Asking QsEarlier this year I wrote a three-part series on the Top Ten Entrepreneurial Research Mistakes. One of my favorite market research professionals, wrote to me and suggested adding three additional points: 1) Don’t assume you know how to ask the right questions. Get a book on research questioning or find a friend in the field. That is the greatest skill mastered after years of research and is not easy for a novice. There are great books out there with this focus. In more than few instances I have been mortified by research designed by non-researchers. For many of the reasons you point out in your article, but also because most people are not smart enough to translate what you say about question asking to action on their end. Some well-rated books on research questions include: Asking Questions: The Definitive Guide to Questionnaire Design — For Market Research, Political Polls, and Social and Health Questionnaires by Bradburn, Sudman and Wansink Designing and Conducting Survey Research: A Comprehensive Guide by Louis M. Rea and Richard A. Parker 2) Spend some time clearly identifying what you want to learn and why. Ask yourself: what will I do with the answer? This is the key driver of what you should do methodology-wise and who you should be talking to. “I’m not selling so need to do market research” is not reason enough. 3) Don’t talk to the wrong people. Many entrepreneurs default to doing research with their current users or they self-define who they think should be users. For example, considering if the Frame of Reference for their product or service could help better identify the right people to talk to.