For episode #99 of the podcast, I’m talking with the authors of the book The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A cheat sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany. My guests are Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits. Both are experienced entrepreneurs from California. We had a great discussion and I’m happy to bring a topic that will stretch the minds of Lean thinkers in many industries… so be sure to listen in even if you’re not an entrepreneur…
In this podcast, we discuss their book and the “Customer Development” methodology that was first published in Steve Blank’s book The Four Steps to the Epiphany. This methodology is often used as part of the “Lean Startups” methodology and can be contrasted to a traditional “product development” approach.
The high-level model looks like this, moving from left to right:
The model is not so much linear as it is built on iterative loops, similar to a PDCA (or Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle, as shown here:
Their book is available on Amazon in traditional paperback form, but if you want to buy a DRM-free PDF of the book, you can do so at www.CustDev.com, using my discount code: LEANBLOG to get 20% off.
We discuss points including:
- What is the “customer development process”?
- How does tie into the lean startup methodology and MVP (“Minimum Viable Product”?
- How is this different than classical entrepreneurial product/service development or the traditional product development model?
- Why is it critical to get out of the office to go do customer discovery?
- What examples can you point to of companies or products that came about through this CDP?
- Do you think this approach could be used to develop new products in older, larger companies?
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About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.