Observe: notice or perceive (something) and register it as being significant– definition
Sometimes your observations can tell you more than the founders’ pitch, value prop, and words…
…actually, this is more often than expected.
When chatting with the relevant stakeholders, interviewing them about their startup, their competition, WIIFM, etc. we can gain a lot more insight by paying attention beyond their answers and notice their body language, how they answer, and whether there is more to the story.
If we’re having a conversation (and not an interrogation), it is easier to notice different things such as an eye roll, a grimace, a tired look, a whisper, a cheeky retort, a side glance, and many more things that hint we should be feeding our curiosity and ask more questions.
This may result from a founder holding some information back, yet it may also be due to your questions challenging their regular pitches in hopes of finding a better and easier way to explain it forward.
It isn’t that you’re doing something wrong, but you’re moving them slightly away from their comfort zone, and then you’re revealing words and explanations that haven’t necessarily been used within their pitch, or were in the past and have been omitted.
Some of these newly found viewpoints, phrases, or angles may lead to nothing, or they may open up new directions that haven’t been considered (or been avoided). Yes, it may cause issues, yet it may also take your message in a new trajectory that is more appropriate, position you in a different light, and fine-tune your message, copy, and offering to make your value much clearer.
So pay attention, notice how the answers are presented, and keep digging deeper for clarity and personal understanding.