A real Customer Advisory Board

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, October 26, 2009 A real Customer Advisory Board A reader recently asked on a previous post about the technique of having customers periodically produce a “state of the company&# progress report. Many companies seek to involve customers directly in the creation of their products. Just because we don’t blindly obey what our customers say doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility of hearing them out.

Customer Development Biases

Market by Numbers

I haven’t weighed in on Customer Development thoughts for several hours, so it’s about time. Interesting series of tweets in the last several days got me thinking about the biases we bring to Lean Startup Customer Development practices.

Trending Sources

Building Great Founding Teams

Steve Blank

However, in some industries such as life sciences, founders may be tenured professors who are not going to give up their faculty positions, so they often become the head of a startup’s scientific advisory board, but aren’t part of the founding team.).

Vision versus Hallucination – Founders and Pivots

Steve Blank

It was great to watch him embrace the spirit and practice of customer development. He was constantly in front of customers, listening, selling, installing and learning. It seemed like once a week Yuri would come back from a customer meeting brimming with new insights. “We’re

Entrepreneurs Experience – Do It and Learn It

Steve Blank

The class was designed to teach educators (and the adjunct entrepreneurs that support them) the Lean LaunchPad approach (Business Model Design, Customer Development and Agile Engineering) for teaching entrepreneurship. Filed under: Customer Development , Lean LaunchPad , Teaching.

Bob Dorf, co-author startup owner’s manual, Customer development: the science of acceleration for growth businesses

Business of Software Blog

Understanding the Customer Development Process. The other half of the job is figuring out who your customers are going to be, what’s going to make them excited and ecstatic and come back again and again and again, and tell their friends and so forth.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere show No. 4: David Lerner and Gary Marcus

Steve Blank

What do you do with an advisory board?” A lot of the skills that I developed there, and also in the writing for the public, have been very valuable in making, you know, in liaison with the investors and helping to recruit people. Customer Development

Making Friends With Millennials: Evolving The Customer Service Story


How they think and feel; their sense of community; and their appetite to share their opinions are all creating new paradigms for how any business, regardless of size, connects with its customers. According to our research, millennials ardently avoid calling customer service.

Pivot, don't jump to a new vision

Startup Lessons Learned

Each has its own iterative process: customer development and agile development respectively. The hardest part of entrepreneurship is to develop the judgment to know when its time to change direction and when its time to stay the course. Some startups avoid getting customer feedback for precisely this reason: they are afraid that if early reactions are negative, theyll be "forced" to abandon their vision. IMVU had a roughly two-month-long development cycle.

The Importance of Advisory Boards for Startup CEOs


The Importance of Advisory Boards for Startup CEOs Tweet When a startup receives financing it will need to setup a Board of Directors. The Board probably existed beforehand, but was made up only of the founders. But there’s another kind of board that’s equally important. In some ways it’s more important (although it doesn’t have any control over the business), and that’s the Board of Advisors.

Times Square Strategy Session – Web Startups and Customer Development

Steve Blank

I was in New York last week with my class at Columbia University and several events made me realize that the Customer Development model needs to better describe its fit with web-based businesses. What metrics do we use to see if we learned enough in Customer Discovery ?

Seven Reasons Why Customer Reference Programs Fail


by Bill Lee, author of “ The Hidden Wealth of Customers: Realizing the Untapped Value of Your Most Important Asset “ Harnessing the power of references and referrals seems like an obvious win. So why do we have so much trouble mastering the art of customer advocacy?

Less is More, More or Less

Steve Blank

In Customer Development the goal of a minimum feature set is to pare the features of the first product release to the minimum necessary for early customers. During the 1990’s large corporations had bought different software applications to automate each part of their enterprise – finance, customer support, manufacturing, sales, etc. And if you actually want to respond to shifting customer behavior by running a new marketing campaign (ads, email, etc.,)

How To Find Perspective and the Right Focus for Your Business

Instigator Blog

Here are some ideas: Customer Development. Customer development – the act of going out and talking to customers in a systematic way with hypotheses in-hand and learning – can absolutely help you find perspective and the right focus. Advisory Boards. An advisory board can help. It’s amazing how often something is obvious to one person and not another.

