12 Random Customer Development Tips

Grasshopper Herder

Customer development is hard. Customer Development Lean StartupsIt takes work to get it right and you'll always be improving your technique. Here are a few tips I like to keep in my head while I'm getting out of the building.

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. Go read both of his posts on Discovery and Validation for web startups.

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. I thought they might be worth enumerating here: A Startup Is a Temporary Organization Designed to Search. Pair Customer Development with Agile Development.

Customer Development in Japan: a History Lesson

Steve Blank

The Japanese edition of The Startup Owner’s Manual hit the bookstores in Japan this week. I asked Tsutsumi-san to write a guest post for my blog to describe his experience with Customer Development in Japan. But customers didn’t agree. Customer Development Education.

Japan 227

Driving Corporate Innovation: Design Thinking vs. Customer Development

Steve Blank

Startups are not smaller versions of large companies, but interestingly we see that companies are not larger versions of startups. While they both emphasize getting out of the building and taking to customers, they’re not the same.

Entrepreneurship as a Science – The Business Model/Customer Development Stack

Steve Blank

It’s the combination of Business Model Design and Customer Development. Today every business organization from startup to large company uses the words “business model.” Business Model Design Gets Dynamic, Customer Development Gets Strategic.

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.

2 Challenges of Startup Customer Development & How to Get Great Feedback Instead

View from Seed

The obvious answer we all give (and receive) in the startup community is to talk to people. 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.

Raising Money Using Customer Development

Steve Blank

Unfortunately in early stage startups the drive for financing hijacks the corporate DNA and becomes the raison d’etre of the company. Chasing funding versus chasing customers and a repeatable and scalable business model, is one reason startups fail.

How Customer Development Failed Us

Steve Blank

Here’s his story of when Customer Development failed. We’ve been a startup for the past two years or so and we’ve come to a critical point on this crazy roller coaster ride. 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. So how did Customer Development fail us?

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.

Customer Development Fireside Chat

Steve Blank

I think customer feedback comes in a very unstructured manner, hence it is difficult to apply an algorithm on it. to make sense of the unstructured feedback received from customers. Steve Blanks 30 years of Silicon Valley startup advice.

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. My public talk at Columbia University was part of their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Startup lecture series. Filed under: Business Model versus Business Plan , Customer Development.

Teaching Customer Development and the Lean Startup – Topological Homeomorphism

Steve Blank

I’ve been teaching Customer Development at U.C. Berkeley was brave enough to let me write and teach a class on a subject that no one had ever heard of – Customer Development. The sum of solving for both unknown customer needs and unknown features became the Lean Startup.

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.

Customer Development Talk Startup2Startup « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

The Customer Development talk can be seen here. If you’ve never seen Eric’s Lean Startup presentation, take a few minutes to at least watch his part. That said I will be giving a Customer Development talk at TIECON , Saturday May 16th, 1:30 thanks for asking.

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 ?

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.

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?

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.

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." Very few startups fail for lack of technology.

Customer Development Manifesto: Market Type (part 4) « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

In future posts I’ll describe how Eric Ries and the Lean Startup concept provided the equivalent model for product development activities inside the building and neatly integrates customer and agile development. Not All Startups Are Alike There’s an urban legend that Eskimos-Aleuts have more words to describe snow than other cultures. While that’s not true, it is a fact that entrepreneurs only have one word for “startup.”

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.

Create Your Business Case Using Customer Development

Street Smart Product Manager

A few weeks ago, I spoke at the Modev MVP Conference and the Lean+Agile DC Conference about using a bootstrapped Customer Development approach to pursuing a new product idea in an existing company.

Solving the Innovator’s Dilemma – Customer Development in a Big Company

Steve Blank

At times I’ll do what I consider an extension of teaching; a two-day Customer Discovery/Validation intensive session with a large corporation serious about Customer Development at my ranch on the California Coast. We spent two days of analyzing and exploring their customer discovery visits just completed across South America, Africa and Asia. We used what they learned to plan their next steps for additional Discovery, and ultimately Customer Validation.

