Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 20, Aditya rated it did not like it Shelves: First the title of the book is very misleading. Yes, that is right; it covers just one - fourth of the process and NOT the entire 4 steps. There are far better books for that such as Running Lean by Ash Maurya.
Don't waste your money or time as I did. Skip this book. View 1 comment. I like most of the real case scenarios and stories. Good Points - Get out of the Building know your customers, visit them in their environment. If not, pivot back to step Sep 09, Stefan-Iulian Tesoi rated it it was amazing Shelves: business , startups. Applying the principles found in this book to my new startup. I will probably come back and edit this review and report my findings and experiences.
View all 4 comments. Oct 08, Gerard Charlot rated it really liked it. No book can tell you how to do it, JFD! This book offers a very nice framework for getting it done. Oct 21, Shane Devane rated it liked it. Nice book - easy read, touch repetitive at times - and, as it says in the title, a cheat sheet for Four Steps to the Epiphany - nice to read but probably better to read Four Steps to the Epiphany first, make your own notes, and then read this.
Although a better idea is to stop reading books and focus on your startup ;. Jan 27, Oliver rated it really liked it. Whether you are in Sales, Development, Marketing or Customer Services, this quick read goes over many actions and processes you may start using in your profession immediately, in order to validate your assumptions.
If you are starting a company or building a product, then it is an absolute must read. Mar 06, Aku rated it liked it. Probably a good intro to someone who has a vague idea of what Customer Development is but who needs more details to fill in the blanks. The book is well written and the material is truly worthwhile for anyone involved in or considering entrepreneurship or participating in a startup of any form.
This book together with the books mentioned above will easily make you conversant in the modern startup lingo and topics. This book is especially timely for an early stage startup working on their hypotheses and customer discovery. Sadly, the editing and all-around lack of professionalism in the printed form of the book shows and bothers me a little. There's more typos than normal and a lot of the pages feel empty, even vacant. Taking into account the amount of direct quotes and the strong dependence on the surrounding material mentioned above, there is one inevitable conclusion to come into: this book is overpriced.
Even so, it might still be well worth your money. Jan 18, Lech Kaniuk rated it really liked it. I recommend this book to every entrepreneur. Not only for those who are planing to build a new company and a new product. It's as important for the always ongoing development of your company. Slides will be available for download afterwards.
Podcast of presentation will be available for download afterwards. He is the author of the New York Times Bestseller "The Lean Entrepreneur", is a thought-leader in corporate innovation and is a sought-after keynote speaker, advisor, and mentor. He has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs across the globe. Western Cape, South Africa. Gauteng, South Africa. KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
This can be tions about how the customer proceeds buyer does when he or she buys. The last column Pitfalls to Avoid includes questions that attempt to validate Write specific assumptions. Just about any and optimize the assumptions in the previous assumption can be written so broadly that columns. It is better to be wrong than Once the visitor clicks on the link column vague.
If you are wrong, you iterate; if you are 4 , he or she becomes a lead. To continue vague, you have wasted your time and cannot reading the matrix, read from left to right in draw any conclusions. You are looking for people whom you believe are suf- fering from the problems you solve and who are willing to pay for or use your solution. In all likelihood, you cannot find these prospec- tive customers immediately - you will have to seek them out. Fortunately, this allows you to gain experience, hone your presentation, and increase your confidence as you get closer to those people who really matter.
As shown in Figure 15, as you move toward your true target audience, your objectives of the interview become more focused. Depending on your business model, you may be wondering who to talk to. For example, if your business model requires you to scale users prior to monetizing them, do you talk directly to users or those who might pay for some sort of access to thousands of users?
We recommend testing along the Value Path you defined in the last chapter. Entrepreneurs think big. However, in leagues. While those people are likely to be your network, money, time, and your assump- some instances that kind of thinking can friendly, their input is likely to be skewed. When looking for Use them to find people, not answers.
Also, note that these are not Write a list of five names of people you know methods of engagement, but rather methods who share some of the characteristics job, to obtain a list of people with whom you will demographics, hobbies, industry, etc. Log onto Facebook, LinkedIn, look at your Twitter fol- lowers, etc.
Write an email to all five asking for introductions to five people they know, who might also share these characteristics. This is your first con- tact list. While you eventually hope A The problem with this is to be referred to someone. Do it. Use them for support. For example, [insert helpful reference name here]. I ap- them about your lame idea. We are starting a The best practice is to just start.
I assure you es are employed again and again. However, that I am not selling you anything.
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I would What is the least likely thing that will some tips for overcoming inertia include: just like to understand your perceptions of happen? The vast majority of people are eager to target and deliver ads to mobile devices right help you, as long as you are respectful of now. Confront your fears. The vast majority of people are eager to ad technology. The vast majority of people like free cof- expertise and want to help you. When reaching out, email takes priority over phoning, because phoning prioritizes their tasks not good. Start simple. As you get more comfortable with these con- then your solution.
You should have your elevator pitch nailed by versations, you will be amazed at the amount now. Keep your broad, You present and discuss each column in turn, as Steve puts it, and not a list of features. Sit back again, bring them up during the conversation. Does it ring and look for the response. As they digest the true? Do they nod? What are their thoughts idea, they will likely follow up with questions. If you are speaking to users who you hope on the subject? If you issue. How important is it to them? The conver- the solution. Discussing specific pricing may or may not a solution themselves, or cobbling together a be appropriate, depending on your busi- workaround.
