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Driving Corporate Innovation: Design Thinking vs. Customer Development

Steve Blank

While they both emphasize getting out of the building and taking to customers, they’re not the same. Here’s why. Lessons Learned.

The Art of the Customer Development Conversation

Market by Numbers

What you seek to learn evolves over time, as do the tactics you employ, but every step of the way should be grounded in real time conversations.

It’s Not a Conversion Problem, It’s a Customer Development Problem

Extra Lucrative Conversion Advice. Conversion Optimization Services. Conversion Research. This is not a conversion problem.

Raising Money Using Customer Development

Steve Blank

Chasing funding versus chasing customers and a repeatable and scalable business model, is one reason startups fail. How many are there?  Try it.

2 Challenges of Startup Customer Development & How to Get Great Feedback Instead

View from Seed

Customer development” has become its own skill and body of knowledge, and there are some crucial nuances to understand up front before beginning your customer dev discussions. It’s too easy to lead the witness in the way you ask a question, or get a reaction that tells you very little about a customer’s core needs or problems.

Creating Startup Success – Customer Development + Business Model Design

Steve Blank

In previous posts I’ve talked about what the combination of Business Model Design, Customer Development and Agile Methodologies mean to startups and intrapreneurs in large companies; it’s the beginning of entrepreneurship as a science with its own rules and methodologies. link]. She posted her notes from the talk here.) link].

Customer Development and Marketplaces

Market by Numbers

I had a brief email conversation with a startup founder struggling with how to tackle customer development in marketplace business models.  I thought I’d share a bit about what we discussed, in case others have a similar dilemma. Customer Development does not equal User Acquisition. Product vs Consumer.

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development

Startup Lessons Learned

believe it is the best introduction to Customer Development you can buy. Here’s hoping they soon tackle Customer Validation.

B2B Customer Development

Market by Numbers

During Customer Discovery, you are not selling, so you are in a better situation to have “learning conversations&# with prospective customers

When Customers Make You Smarter

Steve Blank

We talk a lot about Customer Development, but there’s nothing like seeing it in action to understand its power. project. Lessons Learned.

Concierge Onboarding is Continuous Customer Development

Kevin Dewalt

You already know a good onboarding process is critical for getting customers to use (and pay for) your product. Increase conversions to paid subscribers. Customer Development. Today I’m going to explain how to do Customer Development during concierge onboarding. When do I contact customers?

Customer Development Manifesto: Market Type (part 4) « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

In future posts I’ll describe how  Eric Ries and the  Lean Startup concept provided the equivalent model for product development  activities inside the building and neatly integrates customer and agile development. Handspring’s customers understood what a Personal Digital Assistant was. They never understood Market Type.

How One Startup Figured Out What Could Really Help Deaf People

Steve Blank

Customer Development for us meant a lot of hard-won learnings. Filed under: Customer Development , Lean LaunchPad , Teaching.

Get the Heck Out of the Building in Founder’s School: Part 2

Steve Blank

Now you can watch Part 2 “ The Lean Approach “ This group of six videos provides an overview of how to successfully do Customer Discovery.

How Investors Make Better Decisions: The Investment Readiness Level

Steve Blank

The Investment Readiness Level makes the stages of development for the business very tangible. Here’s John’s story. But the ‘ah-hah!’

How to Hack Customer Development with Your Landing Page

Kevin Dewalt

Summary : Take active advantage of your landing page as a Customer Development tool by emailing people who sign up. Me : Awesome!

How To Find the Right Co-Founders?

Steve Blank

She started by sketching her business model canvas on a napkin, but somehow the conversation quickly shifted to what was really on her mind.

Updated Customer Development Image

Market by Numbers

Reply Tweets that mention Updated Customer Development Image | Market By Numbers | Marketing Help -- says: January 13, 2010 at 9:19 pm [.]

How To Create Customer Personas With Actual, Real Life Data


When was the last time you took a long hard look at what makes your customer base tick? What Customer Personas Are … Really. consumers.

A New Way to Look at Competitors

Steve Blank

conversation with investors.  (If you wanted to get fancy, you could scale the size of the “petals” relative to market size.).

