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.

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.

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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.

Customer Development: Past, Present, Future

Steve Blank

The Times Square Strategy discussion I had with Eric Ries , was still top of mind, so instead of my standard Customer Development lecture , I offered my thoughts on: the origin of Customer Development, where we are today, and where does Customer Development go, and how you can help get it there.

How Customer Development Failed Us

Steve Blank

Here’s his story of when Customer Development failed. We were lucky to learn about Customer Development early on in the life of our startup. More importantly, we’d witnessed Customer Development’s massive success at another local startup. We bought Steve’s book , started product development and began reaching out to customers ins search of our first earlyvangelists. So how did Customer Development fail us?

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.

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?

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

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 ?

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. One of the specific requests from our chip architects was to find out whether customers would want the chip to have data stored as big-endian or little-endian.

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.

The Customer Development Manifesto: The Startup Death Spiral (part.

Steve Blank

This post describes how following the traditional product development can lead to a “startup death spiral.&# In the next posts that follow, I’ll describe how this model’s failures led to the Customer Development Model – offering a new way to approach startup sales and marketing activities. Three to six months after first customer ship, if Sales starts missing its numbers, the board gets concerned. Part 4 of the Customer Development Manifesto to follow.

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.

Why Founders Should Know How to Code

Steve Blank

I was driving home from the BIO conference in San Diego last month and had lots of time for a phone call with Dave, an ex student and now a founder who wanted to update me on his Customer Discovery progress. Customer Discovery. Filed under: Customer Development , Technology.

The Mom Test: doing great customer development

The Equity Kicker

It’s surprising how easy it is to ask bad questions during customer development. As well as extra detail it provides a host of practical examples that make it easier to do high quality customer development. How will you find your next/first set of customers?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

How to Stop Playing “Target Market Roulette”: A new addition to the Lean toolset

Steve Blank

This new framework can act as the front-end of Customer Development. It helps figure out the most promising starting position – market domain – for your customer development process. Developed by Prof. Customer Development Market Types

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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.

Live in the problem, not in the solution: How customer development has gone awry

This is going to be BIG.

Talking to customers is, of course, a good thing. I have seen, however, the customer development process wind up looking like a street corner salesman selling watches out of the inside of his coat. What's lacking is an innate understanding of the customers problems before they go through the ideation phase. I find that some of the most sound entrepreneurial efforts are one where the founder has lived the problem uniquely in some way.

How to Convince Investors You’re the Future not the Past

Steve Blank

They have a unique insight about the nature of interactions between customers and service providers I’ve never heard before. How has the market/technology/customers evolved since then? You’d be surprised how many founders will agree to chat. (At Customer 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.

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.

Lessons Learned: Combining agile development with customer development

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, March 16, 2009 Combining agile development with customer development Today I read an excellent blog post that I just had to share. In most agile development systems, there is a notion of the "product backlog" a prioritized list of what software is most valuable to be developed next. The breakthrough idea of agile is that software should be built iteratively, with the pieces that customers value most created first.

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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.

Is the Lean Startup Dead?

Steve Blank

Reading the NY Times article “ Jeffrey Katzenberg Raises $1 Billion for Short-Form Video Venture, ” I realized it was time for a new startup heuristic: the amount of customer discovery and product-market fit you need to find is inversely proportional to the amount and availability of risk capital. Jeff Katzenberg has a great track record – head of the studio at Paramount, chairman of Disney Studios, co-founder of DreamWorks and now chairman of NewTV.

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How do you apply Lean to Digital Health and Life Sciences?

Steve Blank

I sat down with Arvind Gupta , Founder and Managing Director of IndieBio and talked about how Lean methods apply to Life Sciences. Customer Development Life Sciences (NIH

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Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2019

Steve Blank

The eight teams spoke to over 820 beneficiaries, stakeholders, requirements writers, program managers, warfighters, legal, security, customers, etc. Our keynote speaker was Palmer Luckey , founder of Oculus and the designer of the Oculus Rift.

What Startups Need to Know About Regulated Markets

Steve Blank

They use the Business Model (or Mission Model ) Canvas to keep track of their key hypotheses and then rapidly test them by talking to customers and iterating their Minimal Viable Products. Customer Relationships. Diagram the Customer Segment Relationships.

4 Categories of B2B Customers

Grasshopper Herder

It’s hard to keep tab of sales when we’re talking to customers. B2B startups founders with limited sales experience have trouble with qualifying leads. Customer Development Sales b2b sales

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The State of Entrepreneurship

Steve Blank

Co-founder magazine just interviewed me about the current state of entrepreneurship – in startups and large companies – and how we got here. Corporate Innovation Customer Development Teaching

B2B Sales: A Lean Startup Approach

Grasshopper Herder

The founder of Shipitwise reveals how he used lean principles to improve B2B sales. Customer Development Lean Startup B2B Evaluative Market Experiment Startup ToolHave you thought about using Lean Startup to improve your sales process? The post B2B Sales: A Lean Startup Approach appeared first on

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Role of Jewelry in Your Personal and Business Brand

The Startup Magazine

In the early days of your startup’s development, and potentially well into its growth as a business, you’re going to serve as the face of the brand, interacting with clients directly, and forming your customers’ first impressions.

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 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?

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.).

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