The Pathos Problem

It’s okay. You can be honest with me. Just tell me what you think.

When it comes to your idea, most people will not want to hurt your feelings.

via The Mom Test:

To deal with The Pathos Problem, keep the conversation focused on the other person and ask specific, concrete cases and examples.

Great advice.

But what does it look like?

Here’s what Rob Fitzpatrick, the author of The Mom Test, suggest via The Startup Toolkit:

Instead of asking whether your product solves a problem, you ask what their problems are. Instead of asking what they would pay you, you ask them how much they pay for the current solution.

The key idea is to remove your idea from the conversation and focus on the person you’re speaking with, their life, their frustrations, their desires, and their goals.

If you take that approach and stop asking bad questions, you would almost always get valuable data.