RIP PRDs. Long Live “Agile Conversations”

Street Smart Product Manager

Many of my free product help calls are about ways to pursue customer development and gather VOC, bootstrap new product efforts, and apply lean principles to product management activities. I Long Live “Agile Conversations” The post RIP PRDs.

Tesla and Adobe: Why Continuous Deployment May Mean Continuous Customer Disappointment

Steve Blank

For the last 75 years products (both durable goods and software) were built via Waterfall development. Waterfall – The Customer View.

Fear of Failure and Lack of Speed In a Large Corporation

Steve Blank

suggested the best place to start the conversation is with the 21 st century definition of a startup: A startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. They’ve found product/market fit (what products customers want to buy). How can we restart our innovation culture?”. —-.

Lean 119

The 6 Books That Actually Saved Our Startup

Vinicius Vacanti

Constantly improving the conversion rates of each of these actions is at the core of what most startups do. My startup instincts were terrible.

An MVP is not a Cheaper Product, It’s about Smart Learning

Steve Blank

What they wanted was a happy early customer who recognized the value of their data and is willing to be an evangelist.  Customer Development

When do I *stop* doing customer interviews and start writing code?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Here are the details of both of those customer development experiences. But then as the conversations wore on, I felt a change.

Building Great Founding Teams

Steve Blank

They deal with the daily crisis of product development and acquiring early customersCustomer Development Family/Career/Culture

Who’s Doing the Learning?

Steve Blank

What if a buyer asks, can you make a custom version of your product? Bettina said, “We want to drive customer demand into our channel.” 

PR 147

Blinded by the Light – The Epiphany

Steve Blank

We now know how to teach entrepreneurs how to think about business models and use customer development to turn hypotheses into facts.

Flash 149

Killing Your Startup By Listening to Customers

Steve Blank

The art of entrepreneurship and the science of Customer Development is not just getting out of the building and listening to prospective customers.

Solving the Innovator’s Dilemma – Customer Development in a Big Company

Steve Blank

At times I’ll do what I consider an extension of teaching; a two-day Customer Discovery/Validation intensive session with a large corporation serious about Customer Development at my ranch on the California Coast. It reminded me of the differences in Customer Discovery between a scalable startup and a big company.

Why Internal Ventures are Different from External Startups

Steve Blank

The success of Documentum and Document Sciences, they felt, came largely from Xerox technology and customers, yet the startup companies XTV funded got all the credit.  Worse, the potential new product might give customers a reason to delay the purchase of today’s products). Berkeley in the Haas Business School.

How We Fight – Cofounders in Love and War

Steve Blank

But a few weeks ago after I sat on a panel about cofounders at Startup2Startup there was a small group dinner conversation to dig deeper on the topic.

8 Email Segmentation Examples That Can Boost Conversions


Whereas for your most engaged subscribers, you could focus on sending emails aimed to convert them into paying customers. And this needs to end.

Email 32

Hiring – Easy as Pie

Steve Blank

Part of each conversation was getting asked to help them put together a “job spec.”. I had them leave with a pie chart. Draw a pie chart.

Hiring 151

China Startups – The Gold Rush and Fire Extinguishers (Part 5 of 5)

Steve Blank

Filed under: China , Customer Development , Technology , Venture Capital. China Customer Development Technology Venture Capital

China 145

How To Get Your First 1,000 Users

Vinicius Vacanti

You can also add this video to your splash page to help increase conversion of people submitting their email addresses. Not tomorrow, today.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 23: Nina Tandon and Brandon McNaughton

Steve Blank

What you need is to understand the problem to know what do deliver to the customer. Filed under: Customer Development , SiriusXM Radio Show.

How I Make Customer Development Interviews Less Weird and More Natural

Kevin Dewalt

Most of the ideas around Customer Development came out of startup experiences in Silicon Valley. Customer : Oh. Customer : Really?

What’s Your Customer Development Viral Coefficient?

Kevin Dewalt

The Customer Development Viral Coefficient is a measure of this rate and the first insight an entrepreneur gets on his startup idea feasibility. .