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. Make listening to customers a superpower.

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.

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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.

When Hell Froze Over – in the Harvard Business Review

Steve Blank

It was not only my secret weapon in thinking about new startup strategies, it also gave me a view of the management issues my customers were dealing with. “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” ” Groucho Marx.

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

Steve Blank

A Lean Startup methodology offers entrepreneurs a framework to focus on what’s important: Business Model Discovery. Teams use the Lean Startup toolkit: the Business Model Canvas + Customer Development process + Agile Engineering.

How To Think Like an Entrepreneur: the Inventure Cycle

Steve Blank

They succeed by getting out of the building, testing those hypotheses and learning by iterating and refining minimal viable products in front of potential customers. This framework allows us to parse the pathway, describing the actions and attitudes required at each step along the way.

The 6 Books That Actually Saved Our Startup

Vinicius Vacanti

I couldn’t believe how powerful a framework Django was and, within months, we were building and launching our own prototypes. customer development process startups

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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Why Innovation Dies

Steve Blank

If our school is to retain its current standards in terms of access and excellence we think it is of paramount importance that we develop an overarching campus strategy that enables and supports online innovation.

Blowing up the Business Plan at U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School

Steve Blank

Berkeley were heavily funded to develop Cold War weapon systems. Starting in the 1950’s, Stanford’s engineering department became “outward facing” and developed a culture of spinouts and active faculty support and participation in the first wave of Silicon Valley startups. At the same time Berkeley was also developing Cold War weapons systems. Traction and evidence from customers were what investors were looking for – even in “slow” sectors like healthcare and energy.

Qualcomm’s Corporate Entrepreneurship Program – Lessons Learned (Part 2)

Steve Blank

With hindsight we should have had “proof of concepts” tested in a corporate center (think ‘pop-up incubator’) where they would do extensive Customer Discovery. If I were starting a corporate innovation program today, I’d use the Lean LaunchPad classes as the starting framework.

When Do You Throw in the Towel On Your Struggling Project?

Vinicius Vacanti

You Need a Framework. Since things like frameworks work better with examples, I’m going to imagine I had the idea for TaskRabbit , the app where you can post tasks for people to do at a price, and that I was just getting started with the idea and struggling. First-time reader?

How To Build a Web Startup – Lean LaunchPad Edition

Steve Blank

As part of our Lean LaunchPad classes at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and for the National Science Foundation, students build a startup in 8 weeks using Business Model Design + Customer Development. ” And the most important question is, “How do I use the business model canvas and Customer Development to test whether this is a real business?” Get customers to the site. Test the “problem” with customer data.

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A New Way to Teach Entrepreneurship – The Lean LaunchPad at Stanford: Class 1

Steve Blank

It was designed to bring together many of the new approaches to building a successful startup – customer development, agile development, business model generation and pivots. Startups, are not about executing a plan where the product, customers, channel are known.

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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.

How to Know if You’ve “Done Enough” Customer Development to Start Building

Kevin Dewalt

Summary : Conventional wisdom holds that entrepreneurs should do Customer Development interviews until the answers become predictable or as part of a “timeboxed” process to run specific tests. I recently decided to stop Customer Development and start building the soHelpful.me

Visualize Your Website to Crystallize the Value Proposition and Target Market

Instigator Blog

It also gives you a better framework for testing your assumptions (is this the right value to the right market?), Hopefully you’ve gone through enough customer interviews and early validation before “launching” to give you an idea of your value proposition and target market. Startups customer developmentIt’s quite common for early startups to lack clarity around their core value proposition and target market(s).

No One Wins In Business Plan Competitions

Steve Blank

But until now I haven’t been able to articulate a framework of why or had a concrete suggestion of what to replace them with. A business plan is the execution document that large companies write when planning product-line extensions where customer, market and product features are known.

Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences – Value Proposition and Customers

Steve Blank

The class has talked to 1,440 customers to date.). The teams present what they learned talking to 10-15 customer/week, and get comments, suggestions and critiques from their teaching team. The framework of the class looks like this: Life Science/Health Care is not a single Category.

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The #CustDev Whiteboard

Market by Numbers

Steve Blank and Alex Osterwalder have combined their respective methodologies, Customer Development and Business Model Generation, into a powerful business model generation and testing framework. The canvas exposes your hypotthesis and customer development tests them.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 21: Grant Warner

Steve Blank

We did do a lot of … customer discovery. We did a lot of talking to customers, trying to understand who really had the need. That helped us develop a product. . ” We were able to acquire some early customers … (and) used that to raise some money.

