Section 3: 

Conduct Market Research

You now have a solution to a problem you care to solve, and you want to test your idea. How do you know if it will work? How do you figure out if it is a good idea? Fundamentally, speaking with various customers and stakeholders will allow you to assess and refine your idea. 

As we walk you through these steps, we will also draw from the experience of Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram at Proximie to guide you by example.


Your venture is creating a product or service to fill a need or solve a problem of a customer. Consider who your specific customers are and — segment them. For example, they could be researchers, device manufactures, patients, providers, payors, and so forth. It is worth acknowledging the fact that some of your customers may not actually be the ultimate end users of your product or service, but these individuals will be important decision makers that may make or break your product getting to market. 

Take some time to compile a list of assumptions about what you believe your customers care about. You can draw inspiration from conversations you may have had with individuals as you were trying to determine what problem you wanted to solve. Your job as an innovator is to ultimately learn what various stakeholders and customers value and how your company can cater to their needs.

Create interview guides with a list of questions for every customer segment that can allow you to assess your assumptions.

Click the preview to print and fill out your own Customer Discovery Table.


It is now time to reach out to customers to assess your assumptions and learn more about what your customers actually want. 

We recommend reading The Mom Test to learn more about how to speak with customers to determine if your product or service is a good idea, as it guides you through how to ask the right questions. Another short but impactful practical guide is Talking to Humans that outlines how to structure your customer discovery and market research in more detail, especially if this is your first time doing so.

Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram is the founder of Proximie, “an [augmented reality] platform that allows clinicians to virtually ‘scrub in’ to any operating room or [catheterization] lab from anywhere in the world” that allows health professionals to teach, train and collaborate remotely, thus digitizing a given surgeon’s footprint and creating a borderless and inclusive operating room.

Below is an example of a matrix outlining how a company like Proximie could go about customer discovery.


In addition, through speaking with customers and your own scrubbing of reputable websites and market reports, gauge the size of the overarching market opportunity your product or service aims to target. Is it large enough? 

Sandra Saldana aimed to tackle the problem of stroke when she co-founded Alva Health:

While we are not going to get into all of the details, there are two general ways to size the market – a top-down approach or a bottom-up approach.