The key is to hold onto three or you with assumptions. But of course they rather on your method of presentation. If it still feels rough, conversation toward learning those items. Use the examples Pitfalls to Avoid color — you name it. This will enable you to feel natural Receiving negative feedback may trigger guess. Nod politely when someone asks you when speaking with strangers.
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Sometimes you have to learn how mon reaction to prospects who dismiss your Google? Start by idea.
You are particularly susceptible if you conversation back to the assumptions you presenting in front of people you know well, do not lead the meeting. For example, the want to test. A nega- style but they can comment and have opin- tive reaction to one of your statements may ions about the hypothesis, too.
This is called confirmation able to integrate what you need to learn it into bias and may lead to false positives. Responses that are all over One of the toughest parts of communicating segment that suffers from the problem you the map likely require some kind of a pivot. Ideally, this work occurs prior to For example, a modification or rewording of and what to act upon.
You only begin building the product in to speak with more prospects. If all the data you. Intuition is an important part of being earnest after confirming your iterated-upon is looking the same, then either: an entrepreneur. The startup C-P-S assumptions. You must weigh The object of the second round of interviews who suffers the specific problem you are customer input against your vision carefully. This individual may already be thinking efficiently. The number of interviews you sumptions. Step 7 of and looking for solutions, developing one conduct is dependent upon your market and internally or perhaps has already cobbled nature of your interview responses.
One could prob- to Step 1. Revising your assumptions may early adopters are ready to write you a check! If changes to your product idea; tweaking who the responses from a tightly defined segment your buyer might be; changes to the market trend clearly in one direction or another, then segment you are pursuing; finding the exact you probably have talked to enough prospects problem you are addressing; determining for this round.
Listing eight steps in a 74 page document can provide the illusion that the Customer Development process may take merely days. This is not realistic. Customer Discovery by itself takes many months. The amount of time it takes to develop your product can be shortened somewhat via Agile development, Minimum Viable Product concepts and the like, but customer development runs in paral- lel with Product Development and continues for as long as Product Development, Market- ing and Sales continue; for as long as the business is an ongoing concern.
You which will likely last longer than your first. Before you have also iterated likely multiple times on During this cycle you are developing a func- ask how much they might be willing to pay, your core C-P-S hypotheses and you have rea- tioning product and getting it in front of your try to learn the value of your solution. It is son to believe that you have determined that early adopters as quickly as possible.
Though important to remember that value is not the a viable market exists for your product. As Ash your product is not highly refined, you need same as cost. Does your product save time? Increase market share? The price hypothesis for the right market segment. You have Circle back regularly with your early adopters, group of prospects to learn more about them also identified others who wish to track Prod- including in-person meetings. Show them or as potential customers.
In other words, you uct Development, test functionality and who discuss your product evolution, and continue must validate the assumptions you document- are generally optimistic about its suitability to explore the problems they are facing. Are ed in Step 2. From these answers, you will to their needs. These two groups represent the problems different somehow? Is something else and converting your prospects into customers. Steve calls them. Here are Am I making a product some thoughts to consider: somebody needs?
You must do what it takes to keep your Seriously, you need to ask this everyday - business alive take consulting or custom not to induce fear, uncertainty and doubt work if you must. This second iteration through dream. Customer Discovery is all about making sure 3. Pitfalls to Avoid 4. Beware, you are now in feature creep danger zone. People you are speaking with are asking for different features.
Some will dangle real money. Professional services dollars are calling you, too.
Customer discovery: Four phases
As you dig deeper, you discover you are serving multiple segments. What do you do?
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Viable Product. Which the market is indicating that you should. Now is the time to do it! IT people at various organizations.
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A cheat sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany
The YouSendIt team frequented message We spoke with Ranjith about how he grew the Intermediate MVP-1 boards looking for creative profession- company through a series of MVPs in search Bootstrapped at the time, Ranjith and his als — photographers, videographers, anyone of the right business model. So they built an MVP designed to access to their site. Ranjith discovered the pain of sharing large see whether anyone was interested and if so, files due to his own frustrating experiences in prove their assumption that there was a viral The result was a resounding success.
After various professional roles in high tech start- nature to the product. As a former Engineer, Manager of Sales ing over a million unique visitors per month! His upload with a progress bar, upload com- of their file deliveries were often to clients personal experience was his primary inspira- pleted, and download page. Our goal was outside of that segment.
With professional money ing, optimizing channels, and expanded into on board, however, this would soon change. As they concentrated on YouSendIt faced the dilemma of how to best creating value for their core paying custom- monetize their users. So they tested. The million registered users. Four minutes after launch [of paid features] we had a paying customer; that was the punch-line there. You create a without weaving an explanation into them, or, and investors. Make the effort to test your Value Path that attempts to create a path for equivalently, forcing a logical link, an arrow assumptions.
Explanations bind making major pivots as early as possible. They make them all the more Second, is approaching Customer Develop- easily remembered; they help them make ment principles within the context of your more sense. Where this propensity can go business.
For those wishing to dig a bit wrong is when it increases our impression of deeper than the philosophy, we have defined understanding. Customer Discovery processes, as well as Customer Development is a framework for op- providing context with respect to product- erating in chaos. The objective is to see how market fit and the other Customer Develop- quickly you can change guesses into fact.
Take or leave Customer Development. If you know ment is gratifying and even of a better term, please let fun. After reading The Four him know. As a former Mar- Steps to the Epiphany, he keting and Product Man- used LOIs and screenshots agement executive, he also to validate a product idea helps high-tech companies with marketing. As of family with computer and network problems. He Encinitas, CA. This is his second book, Barbara and blogs at Vlaskovits. Twitter: vlaskovits Twitter: brantcooper Drop us a line.