I spend a fair amount of my time as a freelance programmer gathering requirements. Also, with a few start-ups under my belt, I’ve seen how easy it is is to build the wrong thing due to a misunderstanding about potential customers and their needs.
I started reading The Mom Test a few days ago, and it seems like a smart way to avoid a lot of problems around this topic. The author Rob Fitzpatrick explains how most of the time, our poor questions are setting up a situation where people lie to us about the features they really want and need. Sometimes it isn’t deliberate, but the bottom line is we end up with the wrong impression about what would be a great product or feature.
Rob’s book explains how we often ask bad, leading questions of clients that push them to tell us things that we want to hear instead of what will actually help us fill their needs. It was eye opening to me to see how similar my own experiences were to his examples, and to realize what my prospective clients were ACTUALLY telling me, instead of what I heard. Oops.
As of right now, the digital version of the book is only $9 on Amazon and $10 on Gumroad. It is well worth the money. I see there is also a relatively short Udemy course which I have not yet tried.
If you are a programmer or entrepreneur, this book definitely worth your time.