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. Ash Maurya , the CEO of WiredReach, has extended my work by building a model of Customer Development for Web Startups. Customer Development In Context. Most of the time the darn customers don’t behave as you predicted.

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. No Business Plan Survives First Contact with Customers. So by popular demand, here’s a poster of the Customer Development Manifesto. Filed under: Customer Development , Customer Development Manifesto.

Insiders

Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

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. This post describes how companies using the Customer Development model can increase their credibility, valuation and probability of getting a first round of funding by presenting their results in a “Lesson Learned&# venture pitch. Are there customers for what you are building? Raising Money Using Customer Development « Steve Blank [.]

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. . While they both emphasize getting out of the building and taking to customers, they’re not the same. Customer Development versus Design Thinking. One of these processes is how startups versus companies learn from customers.

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. Extra credit if you know the back-story of slide 1 and why it’s appropriate for founders and their team.

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 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.

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.

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. In it, I got asked a question I often hear: “What if we have a web-based business that doesn’t have revenue or paying customers? What metrics do we use to see if we learned enough in Customer Discovery ? Customer Development is unhelpful here.

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 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.

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. After weeks honing the script and days of filming, I’m honored to present the “ Startups ” section of Founders School. These videos are not only great tutorials for founders but also provide educators another source of well produced and curated resources.

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, July 5, 2010 The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits have written a new book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development , which builds upon the foundational work of The Four Steps to the Epiphany , while improving accessibility, updating the ideas, and making it more actionable. I believe it is the best introduction to Customer Development you can buy.

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. As Steve Blank preaches in his book The Startup Owner’s Manual, you need to get out of the building for customer discovery interviews and see your customers’ pupils dilate when they see your product. Nothing beats meeting face-to-face with a customer. Yet, asking the same questions of potential customers over and over again is tough.

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. He worked hard to deeply understand the customer problems of these two customer segments. After a few months he learned how potential customers were solving the local moving problem today (do it themselves, friends, etc.)

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. “After reading your post on Why Founders Should Know How to Code it looks like web/mobile startups have it easy. Trying to figure out what the right set of co-founders isn’t so clear. Are We Missing A Founder?

The Mom Test: doing great customer development

The Equity Kicker

When I started with Forward Partners I went out to speak with a bunch of our target customers, entrepreneurs, and I learned a bunch of stuff which helped shape our strategy of empowering great entrepreneurs with minority stake investments and real-world useful help – but I’d have learned much more if I’d read this book first. It’s surprising how easy it is to ask bad questions during customer development. I read The Mom Test this weekend.

A Path to the Minimum Viable Product

Steve Blank

Shawn immediately said the name I had given the four steps was confusing – I had called it market development – he suggested that I call it Customer Development – and the name stuck. Step 2: Customer Archetypes. Customer Development

A Quick Course on Lean

Steve Blank

No Business Plan Survives First Contact With Customers. How to Get, Keep and Grow Customers ? What is Customer Development. What is Customer Discovery and Why Do it? A short article on how to do Customer Discovery via Zoom. Customer Validation.

Lean 276

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.

Your Product is Not Their Problem

Steve Blank

The conversation got interesting when I asked, “How are you going to describe the product to potential customers in the concrete industry?” Do you know what if any of the features you mentioned actually matter to a potential customer?” Ask customers how they solve the problem today.

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." Many of us are not accustomed to thinking about markets or customers in a disciplined way. Steve Blank has devoted many years now to trying to answer that question, with a theory he calls Customer Development. What is customer development?

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. What I saw reminded me of some of the best and worst things I did as a founder. It seemed like once a week Yuri would come back from a customer meeting brimming with new insights. “We’re

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

ConversionXL

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. A corporation like Starbucks could pick locations by throwing a dart at a map and know they’ll at least break even with a new location and mediocre customer service. But for a new coffee shop, things like customer service, atmosphere and selection, will make or break the company.

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

Customer Discovery In the Time Of the Covid-19 Virus

Steve Blank

The classes are built on the Lean Startup methodology: Customer Discovery, Agile Engineering and the Business/Mission Model Canvas. So how do our students get out of the building to talk to customers to do Customer Discovery when they can’t get out of the building?

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

Steve Blank

Lean Methodology consists of three tools designed for entrepreneurs building new ventures: The Business Model Canvas – to write down all the hypotheses about a new business; Customer Development – a process for testing those hypotheses outside the building; Agile Engineering – to rapidly build minimal viable products to test product/market fit. This new framework can act as the front-end of Customer Development. Developed by Prof.

Lean 264

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. I reached out to chat about his approach for generating user insights for new products. You can find him on Twitter or Linkedin.) Seeking out and applying ‘best practices’ is a tried […].

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.

Agile 94

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. I always thought that when I used the “founders as artists” analogy, the “artists” I was describing were painters, writers, sculptors and composers. I wondered what lessons Pixar, an animation studio, could have for founders. Artists and Founders.

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

conversionxl.com

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. A corporation like Starbucks could pick locations by throwing a dart at a map and know they’ll at least break even with a new location and mediocre customer service. This is a customer development problem.

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 Five years ago we brought evidence-based entrepreneurship to Life Sciences – teaching the first Lean Lean Launchpad class at UCSF, then the NIH and Imperial College. But it’s been awhile since I was in a room made up entirely of Life Science entrepreneurs.

Lean 247

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. If they are correct, they’ve found a unique combination of customers and value proposition that made these customers want to immediately pay and repeatably engage. How has the market/technology/customers evolved since then? I suggested they do some research by reading founders’ and investors’ public post-mortems of what went wrong.

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. He’s now the CEO/founder of the AI-focussed defense contractor Anduril Industries. Followed by an 8-minute slide presentation follow their customer discovery journey over the 10-weeks.

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. These three tools allow startups to focus on the parts of an early stage venture that matter the most: the product, product/market fit, customer acquisition, revenue and cost model, channels and partners. 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.

Lean 264

Innovators podcast @ Stanford

Steve Blank

Founders. 2:15: Founders and dysfunctional families. 11:50: Founders are artists. 17:27: Rules for raising a family if you’re a founder. 56:00: Customer Development versus Design Thinking. Customer Development Manifesto TeachingA fun interview at Stanford about some old things and new ones. link]. 3:55: Operating in chaos. 7:18: Mentorship is a two-way street. 14:03: Failure=experience.

Lean 192

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. regulation happens on three levels: federal laws that are applicable across the country are developed by Federal government in Washington. And they are all very different from the business-to-consumer or business-to-business markets most founders and their investors are familiar with.

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 GrasshopperHerder.com.

B2B 144

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.