Pick an audience you'd want to be friends with

Inspired by Rob Fitzpatrick on helpful constraints and, picking an audience that you’d want to be friends with

Find who you want to help first

.. and then find their problems.

What makes a good customer segment, pre-idea?

  • you care about them
  • they spend money
  • you can reach them

People you like

Pick an audience segment that you'd want to be friends with.

This connects you to them and their problems, which massively helps with customer development (i.e. chatting with them) and motivation.

People who spend

Your audience need money, the ability to spend, and to already be spending it.

If their budget comes from elsewhere, e.g. their boss, other teams or organisations, or they aren't spending it right now, each sale gets much more complex.

People you can find

You want to reach them via easy, simple methods, e.g. blogs, content etc.

If your contact channel needs extra layers, i.e. going via paid media, publicity, you increase complexity. This can become a moat, but increases risk and time to get there, so acknowledge and accept that up front.


These three criteria intentionally restrict your problem search to an audience you want to help, which connects you to their problems, gives you focus and helps you deep dive beyond surface level issues because you do genuinely care.