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.

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.

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. It’s the antithesis of the Lean Startup. Startups wrote business plans, generated expansive 5-year forecasts and executed (hired, spent and built) to the plan.

Lean 260

How Do I Know When I’m Done with Customer Discovery?

Grasshopper Herder

Is the customer discovery process one of your pain points? The post How Do I Know When I’m Done with Customer Discovery? Customer Development Lean Startup User Experience & Research Customer Segmentation & Personas Generative Market Research Hypothesis Driven Development lean startupFind out how many interviews you should do, how often, and how to process the information quickly so you can move on to your build in no time.

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.

Create Your Business Case Using Customer Development

Street Smart Product Manager

A few weeks ago, I spoke at the Modev MVP Conference and the Lean+Agile DC Conference about using a bootstrapped Customer Development approach to pursuing a new product idea in an existing company.

Free Reprints of “Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything”

Steve Blank

The Harvard Business Review is offering free reprints of the May 2013 cover article, “ Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything “ Available here.

Lean 302

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

ConversionXL

Most startups fail. The product or website (be it software, e-commerce, or a service) might be awesome , but if it puts itself in front of the wrong market, or packages itself so the right market can’t figure out why it’s awesome, the startup will fail.

What Startups Need to Know About Regulated Markets

Steve Blank

If you’re a startup trying to disrupt an existing business you need to read The Fixer by Bradley Tusk and Regulatory Hacking by Evan Burfield. regulation happens on three levels: federal laws that are applicable across the country are developed by Federal government in Washington.

Book Short: Deep Dive on Customer Development

OnlyOnce

Book Short: Deep Dive on Customer Development. I continue to be on a tear reading books about startups as I finish and get ready for the publication of Startup CEO ( now available for pre-ordering at Amazon ). This week’s selection was The Startup Owners Manual: A Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company , by Steve Blank and Bon Dorf. It doesn’t get into the last two steps at all, Customer Creation and Company Building.

Customer Development Diagram | Steve Blank | #leanstartup

Campus Entrepreneurship

Artist is @Agentfin : Customer Development in a Diagram « Steve Blank. Lean Startup Steve BlankFrom Steve Blank.

Free Reprints of “Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything”

Steve Blank

The Harvard Business Review is offering free reprints of the May 2013 cover article, “ Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything “ Available here.

Lean 243

B2B Sales: A Lean Startup Approach

Grasshopper Herder

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

B2B 143

Steve Blank on Customer Development

The Entrepreneurial Mind

He has been writing, talking, and teaching about business model development since retiring from active entrepreneurship -- he also has a great blog. Here is a talk he gave recently to a conference called the Start-up Lessons Learned Conference (it runs about 44 minutes, but is well worth the time): Watch live video from Startup Lessons Learned on Justin.tv (Thanks to John Wark for passing along this video).

10,000 Startups – Startup Weekend Next

Steve Blank

Today we are announcing the biggest entrepreneurial program ever launched – Startup Weekend Next. Our goal– to inspire, educate and empower hundred’s of thousands of entrepreneurs and help create 10,000 startups. The result – Startup Weekend Next.

The Fatal Flaw of the Three Horizons Model and How To Fix It

Steve Blank

While traditional analysis suggests that Horizon 3 disruptive innovations take years to develop, in today’s world this is no longer the case. Horizon 2 ideas extend a company’s existing business/model and core capabilities to new customers, markets or targets.

Putting User Insights Into Context

Grasshopper Herder

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

How We Used to Give Startups Very Bad Advice. 2 Minutes to See Why

Steve Blank

If you can’t see the video click here Filed under: 2 Minute Lessons , Big Companies versus Startups: Durant versus Sloan , Customer Development. 2 Minute Lessons Big Companies versus Startups: Durant versus Sloan Customer Development

Video 228