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Crossing the Lean Startup Chasm

Market by Numbers

In fact, some early adopters of Lean Startups — those who have already bought into the framework to the extent that they’ve applied its practices into their high tech startup — might be a tad disappointed. And though Eric doesn’t state so explicitly, true entrepreneurs are those willing to admit to the uncertainly within the institutions they inhabit AND to develop solutions that solve problems in the face of that uncertainty. Poor Customer Support?

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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.

A new model for understanding the stages of a startup

The Startup Toolkit

The language we use for startup stages (discovery, validation, customer creation, company building) is abstract. You shift from qualitative feedback (customer development) to quantitative feedback (metrics). Business models Lean startup meta Tools & frameworks

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 ?

Melt: PHP Framework From Sweden

ArcticStartup

Melt is a newly announced PHP Framework from Sweden. The framework has been coded by the team that was formerly known as Omnicloud, today the whole company has been renamed as Melt. Another motivator for the framework was the need to pivot web apps.

The Customer Development Manifesto: Reasons for the Revolution.

Steve Blank

This post describes how the traditional product development model distorts startup sales, marketing and business development. In the next few posts that follow, I’ll describe how thinking of a solution to this model’s failures led to the Customer Development Model – that offers a new way to approach startup sales and marketing activities. The meaning of alpha test , beta test, and first customer ship are pretty obvious to most engineers.

Book Short: Is CX the new UX?

OnlyOnce

Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business , by Harley Manning and Kelly Bodine from Forrester Research, was a good read that kept crossing back and forth between good on the subject at hand, and good business advice in general. The Customer Experience (CX) movement is gaining more and more steam these days, especially in B2B companies like Return Path. “Customer Experience is a journey, not a project. Book Short: Is CX the new UX?

Innovation – something both parties can agree on

Steve Blank

The new I-Corps authority also supports prototype or proof-of-concept development activities, which will better enable researchers to commercialize their innovations.

When Hell Froze Over – in the Harvard Business Review

Steve Blank

It was not only my secret weapon in thinking about new startup strategies, it also gave me a view of the management issues my customers were dealing with. For decades this revered business magazine described management techniques that were developed in and were for large corporations – offering more efficient and creative ways to execute existing business models. “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” ” Groucho Marx.

Innovation – something both parties can agree on

Steve Blank

The new I-Corps authority also supports prototype or proof-of-concept development activities, which will better enable researchers to commercialize their innovations.

How to optimize web apps with KISSmetrics

Venture Hacks

KISSmetrics lets you calculate customer LTV. Hiten: You can use them in all of them, because when you have economics in place it means that you’re charging customers and that you need to understand things like how different price points affect your revenue. that’s a framework that he came up with years ago. Excuse my language, but we want a better pricing model if we can find it, that’s more aligned with our customers.

Lessons Learned: When NOT to listen to your users; when NOT to.

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, October 6, 2008 When NOT to listen to your users; when NOT to rely on split-tests There are three legs to the lean startup concept: agile product development , low-cost (fast to market) platforms , and rapid-iteration customer development. The most common need is becoming more customer-centric. They need to incorporate customer feedback into the product development and business planning process.

Episode 5 on Sirius XM Channel 111: Pete Newell, John Kuhn, Matt Weingart, Takashi Tsutsmi and Masato Iino

Steve Blank

Matt Weingart, program development manager in the Strategic Development Office at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Learning Through Reflection

Steve Blank

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I believe that: a product is just a part of a startup, but understanding customers, channel, pricing, – the business model – is what turns a product into a business. using the business model canvas as the framework.

The Big Bang. The Lean LaunchPad explodes at University of Maryland

Steve Blank

Over 44 classes have embedded the business model canvas and/or Customer Discovery including a year-long course taken by every single one of its bioengineering majors. Now the students spend time in customer discovery and learn why validating the business model for their device is so important.

The Democratization of Entrepreneurship

Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

His methodology of customer development is in my opinion mandatory reading for any entrepreneur. Many times I get emails asking about certain aspects of the framework. Idea Generation customer development Entrepreneurship GSB Lecture startups steve blank

How a Seed VC Approaches Pre-Product Startups

View from Seed

But here’s how I tend to think about companies at this stage, which I think is broad enough to provide some guidance for founders at this early stage… Essentially, my pre-product framework is as follows: 1.

Why Your Startup Needs a Sales Methodology

Both Sides of the Table

I did have the wherewithal to visit potential customers and try to understand the pain points that I thought could be solved with our solution. Steve Blank calls this “ customer development ” in which you built an initial product that is in search of “product / market fit.”

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