Here’s a common question I hear teams ask their customers during product discovery:

Would you buy X if we built it?

That’s the wrong question to ask though. Customers’ expressed needs and wants often don’t match their actions. So how do you get around this problem?

Simple – assume you’ve already built it and start selling it. You don’t need a finished product to sell it; you don’t even need a prototype or an MVP. After all, that’s what many Kickstarters and other vaporware videos are. So you say:

We’ve built X. Want to buy it?

And then when (or really if) they say yes you follow up with, “GREAT! We’ll configure it for your team and that will be ready in N weeks. In the meantime let’s train your team so they’re ready to hit the ground running when the product is set up.”