The Mom Test

The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick

The Mom Test is simple. Employ the Strategy of Preeminence with your user research.

The book is called ‘The Mom Test’ because Rob puts this idea forward that when you are talking to people about an idea that you have, they will lie to you and give you false positives.

In particular your mom doesn’t want you to feel bad about your idea so when you pitch a ‘What / If’ scenario about whether they would use your app or idea, they will say ‘FOR SURE’ with a resounding yes.

It’s easy to go into pitch mode and try to validate an idea you have for solving others problems.


If you’re doing user research, keep the conversation on their problems and experience and try not to talk about yourself.

The test is simple:

  1. Talk about their life instead of your idea
  2. Ask about specifics tin the past instead of generics or opinions about the future
  3. Talk less and listen more

I really enjoyed the last section about implementing the process. While taking notes (note taking), Rob will tag a note with a symbol that gives the note context. These symbols are aimed at adding context for the emotion the person has, the problem in context of their life, or specifics.

Notes mentioning this note

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