Based on input from Steve Blank and others, I updated the Customer Development image I created a few weeks ago. Steve suggested I attempt to structure the image so that it was business model-independent. So it is, but with a web-based model serving as an example. Image has explanatory tool tips, as suggested by Valto in comments.
One of the more intriguing dynamics in startups and business in general, is customer communication. Customer Development is, of course, all about talking with customers to test fundamental business hypotheses, match product solution to customer problem, and in general, learn as much about them as possible in order more efficiently and effectively market and sell to them.
The tension comes from learning when to ignore your customers and when to take heed. Custdevguy reminds us that customers have their own agenda, which might not coincide with your own. Steve Blank reminds us that Customer Development is not just collecting web metrics and it’s not about focus groups. I’ve written before that Customers own the pain, Founders own the vision, meaning that as an entrepreneur, you must tailor your vision to solve the customer’s pain. That is the objective of speaking with your customers.
Sean Ellis perhaps says it best, describing the process as “honing in” on the “signal” that is the core value proposition of your product to your customer. What’s valuable about this description to me, is that rather than looking at what you need to ask each customer, it provides a high-level perspective on what your objective should be and how to get there. It’s talking to enough customer and asking whatever questions necessary to hone in on the core value of the product.
Note: Originally published at SANDIOS.
What first comes to mind when you think of China: Communism? Cheap products? Knock-offs? Piracy?
I recently had the great fortune of accompanying a group of investors, bloggers, and entrepreneurs on a whirl-wind tour of East Asia to meet our Japanese and Chinese counterparts, and learn what’s shaping their high tech industries. “Geeks on a Plane” traveled to Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai over a 10 day period, meeting with the locals and ex-pats building the Internet, Mobile & Gaming markets.
To say the least, it was an eye-opening experience.
The first day on the ground in Beijing challenged my preconceptions. Not that cheap products and knock-offs don’t exist. They do. (One session we used plastic badges on which the left tab kept breaking off. By day’s end, the floor was littered with them.) The point is that this is neither a complete picture nor an accurate summary of China’s economy. China is teeming with entrepreneurship, innovation and believe me, only quality product can sustain the stunning architecture of Shanghai.
Panorama Theme by Themocracy