Full Stack Development - by Ryan Kirkman

Book Summary - The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development

What follows is a bullet point summary of what I thought were the most important parts of this book.

Main Point

Question your assumptions


The 8 Steps to Customer Discovery

  1. Document your C-P-S (Customer-Problem-Solution) Hypothesis
  2. Brainstorm your business model
  3. Find potential customers to interview
  4. Arrange a meeting with these people
  5. Get useful information from the meetings
  6. Decide whether you need more information, can move forward, or need to pivot (back to step 1)
  7. Develop your MVP based on what you've learned
  8. You should be solving your customers' problems, and you should be making money. If not, pivot (back to step 1)

Summary and Thoughts

If you're interested in startups and you haven't heard of "The Four Steps to the Epiphany" by Steve Blank you should definitely check it out. I would describe it as a process to help steer a startup through the chaotic path to profitability and success. "The Four Steps" reads a lot like a university textbook, leaving some recent Customer Development converts in search of a more readable summary.

This is where The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development comes in. The most important thing to note about this book is that it focuses entirely on the first phase of Customer Development: Customer Discovery. There are actually four stages of Customer Development:

  1. Customer Discovery
  2. Customer Validation
  3. Customer Creation
  4. Company Building

I felt that that the aim of this book was to provide a gentler introduction to Customer Discovery. A good analogy for this book would be CliffsNotes for Customer Development. At a slim 74 pages or so, it gives you a set of actionable items that you can implement immediately, and presents this information in a much more conversational tone. I found it a much easier read than the Customer Discovery chapter in "The Four Steps".


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