Users are everything, and yet many startups don’t talk to their users nearly as much as they should. Everything from detailed UX tests to simple demos and interviews shed new light on your weaknesses in ways that even the best designers couldn’t.

This is because your product’s target market needs to actually be involved. Their feedback matters because the product was created for them.

With all this in mind, #B4Demo, created by Krawst, is a movement to get startups to periodically hit the streets (or wherever customers can be found) and reach out for feedback before a demo day or pitching to investors. The first event runs from this Saturday, April 7th to Tuesday, April 10th and will collect startups in the NYC area to do product demos, user testing and product interviews. Collectively, the organizers hope to get NYC buzzing (hence, the bee theme).

paint nyc featured 520x260 Startups hit the streets in NYC for product demos & UX tests before the big pitchHere’s what you’ll get, from the creators:

  • 50 BEE stickers to hand out (write your URL on it after you sting someone)
  • We’ll add you to a portfolio of startups that’s part of the movement
  • We’ll blog, tweet and share about any interesting stuff the startups are doing
  • And collectively we get the city buzzing

Creator Ryan Lou on #B4Demo:

Startup founders need to reach out to users and customers more, most find it easier to do it via email or through a feedback or chat application, but not in person. Ash Maurya, author of  ”Running Lean”, talks a lot about how it can be difficult to do that, but it’s a necessary thing to make sure you’re building products people want. He provides some great advice, and that includes framing and scripting the conversation, for people to start talking to customers.

I’m currently in the New York area to do just that — reach out for feedback on my early stage startup, Krawst. It is something that was started with the goal of facilitating cultural exchange between travelers and locals through doing non-tourist activities together. We’re showing a prototype of the app during #b4demo and then using that feedback to help grow the app online.

Bringing the startup community together offline, getting user feedback and generating buzz are exactly what NY’s tech community needs to do so it can continue to grow and thrive. That’s exactly why young companies need to get out there and talk to users whenever possible, especially before demo days and investor pitches. Besides built a great product, learning from your users is one of the most important things most startups can do.

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