Category Archives: Customer Development Manifesto

How Investors Make Better Decisions: The Investment Readiness Level

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Investors sitting through Incubator or Accelerator demo days have three metrics to judge fledgling startups – 1) great looking product demos, 2) compelling PowerPoint slides, and 3) a world-class team.  Other than “I’ll know it when I see it”, there’s … Continue reading

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When Customers Make You Smarter

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We talk a lot about Customer Development, but there’s nothing like seeing it in action to understand its power. Here’s what happened when an extraordinary Digital Health team gained several critical insights about their business model. The first was reducing … Continue reading

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It’s Time to Play Moneyball: The Investment Readiness Level

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Investors sitting through Incubator or Accelerator demo days have three metrics to judge fledgling startups – 1) great looking product demos, 2) compelling PowerPoint slides, and 3) a world-class team. We think we can do better….read full post. Download MP3

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When Hell Froze Over – in the Harvard Business Review

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In my 21 years as an entrepreneur, I would come up for air once a month to religiously read the Harvard Business Review. It was not only my secret weapon in thinking about new startup strategies, it also gave me a … Continue reading

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Nail the Customer Development Manifesto to the Wall

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When Bob Dorf and I wrote the Startup Owners Manual we listed a series of Customer Development principles. I thought they might be worth enumerating here:A Startup Is a Temporary Organization Designed to Search for A Repeatable and Scalable Business Model…read full post. Download MP3

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Now Hear This

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Much like my career, in the last two years this blog has traveled a serendipitous path. I orignally wrote it with four goals in mind…read full post. Download MP3

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When It’s Darkest Men See the Stars

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When It’s Darkest Men See the Stars Ralph Waldo Emerson This Thanksgiving it might seem that there’s a lot less to be thankful for. One out of ten of Americans is out of work. The common wisdom says that the … Continue reading

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Crisis Management by Firing Executives – There’s A Better Way

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Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein For decades startups were managed by pretending the company would follow a predictable path (revenue plan, scale, etc.) and being continually surprised when it … Continue reading

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Out of the Ashes – Something Isn’t Quite Right

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“Customer Development” was born four years earlier and 200 miles away on Sandhill Road.  I was between my 7th and 8th and final startup; licking my wounds from Rocket Science, the company I had cratered as my first and last … Continue reading

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The Product Development Model

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I realized that traditional ways to think about startups – have an idea, raise some money, do product development, go through an alpha test, beta test and first customer ship was the canonical model of how entrepreneurs thought about early … Continue reading

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