90: The Mom Test with Rob Fitzpatrick


May 30th, 2019

47 mins 43 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Ben and Derrick welcome Rob Fitzpatrick, author of The Mom Test: How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you. It’s not your typical non-fiction business book, but short and straight to the point. It should be a mandatory prerequisite for anyone embarking on the startup journey.

Derrick’s Level Retrospective describes how Rob’s book had a major impact on his most recent startup experience. People want to be supportive, so it’s difficult to get unbiased feedback during customer validation. Derrick already knew this to be correct, but underestimated the degree to which everyone lies. So, he felt betrayed by early validation efforts proved to be radically different from reality.

Today’s Topics Include:

  • Don’t ask anyone if your business is a good idea because everyone is biased
  • Burden of truth should be put on yourself, not your customers
  • Entrepreneur’s Superpower: Getting support before it’s deserved because passion pollutes feedback
  • Founder Fit: Does your business idea merge with your product and lifestyle goals?
  • Founder Centric: Cashflow-positive education and training agency for startups
  • Product-Market Fit: People share their problems via a proposed solution; when customers send feature requests, get to root of the problem
  • Statistical significance of sample size is a trap; reach point of diminishing returns to move forward with product, and focus on number of/hours spent on conversations
  • Entrepreneurs and customers think every problem matters, but they don’t
  • What to do next to pivot in the right direction and niche down

Links and resources:

The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick

Rob Fitzpatrick

The Workshop Survival by Rob Fitzpatrick

Founder Centric

Steve Blank

Paul Graham



Hacker News

Superhuman Product-Market Fit Survey


Spin Selling by Neil Rackham


Art of Product on Twitter

Derrick Reimer Website

Derrick Reimer on Twitter

Ben Orenstein Website

Ben Orenstein on Twitter


Level Retrospective

Level Manifesto