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The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany [Paperback]

Brant Cooper , Patrick Vlaskovits
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 22.29 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

July 29 2010
"This is a must read for all startups and stakeholders."
- Steve Blank, author of The 4 Steps to the Epiphany, creator of Customer Development methodology

"The Entrepreneur's Guide is an easy read. It is written in a conversational tone, doesn't take itself too seriously, and avoids extraneous fluff."

- Eric Ries, Author & Creator of the Lean Startup methodology

"Get the CustDev book to dive deep into customer interviews and understand how your product can be developed to meet your customers' needs."

- Dan Martell, Founder of Flowtown, angel investor

Customer Development is a four-step framework for helping startups discover and validate their customers, product, and go-to-market strategy, developed by Steve Blank and an integral part of Eric Ries' Lean Startup methodology. Focused on the Customer Discovery step, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development is an easy to follow guide for finding early adopters, building a Minimum Viable Product, finding Product-Market fit, and establishing a sales and marketing roadmap.

Deemed a "must-read" by Steve Blank and Eric Ries, inside you will find detailed customer development and lean startup concept definitions, a step-by-step approach to best practices, a business model analysis guide, case studies, rich graphics, as well as worksheets and exercises. No matter the stage of your business, you will return often to this guide to learn how to build a product people want ;"get out of the building;" foster strong customer relationships; test business model risk; reach out to early adopters; conduct startup marketing; create a customer funnel based on buyers' process; and prepare your startup to scale up.

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany, affectionately known as the "CustDev book," serves as course text for classes at Stanford University, University of Chicago, Boston University, DePaul University, University of Minnesota and University of Norway.

"Our UCL (University College London) students love The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development. Thanks to Brant & Patrick for writing this helpful book. "

- Dave Chapman, Deputy Head of the Department of Management Science and Innovation at UCL (University College London)

"Love it! Required reading for all NYU entrepreneurs."

- Frank Rimalovski, Managing Director of NYU Innovation Venture Fund

This book is both an introduction for those unfamiliar with lean concepts and highly actionable for lean practitioners. It is a user friendly guide, written to be accessible to marketing professionals, Engineers startup founders and entrepreneurs, VCs, angels, and anyone else involved in building scalable startups.

Existing companies will benefit to from applying Customer Development principles described in detail herein: for example, startups struggling to achieve market traction, or well established companies seeking to spark new innovation.

This is a business book for startups like no other. No fluff, but rather sound principles and concrete steps to take to build your business. Get up to speed on Customer Development now.

Frequently Bought Together

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany + The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses + The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company
Price For All Three: CDN$ 79.81

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.


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Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

Brant Cooper helps startups get started. As a Lean Startup thought leader, he travels the world speaking to entrepreneurs at conferences, hackathons and workshops. Recent speaking events include the Kuala Lumpur Venture Capital Symposium, Lean Startup conferences in Vancouver and Michigan, the Forward Technology Conference in Wisconsin, the Lean Startup Challenge in Boston, and Lean Startup Machines in London, New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. Brant also consults for and advises startups on Lean Startups and Customer Development, with clients in Silicon Valley, New York, San Diego, France, Australia and Singapore.

Clients include Qualcomm, MOGL, HubKick, MotherKnows, i.TV, Lean Startup Machine, Discovr and many others.

Prior to becoming involved in the Lean Startup community, Brant was involved with startups in a more traditional way. He has over 20 years experience in IT and a long track record of bringing high tech products to market. As a leader in Professional Services, Product Management and Marketing, he has directed strategy, design, marketing and implementation of numerous products for a variety of startups including Tumbleweed, Timestamp, WildPackets, Incode and InfoBright.

He has published articles for Venture Beat and Business Insider, blogs at Market By Numbers and tweets @brantcooper.

Patrick Vlaskovits is an entrepreneur, mentor and author. He has founded two startups (now on his third).

Patrick has spoken at tech conferences nationally and internationally, including SXSW. He blogs at http://vlaskovits.com and can be followed on Twitter @Pv. Patrick enjoys advising and mentoring and serves as a mentor for the 500 Startups seed fund/accelerator as well as for The Lean Startup Machine.

Patrick organizes Twiistup, a well-attended tech/startup conference that celebrates the entrepreneurial and investment talent of the Los Angeles startup ecosystem. He also organizes the Los Angeles Lean Startup Meetup.

