Driving Corporate Innovation: Design Thinking vs. Customer Development

Steve Blank

Two methods, Design Thinking and Customer Development (the core of the Lean Startup) provide the tactical day-to-day process of how to turn ideas into products. . Customer Development versus Design Thinking.

Time For Founders School

Steve Blank

Kauffman just launched Founders School - a new education series to help entrepreneurs develop their businesses during the startup stage by highlighting how startups are different from big companies. 1:46: The Differences: Accounting, Engineering & Sales.

Trending Sources

Customer Development is Not a Focus Group

Steve Blank

Customer Development is all about gathering a list of what features customers want by talking to them, surveying them, or running “focus groups.” As the engineers were busy rearchitecting the original Stanford MIPS chip into a commercial product, one of my jobs was to find out what features customers wanted. On the other hand, the Motorola 68000 microprocessor (used in the Sun and Apollo engineering workstations) and the IBM 360/370 mainframes were big-endian.

How To Find the Right Co-Founders?

Steve Blank

How do you figure out what’s the right mix of skills for the co-founders of your startup? I was having breakfast with Radhika, an ex-grad student of mine who wanted to share her Customer Discovery progress for her consumer hardware startup. Are We Missing A Founder?

Lessons Learned: What is customer development?

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Saturday, November 8, 2008 What is customer development? But too often when its time to think about customers, marketing, positioning, or PR, we delegate it to "marketroids" or "suits." They almost always fail for lack of customers.

Customer Development Manifesto: The Path of Warriors and Winners.

Steve Blank

This post describes a solution – the Customer Development Model. In future posts I’ll describe how Eric Ries and the Lean Startup concept provide the equivalent model for product development activities inside the building and neatly integrates customer and agile development.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Marketing Communications

Steve Blank

I was having coffee with the CEO of a new startup, listening to her puzzle through how to communicate to potential customers. I reminded her that all the Lean tools she learned in class–Customer Discovery, business model and value proposition canvases– contained her answer.

B2B Customer Development

Market by Numbers

Market By Numbers on Twitter | Entries RSS | Comments RSS Market By Numbers High-Tech Marketing and Customer Development Home What is Customer Development? Post-Launch Customer Development These are tricky waters for the reasons described above.

It’s Time to Play Moneyball: The Investment Readiness Level

Steve Blank

Teams use the Lean Startup toolkit: the Business Model Canvas + Customer Development process + Agile Engineering. LaunchPad Central software is used to track the business model canvas and customer discovery progress of each team.

Why Build, Measure, Learn – isn’t just throwing things against the wall to see if they work

Steve Blank

Build a product, get it into the real world, measure customers’ reactions and behaviors, learn from this, and use what you’ve learned to build something better. Repeat, learning whether to iterate, pivot or restart until you have something that customers love.

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Lean Innovation Management – Making Corporate Innovation Work

Steve Blank

Gore , I’ve found two corporate strategy tools developed by other smart people helpful in bridging Lean Startups with Corporate Innovation. Here the company executes a known business model (known customers, product features, competitors, pricing, distribution channel, supply chain, etc.)

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Lessons Learned: Customer Development Engineering

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Sunday, September 7, 2008 Customer Development Engineering Yesterday, I had the opportunity to guest lecture again in Steve Blank s entrepreneurship class at the Berkeley-Columbia executive MBA program. In addition to presenting the IMVU case, we tried for the first time to do an overview of a software engineering methodology that integrates practices from agile software development with Steves method of Customer Development.

How Investors Make Better Decisions: The Investment Readiness Level

Steve Blank

Other than measuring engineering progress, there’s no standard language to communicate progress. While it doesn’t eliminate great investor judgment, pattern recognition skills and mentoring, we’ve developed an Investment Readiness Level tool that fills in these missing pieces.

The Lean LaunchPad Online

Steve Blank

Experienced entrepreneurs kept finding that no business plan survived first contact with customers. I read a ton of existing literature and came up with a formal methodology for search I called Customer Development. Berkeley asked me to teach a class in Customer Development.

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Bigger in Bend – Building a Regional Startup Cluster–part 1 of 3

Steve Blank

When Customer Development and the Lean Startup were just a sketch on the napkin, Dino Vendetti, a VC at Bay Partners, was one of the first venture capitalists I shared my ideas with. Over the years we brainstormed about how Lean entrepreneurship would affect regional development.

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How to Be Smarter than Your Investors – Continuous Customer Discovery

Steve Blank

Teams that build continuous customer discovery into their DNA will become smarter than their investors, and build more successful companies. All of sudden what was an additional engineering and development effort now became a small, variable cost.

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

Steve Blank

Customer Discovery on Farms. This team got my attention when they said, “Let us tell you about our conversations with potential customers.” Lean is Not an Engineering Process. Great founders keep their eye on the prize. Filed under: Customer Development.

Why Real Learning is Outside the Building, Not Demo Day

Steve Blank

We think teaching teams a formal methodology around the Lean Framework (Business Model design, Customer Development and Agile Engineering) is a natural evolution of how successful incubators/accelerators will build startups. Customer Development Lean LaunchPad Teaching

Search versus Execute

Steve Blank

One of the confusing things to entrepreneurs, investors and educators is the relationship between customer development and business model design and business planning and execution. When does a new venture focus on customer development and business models ?

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Doubling Down On a Good Thing: The National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Lite

Steve Blank

Since most of the founders come from strong technical roots, companies in Phase I tend to focus on the technology – and spend very little time understanding what it takes to turn the company’s technology into a scalable and repeatable commercial business.

