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What is customer development?

What is customer development?
When we build products, we use a methodology. For software, we have many - you can enjoy a nice long list on Wikipedia. But too often when it's 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. We know some products succeed and others fail, but the reasons are complex and the unpredictable. We're easily convinced by the argument that all we need to do is "build it and they will come." What's wrong with this picture? Steve Blank has devoted many years now to trying to answer that question, with a theory he calls Customer Development. You can learn about customer development, and quite a bit more, in Steve's book The Four Steps to the Epiphany. Some notable bloggers have made efforts to overcome these obstacles. Still, I feel the need to add my two cents. Get out of the building. My final suggestion is that you buy the book and skim it. Related:  Starting OutENT 3004 Resources collectionmcopeland

The Beginner's Guide to Startup Analytics Becoming an entrepreneur is like stepping onto the most intimidating roller-coaster in the world. There are ups, there are downs and there are unexpected turns. Sometimes you feel a little sick afterwards and sometimes you’re just inexplicably happy. No matter how many times you ride the coaster (or how many people have rode it before you), each go-around feels a little different. The unpredictability and the risk are what drive many entrepreneurs to the startup life. So, why do so many entrepreneurs find startup analytics intimidating? It’s time to demystify this world of analytics! Why Metrics Matter Would you buy a house in a country you’ve never been to without looking at some pictures first? First and foremost, metrics help startups set goals. Metrics also help entrepreneurs make smart, informed decisions about their startups. Of course, there are a number of other reasons why metrics matter. Without metrics, we don’t know how far we have or have not progressed. What Metrics Matter

Bad Customer Development Questions and How to Avoid My Mistakes Summary: Although Customer Development can give us tremendous insight into market problems, it takes a lot of time – time that’s wasted if we do it incorrectly. Worse yet, poorly worded questions can cause us to reach wrong conclusions about what people want. The best questions don’t require customers to speculate about their behavior. Here I share real examples my bad questions and mistakes and offer some better alternatives. If you’re starting Customer Development you’re getting ready to talk to a lot of potential customers. You started with an an idea, wrote down your key assumptions, and started flipping through contacts to see who you can interview. Awesome! Unfortunately, conducting face-to-face customer development interviews is a skill that takes practice. “Learn Nothing” Questions I call “Learn Nothing” questions those that don’t result in any learning, just wasted time. “What do you think of my idea?” I LOVE talking about startup ideas. “If you could wave a magic wand…”

What should everyone know about the Business Model Canvas? - Quora An Introduction to Business Plans A business plan is a written description of your business's future. That's all there is to it--a document that desribes what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan. Business plans can help perform a number of tasks for those who write and read them. So what's included in a business plan, and how do you put one together? Sound impressive? The first is the business concept, where you discuss the industry, your business structure, your particular product or service, and how you plan to make your business a success.The second is the marketplace section, in which you describe and analyze potential customers: who and where they are, what makes them buy and so on. Breaking these three major sections down even further, a business plan consists of seven key components: How Long Should Your Business Plan Be? Who Needs a Business Plan? Startups.

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses: Eric Ries: 9780307887894: Books The Legal Issues You Need To Know If You're Launching A Startup In 2017 Thinking of finally launching that startup in this year? You'd be in for a ride even if the next 12 months weren't shaping up to be as change-filled as it appears they might. Crowdfunding laws are evolving, and the regulatory landscape is already shifting as the Trump Administration gets underway. Fast Company asked startup expert and lawyer Christina Oshan, cofounder and managing member of the J+O Firm in Brooklyn, for tips on forming a company, financing, and other things you may not have thought of—but will definitely need to if you're getting a business off the ground in 2017. What do startups need to do to set themselves up for success? One of the most important things is actually forming the company, which is something startup founders sometimes forget to do. Similarly, founders should remember to issue stock to themselves. Another important thing to consider is who you're starting the company with. Are there any other errors you see startups making? What about crowdfunding?

The Lean Startup Circle Wiki / Customer Interview Templates and Resources Tips for B2B Customer Development Interviews by Sean Murphy 3 Great Steps to Customer Development (Google Spreadsheet) by Ray Wu The Achilles Heel of Customer Development by Ash Maurya Customer Problem Interview Form by Ash Maurya Tips for Customer Development Interviews: Templates and Pressure Points (LSC Forum) by Jaime Pabon Customer Development Interview Template by Jaime Pabon How To Actually Do Customer Development (and not waste your time) by Rob Fitzpatrick 12 Random Customer Development Tips by Tristan Kromer Lean Startup and Design Thinking: Getting the Best Out of Both In the world of entrepreneurial incubation, design thinking, a user-centered way to conceive and create a successful product, is often compared and contrasted with the lean startup approach, which is more engineering-based and quantitative. The two methods are far from mutually exclusive, however, as both seek to effectively serve customers’ needs through a systematic, low-risk path to innovating in the face of uncertainty. To explore the places where design thinking and lean startup intersect, we organized a conversation between two faculty members who help run the Stanford Graduate School of Business Startup Garage, where students design and test new ventures. Stefanos Zenios, the Stanford GSB Investment Group of Santa Barbara Professor of Entrepreneurship, joined lecturer Matthew Glickman, founder of BabyCenter and Merced Systems to discuss the science of startups. Matt Glickman: I echo that. Zenios: Matt makes a couple great points. Stefanos Zenios

