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The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Startups that Win Paperback – Feb 1 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: K&S Ranch Consulting; 3 edition (Feb. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976470705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976470700
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
In this volume, Steven Gary Blank introduces and then explains in thorough detail the "Customer Development" model, one that he characterizes as "a paradox because it is followed by successful startups, yet has been articulated by no one [other than Blank, prior to its initial publication in 2005]. Its basic propositions are the antithesis of common wisdom yet they are followed by those who achieve success. It is the path that is hidden in plain sight." In fact, Blank insists that what he offers is a "better way to manage startups. Those that survive the first few tough years "do not follow the traditional product-centric launch model espoused by product managers of the venture capital community." And this is also true of product launches in new divisions inside larger corporations or in the "canonical" garages.

Moreover, "through trial and error, hiring and firing, successful [whatever their nature and origin] all invent a parallel process to Product Development. In particular, the winners invent and live by a process of customer learning and discovery. I call this process `Customer Development,' a sibling to `Product Development,' and each and every startup that succeeds recapitulates it, knowingly or not." Wow! This really is interesting stuff and I haven't even begun to read the first chapter.

Few start ups succeed, most don't, and Blank notes that each new company or new product startup involves (borrowing from Joseph Campbell) a "hero's journey" that begins with an almost "mythological vision - a hope of what could be, with a goal few others can see. It is this bright and burning vision that differentiates the entrepreneur from big company CEOs and startups from existing businesses.
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Format: Hardcover
Note: The review that follows is of the Third Edition, published in 2007. Other than minor revisions and refinements, the material in the Fifth Edition is essentially the same. "A few typos were corrected and unfinished sentences completed." Blank would be the first to suggest that his book is literally a "work in progress" as is the revolution to which he continues to contribute. I especially appreciate having all of the information, insights, and counsel in a hardbound volume and only regret that it has no Index. Let's all hope that one is provided in the next edition.

* * *

In this volume, Blank introduces and then explains in thorough detail the "Customer Development" model, one that he characterizes as "a paradox because it is followed by successful startups, yet has been articulated by no one [person other than Blank, prior to its initial publication in 2005]. Its basic propositions are the antithesis of common wisdom yet they are followed by those who achieve success. It is the path that is hidden in plain sight." In fact, Blank insists that what he offers is a "better way to manage startups. Those that survive the first few tough years "do not follow the traditional product-centric launch model espoused by product managers of the venture capital community." And this is also true of product launches in new divisions inside larger corporations or in the "canonical" garages.

Moreover, "through trial and error, hiring and firing, successful [whatever their nature and origin] all invent a parallel process to Product Development. In particular, the winners invent and live by a process of customer learning and discovery.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Definitely worth the read. It was well written and is applicable if your trying to basically start any new product line.
Great book!
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