I love the work Eric Ries is doing with Lean Startup. (IMO, coupled with an investment model where funds are predicated on implementation of lean startup principles and achieving specific customer development milestones #leanstartup could revolutionize the start-up and investment landscapes.)
Words are powerful and and the intent of catchy phrases can be lost when removed from their original context. I brought this up before a few weeks back, when the “Fail Fast” meme was cruising through Twitter and among some cheerleaders, it seems, failing itself had become the best means to success, as if it were the end objective, as if tripping your way to finish line will ensure you are the winner.
So it goes, IMO, with this quote about the customer’s vision:
Early customers are often more visionary than the startup they work with for that product.
I’m not so sure. Continue reading “Who owns the vision?” »
Through the evolution of their start-ups, entrepreneurs will face many inflection points, at which decisions made or not made will determine their future. The painful truth is that a wrong turn may lead to its demise, whereas a right turn leads to another inflection point.
Relevant to ongoing discussions about Blank’s “Customer Development,” I wish to highlight a few of these “inflection points.”
The first step in Blank’s model is “Customer Discovery.” This step seeks to answer this fundamental question: Continue reading “Customer Development Gut Checks” »
I am sensing marked uptake on the concept of conducting serious customer research in order to jump start high tech start-ups. It’s about time. There’s definitely buzz building around Steve Blank’s customer development methodology. Ego dictates that whatever you’re thinking about must be what the world is thinking about and to that, I plead guilty.
But I wrote a post about an iterative, process-oriented approach to high-tech sales and marketing on 2.9.9. Shortly thereafter, Andrew Beinbrink, CEO of the interesting San Diego start-up SportsTV, introduced me to Seal Ellis who introduced me to Steven Blank’s book The Four Steps to the Epiphany, which sounded an awful lot like what I had blogged about. Whew. Oh, and Steve’s even got a new blog.
Continue reading “Customer Development and Start-up Models” »
A little background is in order.
“Lean Start-up” is a phrase, I believe, coined by Eric Ries of Lessons Learned. This is a great blog and well worth you spending time with it. In a nutshell, a Lean Start-up is one that combines fast-release, iterative development methodologies (e.g., Agile) with Steve Blank’s “Customer Development” concepts. The objective is to efficiently create customer-driven products quickly and with a low burn rate.
Though I believe these principles are likely to fare well for software and even hardware products, it appears that most of those implementing the Lean Start-up are Internet-based products. Without getting too deep into the specific practices, Internet products offer several advantages:
Continue reading “Lean Start-up Part III” »