Patrick holds a Master's in Economics (emphases in finance and econometrics) from University of California, Santa Barbara. When he has spare time, he can be found with his family usually on the beach or in the ocean either fishing or surfing.


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
This book is short and straight to the point. A great step by step book, with many easy to follow exercises and pitfalls to avoid. Nobody should be developing a product first without understanding the principals behind Customer Development. I highly recommend this motivational book to all startups, and/or companies looking to develop products or enhance their services.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good, but not what it says Sept. 27 2010
By Dan Bergevin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, this is NOT, as the title claims, a cheat sheet to The Four Steps of the Epiphany.

Right in the book, on page 21, the authors state that this book focuses on the first step only (Customer Discovery). And I quote: "Future books will attempt to tackle other portions of the Customer Development process - believe us when we say that Customer Discovery is more than enough to 'bite off' at one time."

I am docking the book one star for this. The authors should know better.

Okay, now for the real question - Is this book worth getting, or should you just get Blank's original?

Get them both. Read Blank's first, then read this one and use it to update the notes you took from Blank's book. They work well together but I would not just get this one, as you only get a small piece of the whole picture (per the authors' own admission).

It's worth $30 if you actually use it, but don't assume it's a shortcut to Blank's book. It's only 1/4 of a shortcut.
57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Insanely High Price for a 30 Page News Article Feb. 16 2011
By SH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is book is a hack job - bad editing, very small amount of content stretched out through use of many blank pages, huge spacing, lots of drawings that add very little, tiny page size, and other tricks. Even with all their chicanery, the book is only 96 pages. It's hard to get past the lack of business integrity given the ridiculous price for this long article posing as a business book.

Borrow the book if you most - these guys do not deserve your money.

Other books are better and cheaper - try "Marketing Straight to the Heart" for one.
It's half the price, has 200x the amount of tips and info, and the writer has more experience.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but I had to return it April 17 2011
By Brant Case - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what is going on here, but I should have read the other reviews first. Another reviewer mentioned it was only 30 pages. Seems a little longer to me, but not more than 45 or 50.

I'm giving it 2 stars because although it wasn't that bad, it's just not complete nor honest. And it's way too expensive for what it is.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy - complete rip-off Jan. 19 2012
By Dr Rob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is an outrageous rip-off. The authors have taken on board rather too much of their own advice and produced an exceptionally `lean' volume that does not reach even reach the standards of a "Minimally Viable Product".

Here are some useful metrics on the book. It has 103 numbered pages. However those page numbers appear to start at the blank flyleaf at the start of the book
- 20 of those pages are completely blank
- 5 pages container `filler' (A `disclaimer', `forward', `Author biographies' etc.)
- 2 more are used for the table of contents
- 10 more pages are only half-full

So do the math: for your £12 you are getting 71 pages! And these are rather small pages, with a rather large font, and a few badly drawn pictures strewn around.

One of the images (Figure 10 "Business Model Value Path"), in contrast, has a font size which renders 6 lines of text in 1 centimeter - I would judge to be about 5pt font and hence completely unreadable. But no free magnifying glass with this volume.

I heard Eric Ries talk at a conference the other day and heard him say "If you are not embarrassed by your first release then you waited to long.". Well the author's of this volume certainly didn't make that mistake. I can't say if they are embarrassed or not - but they certainly should be. Otherwise it is complete arrogance that would make them think that their trivial, low-content 71 pages are worth £12 of anybodies money.

By the way - big chunks of the information in this slim volume are also in the Reis book, so you might as well buy and read that rather than waste your money here. The rest of it you will find by Googling for around the area of `customer development' and `lean startup' for an hour or two.

A am putting my copy back in the post to Amazon to get my money back. Either don't buy this - or wait a few weeks until they are selling for a penny second-hand on Amazon.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Customer Development resource Dec 3 2010
By John Shiple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent tool to put in your Customer Development arsenal. I found it a valuable companion to The Four Steps to the Epiphany as it boils down many of the core processes outlined therein. The Customer Development process is intense and time-consuming, and learning the core concepts should't require reading a 500 page textbook. This short form resource makes it easier to learn and discuss CD as it relates to your business. I also recommend this book as part of the Customer Development education process as it's much more accessible and easier to digest than The Four Steps. Get a couple copies of The Four Steps and several copies of this book for your team.
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