What is industry analysis? definition and meaning - When looking for land to build your company you must make sure you do and Industry Analysis, to be sure this is the kind of company you would like to enter into.. make sure this is the type of work you can build a company in.. are sales up.. are sales down... can you make profit, can you hire employees. You also will need to see how many other companies out there are like yours... this all goes into you industy ananlysis. 19 people found this helpful The industry analysis concluded in determining that the region was a good choice for locations to build our new factory. 16 people found this helpful Before purchasing the pig farm from Ezekiel, Biohazies R Us conducted an in depth industry analysis on profit margins for developing anthrax. 14 people found this helpful

A value creation checklist This project you’re working on, the new business or offering, what sort of value does it create? Who is it for? What mindset and worldview and situation?Is it paid for by organizations or individuals? Do the people you seek to serve know that they have the problem you can solve for them? Are you leveraging an asset that others don’t have? If you’re solving an existing problem, are you hoping that people will switch to your solution, or is the goal to get users who are new to the market or unaware of existing solutions? How will people find out about the solution you are offering? Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur? If you’re selling to organizations, what will your customer tell the boss? Is there a network effect? Is there any substantial reason why your customers won’t simply switch to a cheaper alternative? What are the externalities and side effects like? How long can you sustain this? What's the value you create over a lifetime relationship with a customer?

12 Tips for Early Customer Development Interviews (Revision 3) Note: also see my 11 Customer Development Anti-Patterns post. Each time I give a talk introducing people to qualitative “customer development” conversations, I try to revisit my points. A few months ago, I gave this talk to an entrepreneurship class at Columbia Business School, and once again the list and messages evolved. Below you can find my latest thinking (here is version 1 and 2) 1. Focus groups are a group-think, distraction-filled mess. 2. Have your assumptions and thus learning goals prioritized ahead of time. 3. Decide up front if your focus is going to be on learning a user’s behavior and mindset, and/or getting direct feedback or usability insights on a product or mockup. Put “behavior and mindset” first in your discussion flow. If you want to get feedback on a product, whether on paper or digital, do this after digging into behavior and mindset. 4. If you don’t do this, you might find yourself selling or convincing, or even hearing what you want to hear. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Tips from SCORE: Business planning - News - - Hyannis, MA By Cape Cod SCORE Question: I am starting a business and want to create a business plan. What mistakes have others made in planning their business? Answer: The task of creating a business plan is awesome, because it requires the business owner to dig deep, research, and validate the proposed business concepts. Not writing one: The most common mistake is not to write a business plan at all. Not having a clear vision: The reason for creating a plan is to create a road map to make your vision of a business into a reality. Not having a clear business model: If the basic goal in a business is to generate a profit, then you have to have a model that is thought out well and can be executed to show positive results. Not doing the requisite research: Answering the question, “Will this work?” Ignoring realities: You have a great idea. Not creating financials: When you create your business plan, have you created a cash flow statement?

Competitive Analysis - Small Business Encyclopedia Definition: Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own product or service . A competitive analysis is a critical part of your company marketing plan. With this evaluation, you can establish what makes your product or service unique--and therefore what attributes you play up in order to attract your target market. Evaluate your competitors by placing them in strategic groups according to how directly they compete for a share of the customer's dollar. For each competitor or strategic group, list their product or service, its profitability, growth pattern, marketing objectives and assumptions, current and past strategies, organizational and cost structure, strengths and weaknesses, and size (in sales) of the competitor's business. Answer questions such as: Who are your competitors? A quick and easy way to compare your product or service with similar ones on the market is to make a competition grid.

52 Weeks of UX One of the core principles of UX is to solve existing problems, or problems that people are already struggling with. While this might not be as glamorous as inventing a brand new thing it is more practical: it makes identifying problems easier and people are much more receptive to your design. If you’re solving a known problem you don’t have to convince anybody that your design is valuable…they already know exactly why they want to use it. Unfortunately, there are far more problems than there are designers to solve them. Here is a simple framework that does just that: 1. If you ask people what their problems are, you’re likely to get a laundry list of issues as an answer. They complain about it. If people aren’t frustrated, it means the issue at hand is not a real problem yet or they don’t recognize it’s a problem. Sometimes people are frustrated and don’t know exactly why. 2. Look for behavior that shows people are taking action. 3. Prioritizing the Most Important Problems