The ‘Mom Test’

The ‘Mom Test’ by Rob Fitzpatrick is so relevant to my Enterprise module but is also so true! 

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had a lightbulb moment and think you have the next big thing? Was your mum the first person you told? I bet she said she loved it. Well….she was LYING. 

As Rob Fitzpatrick states, “You shouldn’t ask your mom whether your business is a good idea, because she loves you and will lie to you.” (Fitzpatrick, R. 2013)

I found a picture which I think sums up the “mom test’ perfectly. I think it shows that the mum’s lies are spurring the daughter on, to continue with her ideas. 


People who know you on a personal level, often won’t give you their actual opinion as they don’t want to offend you. Family and friends will more than likely say they love your idea because it’s what you want to hear.

It affects us when we are coming up with business ideas because we think were getting real data, but we’re not. There is a big gap between giving compliments and then becoming a customer. This is why, when I put my business idea out to test, I will stay clear of questions such as “Do you think it’s a good idea?” By doing this, I hope to avoid compliments and receive actual data which will benefit me. 

In order to overcome the ‘Mom test’, I will carry out a variety of both primary and secondary market research in order to sense whether or not my business idea would attract potential customers. The sort of questions I will ask will be related to the assumptions I made about my customers. (You can see these below) These assumptions could be wrong but I won’t know until I start researching the market. A few examples of questions will be, “How do you currently use Social Media?”, “How much money does getting help with Social Media cost you?” and “How do you currently keep up to date with events, family and friends?”.

By asking these types of questions, even your mum can’t lie to you. It will enable me to really learn if my business idea is going to work or not.

Assumptions enterprise .png

As Kolb stated, “Sometimes the assumptions made about the cause of a problem are clear to everyone in a company, including the researchers.” (Kolb, B. 2008. Pg40) However, she included this diagram in her book which shows that although we might think we know exactly what the cause of a problem is, it is not always the case.

Kolb enterprise .png

Check back soon to find out if I have overcome the ‘Mom Test’!


Fitzpatrick, R. (2013) The mom test – a book by Rob Fitzpatrick. Available at: (Accessed: 22 October 2016). Battle – Virtual Talk
Kolb, B. (2008) Marketing research: A practical approach. Los Angeles: Sage Publications Ltd, United Kingdom.

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