Week 5: Customer Discovery

During week 5, we are seeking to test our hypotheses and potential MVPs by interviewing three categories of possible beneficiaries: state department officers involved or familiar with the démarche process; private companies – and in particular, risk manager officers – and OSD.

Our goal for the week is to further brainstorm our MVPs, understand their utility, and possibly narrow them down to one.

Weekly Hypotheses:

  1. The démarche process is lengthy and complex. An internal wiki or tool that would provide more easily accessible information, would speed up the process significantly (Possible MVP: Internal Wiki).
  2. Private companies often violate sanctions, by unwittingly trading with North Korean companies. A publicly available list of sanctioned entities would facilitate due diligence and prevent n0n-compliant transfers due to ignorance (Possible MVP: Public Bad Actor List).
  3. Not all sanctions are best when enforced. Sometimes a prioritized approach can lead to better strategic outcomes. The US needs a tool that analytically suggests what to devote resources to when enforcing (Possible MVP: Prioritization Tool).


We will conduct Customer Discovery interviews to test our hypotheses. We are looking forward to understanding which of the possible MVP has a potential for being useful, so that we could further elaborate on it.

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