How to Run a User Interview with Emmett Shear (How to Start a Startup 2014: Lecture 16)

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Lecture Transcript:

Building product, and talking to users. In the early stages of your startup, those are the two things you should focus on.
In this lecture, Emmett Shear, Founder and CEO of and Twitch, covers the latter. What can you learn by talking to users that you can’t learn by looking at data? What questions should you ask? How can user interviews define or redefine your product goals?

See the slides and readings at

Discuss this lecture:

Chapters (Powered by –
00:00 – Introduction
00:28 – First startup
01:07 – Second startup
04:44 – Talking to users
05:50 – Lecture focused note taking app
06:58 – Who would you talk to?
12:03 – User Interview
16:25 – Not interested in features
19:14 – One feature on top of Google Docs
22:44 – Validate the idea
24:08 – Hack something together
25:43 – Broadcaster Feedback
28:20 – Competitor Broadcaster Feedback
29:34 – Non-Broadcasters
29:45 – Non-Broadcaster Feedback
32:16 – Where were the issues?
34:49 – Audience question
35:03 – The most common mistake
36:27 – How hard was it to get buy in from the rest of your company?
36:41 – How hard is it to get buy in from the rest of your company?
37:44 – Skype interviews for recording
38:50 – User interviews – Don’t speak your language
39:50 – Channels used and do you compensate
40:59 – User Feedback
42:13 – Focus on a specific segment
43:35 – Game publishers
45:13 – How do you give good user feedback

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