The Mom Test Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: The Mom Test talks about ways to tell if your business idea is great or terrible by assessing the opinions of your friends, family, and investors accordingly, and not believing everything they say just to make you feel good.

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The Mom Test Summary

Let’s say you’ve got a business idea. How can you tell if it’s worth exploring before you blow all your life savings on it? You may ask for the opinion of your co-workers or family members, but unfortunately, all those people will serve you sweet words to avoid hurting your feelings or hearing your pitch. So, how can you tell what your true audience is thinking?

The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick teaches you a series of tips and tricks on how to ask the right questions to reveal authentic insights. It’ll also teach you how to pitch your business idea properly. It all starts with learning the right way to ask questions, and aiming for commitment instead of compliments.

Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:

  1. Spot real from fake compliments and aim to get your investors committed.  
  2. Your audience has the answers you need, not the ones you want, but they’ll prove to be extremely valuable insights.
  3. Investors prefer saving time with casual meet-ups in coffee lounges or other relaxed environments. 

Further on, we’ll take each lesson and explore it in detail. Then, we’ll highlight one main idea from each one, so you can remember the core points easier. Let’s start!

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Lesson 1: Sometimes compliments may be ways of getting out of the conversation for investors, so watch out for them

Before you ask any potential customer for feedback, you should know if they are in need of it, if they would buy it, or if they can find other cheaper or even free alternatives to it. Always look for real data and cold, harsh truths, instead of aiming for compliments. But how can you tell if someone is feeding you good data?

When you’re pitching, skip the chatter and notice if they’re trying to compliment you too much. Most of the time, it just means that they’re trying to move away from commitment. A person interested in your idea will ask you specific questions and try to get a detailed idea about multiple aspects of your business.

Therefore, learn from young or inexperienced entrepreneurs, and ditch the chit chatter, the compliments, and over-hyperbolizing aspects of your idea. Instead, talk business, and stick to it. Investors will appreciate it, while family members and friends will learn that you are looking for concrete advice. Also, ask straight questions, such as if they want to invest, if they are looking to commit in the long run, to find out if you’re wasting each other’s time, or not.

Lesson 2: Take your market data as it is, and look for a specific niche

In the process of collecting data from the market, many entrepreneurs fail to see their idea as it is. Although it may be painful to admit that your business is set for failure, a clever executive knows when to back off, and in contrast, when to push more. The market is full of answers if you know how to find them. Of course, asking the right questions is a great way to gain insights, but interpreting them counts just as much.

If you want to develop a fitness app, you’ll first have to find a niche. The internet is full of fitness and nutrition advice of all kinds, so it can be pretty confusing when you start your journey. Therefore, bring forth a series of solutions targeted at a niche. You can’t possibly target all groups at once. Instead, go for a specific gender, age group, occupation, and so on. For example, you could target stay-at-home moms in their twenties or thirties, who are looking for simple exercises to keep their shape in a minimum amount of time. 

Once you have your niche sorted out, you can start asking them questions. If your market already has everything they need online, there’s no need for you to develop a paid app which will probably go unnoticed. Instead, look for solutions that everyone is looking for but are hard to come by. Develop products with high utility and value for users, and be prepared to face cold truths if your product is not needed or it doesn’t have a niche. Usually, you’ll find these answers waiting for you in the market.

Lesson 3: Go for casual meetings with investors, instead of making them feel uncomfortable with formal setups

Formal meetings are over-rated from many points of view. Firstly, setting them up takes time and a lot of planning, and it will probably going to cost you more than a casual setup. Moreover, as you meet with your potential investor, there’s no guarantee that they’ll take up on your offer, or even like the idea at all. All those resources spent could easily go to waste. The solution? Set up meetings in casual environments, such as a coffee shop. 

Not only it’ll relax your interlocutor by giving course to a conversation in a loosened-up environment, but it’ll also be faster, cheaper, and more likely to end up in a friendship, if not more than that. On another note, investors, like all people in general, loathe dreadful meetings. Everybody has had their fair share of unproductive meetings at work that could’ve easily been summed up through emails, and they’re probably not looking forward to the next one. 

Casual meetings are the go-to option of modern entrepreneurs who are looking to gather information about their consumers too. A relaxed setup allows for your interlocutor to open up more easily. This can reveal valuable insights for your business if you’re having a meeting with a focus group, someone who’s a potential customer or part of your target niche. It can be valuable too if you’re simply looking to meet up with various people to test market theories.

The Mom Test Review

The Mom Test steps in to help inexperienced entrepreneurs kick-start their journey in the business world by teaching them how to spot valuable insights in the market, find a niche, get the attention of investors, and know when it’s time to let go of an idea or keep pursuing it. By learning how to ask the right questions, you’ll tap into the hidden truths that lie in front of you and get the most out of your market research.

Who would I recommend The Mom Test summary to?

The Mom Test Summary can be recommended first to those 25-year-old people who want to start up a company. For those looking to learn valuable insights from the industry. Next, it is for the 30-year-old person who is looking to spot investors for his business idea but doesn’t know how to talk to them, or the 28-year-old person who has a business idea and doesn’t know how to spot fake versus real opinions from those around them.

Last Updated on October 5, 2022

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.