Startup Tools


interactions, widgets, effects Django – high-level Python framework Cappuccino – open source framework for app development Kodingen – cloud development environment, code editor, hosting service, collaboration platform. Known for their great customer service.

Entrepreneurs Experience – Do It and Learn It

Steve Blank

The class was designed to teach educators (and the adjunct entrepreneurs that support them) the Lean LaunchPad approach (Business Model Design, Customer Development and Agile Engineering) for teaching entrepreneurship. Filed under: Customer Development , Lean LaunchPad , Teaching.

7 Steps to Getting Your Startup Story Right

Life Beyond Code

How do you know that the problem is real if you have never talked to the target customer? Since your target customer will ALWAYS be a human being and since human beings respond to stories, it is in your best interest to invest in that education.

[Excerpt] Earlyvangelists: The Most Important Customers of All


In this excerpt, authors Steve Blank and Bob Dorf continue to explain the Customer Discovery Philosophy (see Part One, " Is Your Startup a Valid Vision or Just a Hallucination? "). Customer discovery turns founders’ initial hypotheses about their market and customers into facts.

7 Lessons On Startup Funding From a Research Scientist


One of those two angels is now on my Advisory Board, and the other is giving me solid advice on a technical matter that is critical to the company, but outside of my own expertise. This is just customer development 101, a la Steve Blank.

Elephants Can Dance – Reinventing HP « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

Army Signal Corps advisory board, and the Army was going to acquire their first computer for research. Technology changes, culture changes, customer needs change, more agile competitors emerge, etc. DO NOT develop a computer!&#

Startup Resources


Steve Blank on Lean Customer Development. Customer service. s helpful to find an developer tool that allows you to write html/css and renders the view in real time, so you donâ??t Firebase : Are all your developers front-end engineers? s easier to use/develop with.

Embrace technical debt

Startup Lessons Learned

Like a financial debt, the technical debt incurs interest payments, which come in the form of the extra effort that we have to do in future development because of the quick and dirty design choice. Startups especially can benefit by using technical debt to experiment, invest in process, and increase their product development leverage. The biggest source of waste in new product development is building something that nobody wants.

Lean 47

How to listen to customers, and not just the loud people

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Sunday, September 14, 2008 How to listen to customers, and not just the loud people Frequency is more important than talking to the "right" customers, especially early on. Youll know when the person youre talking to is not a potential customer - they just wont understand what youre saying. But the early customers all compared it to MySpace. Most of the people building our product werent themselves target customers.

Lean 12

Lessons Learned: About the author

Startup Lessons Learned

Maybe youd like to start with The lean startup , How to listen to customers , or What does a startup CTO actually do? ) He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has worked as a consultant to a number of startups, companies, and venture capital firms. Because of IMVUs reputation, Ive also had the opportunity to serve as an advisor or board member for more than a dozen startups.

Lean 22

Case Study: Using an LOI to get customer feedback on a minimum.

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Friday, October 23, 2009 Case Study: Using an LOI to get customer feedback on a minimum viable product How much work should you do on a new product before involving customers? But other times, the right way to learn is actually to show a product prototype to customers one-on-one. This is especially useful in situations, like most B2B businesses, where the total number of customers is likely to be small. Lesson learned: I am not my customer.

Lean 14

A Compilation of the Web's Best Advice for Entrepreneurs

Platforms and Networks

To add to product/customer development, check out Sean Ellis' survey and 37 Signals' Getting Real. The info really helps as we are in the middle of customer and product development. December 30, 2009 1:03 PM Mobile App Development said. thanks, Custom Software Development | Mobile Application Development July 7, 2010 9:24 AM Jason Webb said.

Ardent War Story 5: The Best Marketers Are Engineers

Steve Blank

While the last post was titled “ You Know You’re Getting Close to Your Customers When They Offer You a Job “, this post should probably be titled, “You Know You’re Getting Close to Your Customers When You Offer Them a Job.&#

Is Your VC Founder Friendly?

