Week 4 Customer Discovery

To prepare for week 4 we are hoping to dig up a few more pain points or gain areas that might help us solidify our product-market fit on our mission model canvas. We plan to accomplish this by hitting one last round of North Korean experts, focusing some on economic and market dynamics. We also want to confirm that certain assumptions about who benefits from smuggled petroleum are correct.

We also want to test an idea that came out of an interview regarding the narrowness of the OFAC SDN list and the possibility of providing gains to corporate executives concerned with legal and public relations exposure while also supporting the US lead negotiator by weakening North Korean access to smuggled petroleum products.

Weekly Hypotheses:

  1. Refined Petroleum imported illegally through ship-to-ship transfers is primarily benefiting the North Korean state and not quasi-private black market actors.
  2. The Treasury Department OFAC SDN list is significantly underinclusive of all relevant bad actors and publishing a wider ranging list would reduce North Korea’s access to sanctions evading markets.


We will conduct Customer Discovery interviews to test our hypotheses. We especially hope to pull out of each interview one or two ideas for areas that need attention and possible future MVPs.

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