation. If you don't know your current situation, how can you pull the different levers that are going to drive growth?
So I think we were chatting earlier about some of the things that I look at when I start working with an organization, but that's the starting board. What tools and systems do they have in place? What data, both quantum qual to understand their situation? I think that the first thing I would be looking at.
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