Audience Discovery comes down to defining 4 major areas. In this post, I'll deal with Affinity or Belonging.
How: This is an easy one. People gather into communities because they are united by something they care about. Think of areas that you would like to explore.
What are your interests? What personal experience do you have? Are there any pains that you're trying to solve? Not necessarily, professionally. How about your hobbies? Your lifestyle? Perhaps, there are communities that your parents belong to but you also care about? Don't thing high-tech! Think, what makes you personally tick.
Examples: For example, @DanHeld was actively embedding himself into the cryptocurrency holder community when he came up with his first startup idea. While Molly Wolchansky launched @theagentnest because she was genuinely trying to help her mother with running a real estate agency business.
Result: make a list of at least 10 communities that you belong to.
Next Step: give a score to every community in your list where 5 is the highest score (highest sense of your personal belonging) and 1 is the lowest score.
Affinity stress test
Great! Now, you've come up with a list of at least 10 communities you'd like to serve. However, there's one more quick exercise I'd like you to do.
Imagine you're from 5 years from now. And the level of technology has leaped to the Moon (like, literary everything has changed). Community you have tagged in your list has a totally different approach to their problems now. Now, answer yourself honestly to the following questions:
— Would you still want to help it?
— Would you still be inspired by these people?
— How technological change might impact your Affinity?
If all answers are positive and in favour of your affinity level - let this community sit in tour list.
There is a set of other questions you have to ask yourself and answer before moving on to the next stage of Audience Discovery. I have put together a small quiz for your convenience, you can access it here:👇
How to read your scores?
Score 10 to 12 => leave the community in the list. Your affinity is strong and if you manage to build a startup serving this community it is more likely to last
Score under 10 => you should probably overthink your approach to this community and replace it with another, a less controversial one.
🤔 Now, are there other things to consider?
In his book Embedded Entrepreneur @arvidkahl suggest to ponder over a bus factor - it describes how small teams can implode when just one of the founders or a team member leaves — for whatever reason. If you can do it — go ahead and think it over. But being a non-techie you probably have no idea on this stage, what technology you might or want to use to solve your community problem. Will it be a low code? A no code? A high-tech solution? What kind of expert would you need for this? I think that going down this rabbit hole on this stage is dangerous — it will prompt you thinking technology-first, instead of audience-first. Don't get yourself attached to any tech platforms on this stage.
However, if you want to go over this path there are plenty of tips to be found in Embedded Entrepreneur book.
In the next episode of Robust Founder Bootcamp we'll get down to methods and tactics to research the Opportunity. In the meantime, I'd love you to do some homework.
You can go ahead with gathering data on your audience "locations". Where do they hang out? Please find below a link to the list of tools and platforms that you might want to use for this research.
(It is a Notion page. Don't forget to Duplicate it in your Notion account, if you are going to use it later).
As soon as you go over these platforms and make a research, complete the table with your communities, adding the links to corresponding tabs.
Don't dive deep into the conversations, just skim them to decide whether it is the community you're looking for. Good luck with the homework!