Nail the Customer Development Manifesto to the Wall

Steve Blank

When Bob Dorf and I wrote the Startup Owners Manual we listed a series of Customer Development principles. Pair Customer Development with Agile Development. Success Begins with Buy-In from Investors and Co-Founders.

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.

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Customer Development for Web Startups

Steve Blank

Customer Development is a technique startups use to quickly iterate and test each part of their business model. How you execute Customer Development varies, depending on your type of business. Customer Development In Context.

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. 1:49: Use Customer Development to Test Your Hypotheses.

Raising Money Using Customer Development

Steve Blank

Chasing funding versus chasing customers and a repeatable and scalable business model, is one reason startups fail. Are there customers for what you are building? No amount of learning how to get a VC meeting or improving your VC demo skills will fix the lack of concrete customer data.

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

Steve Blank

Kauffman 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. In January 2014 Part 1 of the “ Startups ” section of Founders School went online.

Vision versus Hallucination – Founders and Pivots

Steve Blank

A founder’s skill is knowing how to recognize new patterns and to pivot on a dime. 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. Customer Developmen

The Art of the Customer Development Conversation

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? The key to effective conversations is in developing the conversation around your objectives for the discussion.

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.

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. Filed under: Business Model versus Business Plan , Customer Development. Tags: Business Model versus Business Plan Customer Development

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.

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

It’s Not a Conversion Problem, It’s a Customer Development Problem. The most common mistake startups make is assuming they can operate the same way big companies do, and expect success with little to no feedback from potential customers. The Key To Customer Loyalty.

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.

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. With that in the back of our minds, let’s dive into a few of those crucial first-step nuances as you look to gain traction and hold successful customer development conversations. Talk and listen to customers instead. What should founders do instead?

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development

Startup Lessons Learned

I believe it is the best introduction to Customer Development you can buy. As all of you know, Steve Blank is the progenitor of Customer Development and author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany. Here’s hoping they soon tackle Customer Validation.

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. Customer Development does not equal User Acquisition. Customer development is a method for discovering, testing and validating user acquisition and conversion methods. To put it another way, the business doesn’t exist without product, but doesn’t succeed without customers.

Putting User Insights Into Context

Grasshopper Herder

He is the co-founder of Alpha UX, a real-time user insights platform for enterprise product teams. Customer Development Lean Startups User Experience customer development survey user experience ux(This is a guest post by Michael Bamberger.

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.

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


The most common mistake startups make is assuming they can operate the same way big companies do, and expect success with little to no feedback from potential customers. But for a new coffee shop, things like customer service, atmosphere and selection, will make or break the company.

How One Startup Figured Out What Could Really Help Deaf People

Steve Blank

A month ago, Jason, one of my founder friends, shut down his startup. 1 rule every founder hears over and over: Nobody wants your product until you prove it. How come so many founders still wake up to this horrible truth, after months or years of hard work?

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.

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.

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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How Investors Make Better Decisions: The Investment Readiness Level

Steve Blank

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 Investment Readiness Level makes the stages of development for the business very tangible.

Beyond the Lemonade Stand: How to Teach High School Students Lean Startups

Steve Blank

Therefore we needed them to think and learn about two parts of a startup; 1) ideation - how to create new ideas and 2) customer development – how do they test the validity of their idea (is it the right product, customer, channel, pricing, etc.).

Lean 147

When Krave Jerky Showed up in Class with a $435,000 Check

Steve Blank

But they had minimal understanding of their target customer segment(s), and in the relentlessly direct nature of the class, we let them know it. They ran 10 in-store demos, which got them talking to 100s of more customers. What Do You Mean You Only Spoke to 1 Customer?

Lean 143

Digging Deeper into Lean Business Model Canvases

Instigator Blog

It’s too easy for founders to get distracted, wander off and lose focus. It happens to all of us, but lean canvas and similar concepts help maintain that focus and instigate a lean startup / customer development-centric approach.

Born Global or Die Local – Building a Regional Startup Playbook

Steve Blank

But if you want to build a scalable startup you need to be asking how you can you get enough customers/users/payers to build a business that can grow revenues past several $100M/year. to understand distribution channel landscape, potential partners and rough cost of customer acquisition.

Global 153

Building Great Founding Teams

Steve Blank

There’s been a lot written about the individual characteristics of what makes a great founder , but a lot less about what makes a great founding team and how that’s different from a great founding CEO. Founders – the idea. A couple of caveats about founders with “ideas.”

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. Customer Development. Today I’m going to explain how to do Customer Development during concierge onboarding. call with customers who sign up for your product and helping them 1-on–1. The 1-on–1 interaction gives you a chance to earn trust, overcome objections, or answer questions before customers cancel. When do I contact customers?

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.

Lean 154

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.

4 tips to make customer development surveys suck less

The Next Web

Tenoch Esparza is the co-founder of Sensory Percussion, a next-generation electronic drum startup. Nothing beats meeting face-to-face with a customer. Yet, asking the same questions of potential customers over and over again is tough.

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.

Oregon 142

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

Lean Goes Better with Coke – the Future of Corporate Innovation

Steve Blank

For most big, established companies like us, our business models were developed years—even decades ago. in developing these new models. It only emerges after an intense business model design and search activity based on the customer development process.

Lean 153

Pixar, Artists, Founders and Corporate Innovation

Steve Blank

—– In a recent workshop with a large company focused on the Innovation@50x process, I mentioned that founders and intraprenuers operate more like artists than accountants – on day one they see something no one else does. Startup founders operate in chaos and uncertainty.

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. The next customer segment we tried was startup founders.

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 ?

Search 154

Watching My Students Grow

Steve Blank

It’s now been over 3 years since the team has left my classroom and I thought I’d share with you what the two founders, Jorge Heraud and Lee Redden, learned then and what they’re doing now. Students need to get out of the building and talk to 10-15 customers a week.