Steve Blank

Do they “get&# Customer Development ? Do They Get Customer Development? For a founder there’s nothing worse than searching for a business model day after day and then sitting in a board meeting with a VC who asks about some detail of year 5 of your revenue plan. Have they heard about Customer Development ? Can they tell you what you should be doing in Customer Discovery and Customer Validation ?

Lessons Learned: Inc Magazine on Minimum Viable Product (and a.

Startup Lessons Learned

Unfortunately, after months or even years of development, many companies discover that customers arent willing to buy their new wares. Thats why some entrepreneurs are trying another approach to product launches: marketing a product online before spending much on research and development or inventory. It isnt until a customer actually clicks or calls to place an order that TPGTEXs developers will build the software. "We What if customers hate the MVP?

A large batch of videos, slides, and audio

Startup Lessons Learned

pbWorks (formerly pbWiki) was one of the first companies that ever invited me to join their advisory board. pbWorks (formerly pbWiki) was one of the first companies that ever invited me to join their advisory board.

The lean startup @ Web 2.0 Expo (and a call for help)

Startup Lessons Learned

The Lean Startup is a practical approach for creating and managing a new breed of company that excels in low-cost experimentation, rapid iteration, and true customer insight. It uses principles of agile software development, open source and web 2.0,

Ardent 1: Supercomputers Get Personal

Steve Blank

The VP of Sales and I flew to Providence to convince Andy van Dam at Brown to join our company, or at a minimum lead our advisory board. We had to write our parallelizing and vectorizing compilers and build our own high-end graphics boards, and write our own 3d graphics subroutine language – and put in all in a box that could fit in an office.

Marketing Metrics 101 for B2B Startups


Rocket Watcher Product Marketing for Startups Product Marketing for Startups About Speaking Contact Email Posts Startups Product Marketing Messaging Social Media Commentary Uncategorized Marketing Metrics 101 for B2B Startups 13.

Myth: Entrepreneurship Will Make You Rich

Startup Lessons Learned

So why become an entrepreneur instead of developing technology in an R&D lab? Three reasons: change the world, make customers’ lives better and create an organization of lasting value. So why become an entrepreneur instead of developing technology in an R&D lab? Three reasons: change the world, make customers’ lives better and create an organization of lasting value.

How to Name Your Startup


7 Startup Customer Discovery Questions. When you are dealing with literally hundreds of products it gets pretty hard for customers to find what they are looking for. We just launched our public cloud called IBM Smart Business Development and Test on IBM Cloud. advisory board.

The Secret History of Silicon Valley Part X: Stanford Crosses the.

Steve Blank

Although this reseearch would lead to the development of the Backward Wave Oscillator and Traveling Wave Tube for military applications, Stanford was building tubes and circuits not entire systems. Stanford had a Customer Development loop going on inside their own lab.


Innovation inside the box

Startup Lessons Learned

The larger-account division wanted to move the pricing in just the other direction – making the low-end products more expensive, so their large customers would have an increased incentive to upgrade. Many custom reports had been created for this meeting, and the data warehouse team was in the meeting, too. Worse, nobody was quite sure exactly which customers had been exposed to the experiment.

The curse of prevention

Startup Lessons Learned

It’s important to invest in good architecture so that your website will scale once customers arrive. If you make that investment, and then customers arrive, and the site stays up, most companies will reward the people who built the architecture and, thus, prevented the scaling problems. And I’ve seen companies fail the other way – the so-called Friendster effect: having a high-profile technical failure just when customer adoption is going wild.

6 Questions To Ask Before Launching a New Feature


I have contacted my customer service/community management team and prepped them with information about the new feature and asked them to get back to me if we start to see any significant new support requests. I have already released the feature to a small, select group of beta customers or my customer advisory board, and I am meeting with them to discuss their feedback. Hire me to help you learn how to get better information from your customers.