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Entrepreneurs as Dissidents

Steve Blank

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he ran the Think Different ads, a brilliant marketing campaign to make Apple’s core customers believe that Apple was still fighting for the brand. But some small segment of founders are truly artists – they see something no one else does.

Who’s Doing the Learning?

Steve Blank

Alice and Bettina had taken an idea they had tested in the class – building toys for young girls to have fun with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and started a company. What if a buyer asks, can you make a custom version of your product?

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 43: Dakin Sloss and Ajeet Singh

Steve Blank

A startup founder needs to never lose sight of the vision, but be extremely adaptable to pretty much everything else. And realizing your vision as a founder takes equal parts determination and flexibility. The show follows the journeys of founders who share what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more. Ajeet Singh , co-founder of ThoughtSpot , provider of search-driven analytics.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 43: Dakin Sloss and Ajeet Singh

Steve Blank

A startup founder needs to never lose sight of the vision, but be extremely adaptable to pretty much everything else. And realizing your vision as a founder takes equal parts determination and flexibility. The show follows the journeys of founders who share what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more. Ajeet Singh , co-founder of ThoughtSpot , provider of search-driven analytics.

9 Deadliest Start-up Sins

Steve Blank

The excerpts, which appeared first at Inc.com , highlight the Customer Development process, best practices, tips and instructions contained in our book. Assuming you know what the customer wants. The model leaves little room for error, learning, iteration, or customer feedback.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 17: Tiffani Bell and Clay Hebert

Steve Blank

If you’re a technical startup founder, one of the painful lessons is that it’s not enough just to build a great product. You must also understand the value the product provides customers (along with the rest of your business model.). Clay Hebert , founder of Crowdfunding Hacks.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 41: Chris Schroeder and Andy Cunningham

Steve Blank

A founder’s conviction will help get a startup off the ground. The show follows the journeys of founders who share what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more. Andy Cunningham , founder and CEO of Cunningham Collective. In his work with startups, Chris notices that founders tend to think investors hold some magic key to their success. For customers t he venture firm brands don’t matter.

Entrepreneurship is an Art not a Job

Steve Blank

Over the last decade we assumed that once we found repeatable methodologies (Agile and Customer Development , Business Model Design) to build early stage ventures, entrepreneurship would become a “science,” and anyone could do it. Some men see things as they are and ask why.

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Open Source Entrepreneurship

Steve Blank

I teach potential founders a hands-on, experiential class called the Lean LaunchPad at Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia and Caltech. customer development. agile engineering. Some general customer development slides click here. Startupplays.com, publisher of online entrepreneurs processes guides, drew from my Udacity course and The Startup Owner’s Manual to create a free step-by-step guide to understanding your customers and creating your value proposition.

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

Steve Blank

Though they’re familiar with technology in the valley, I picked up some important cultural difference from students and startup engineers I talked to. ” A good number of startups in Beijing seem driven by the VCs – and not the founders.

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Why Startups are Agile and Opportunistic – Pivoting the Business Model

Steve Blank

Each sale requires us to handhold the customer and takes way too long to close. Finally, when everyone else had their turn, the grey-haired VC turned to the founder and said, “If you do what we tell you to do and fail, we’ll fire you. Startups are the search to find order in chaos.

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere – Show No. 16: Wayne Sutton and Dave Kashen

Steve Blank

And a company culture and values need to be design and engineered just like the product. . The show follows the journeys of founders sharing their experiences of what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more.

Why Too Many Startups (er) Suck

Steve Blank

Either way, the “hurdle” for successful, scalable startups is high, and it gets higher every day as customer acquisition challenges continue to increase. I’ve spent more than four decades founding, coaching, teaching and investing in startups, and nothing breaks my heart more than meeting a starry-eyed founder who says “we’re almost ready to show it to people.” Without passionate customers, even the most passionate entrepreneur will flounder at best. Customer Development

Reinventing Life Science Startups – Medical Devices and Digital Health

Steve Blank

One would think that designing a medical device would be a simple engineering problem, and startups would be emerging right and left. Some startups in this field are actually beginning with Customer Development while others struggle with the classic execution versus search problem.

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

Steve Blank

The show follows the journeys of founders who share what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more. Brandon McNaughton , co-founder and CEO of Akadeum Life Sciences cell sorting technology company.

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

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

from his blog post ) …some civil engineers think the world of project management in their field is ripe for revolution, but do I know enough of them? I talked to 30 people before I realized that a certain idea of mine was a crappy idea, and about 40 people before starting WP Engine.

Early-stage Regional Venture Funds–part 2 of 3 of Bigger in Bend

Steve Blank

Dino Vendetti a VC at Bay Partners, moved up to Bend, Oregon on a mission to engineer Bend into a regional technology cluster. Over the years Dino and I brainstormed about how Lean entrepreneurship would affect regional development. Part 3: Engineering a Regional Tech Cluster.

The Customer Development Manifesto: Reasons for the Revolution.

Steve Blank

After 20 years of working in startups, I decided to take a step back and look at the product development model I had been following and see why it usually failed to provide useful guidance in activities outside the building – sales, marketing and business development. Every startup has some methodology for product development, launch and life-cycle management. So what’s wrong the product development model? Product Development Diagram 1.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 37: Michael Ingle and Graeme Gordon

Steve Blank

The show follows the journeys of founders who share what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more. Michael Ingle , founder of Clean Sleep mattress sanitizing service. I went out and talked to customers, friends.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 41: Chris Schroeder and Andy Cunningham

Steve Blank

A founder’s conviction will help get a startup off the ground. The show follows the journeys of founders who share what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more. Andy Cunningham , founder and CEO of Cunningham Collective. In his work with startups, Chris notices that founders tend to think investors hold some magic key to their success. For customers t he venture firm brands don’t matter.