Customer development is a process for discovering and validating market demand for a business idea and determining the right product features to meet customer needs. Customer development is used to help build products that customers want and avoid spending time and money on products customers don’t want. It can be used to identify problems and new startup ideas, to test ideas, and to optimize ideas and existing products. Customer development helps us learn about our potential customers so we can build products they will actually use. Customer development and Lean Startup methodology have become quite popular with entrepreneurs. I wrote this book to be a supplement to books like The Lean Startup and The Startup Owner’s Manual. Without rehashing too much of what they’ve taught, this is a tactical guide to practicing customer development. Many entrepreneurs and corporate innovators know they need to be practicing customer development, but don’t know how to do it in a way that will help them build awesome products. Topics include: How to Get Startup Ideas Through Customer Development How to Test a Startup Idea’s Viability Before Building a Product How to Find Customers to Interview How to Ask for and Get Customer Interviews How to Gain Customer Insights to Build Products People Want The Best and Worst Customer Development Questions How to Optimize Ideas and Existing Products Common Mistakes to Avoid When I first learned about Lean methodology and customer development it was mind-blowing. I’ve been thinking of and evaluating startup ideas for as long as remember. It helped me to focus my ideas, and helped me avoid wasting a lot of time and money and products that no one actually wants. This book is a compilation of everything I’ve learned through study and practice.
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Mike Fishbein is an entrepreneur in New York City, author of multiple books on entrepreneurship, and has advised both startups and fortune 500 companies on customer development and new product innovation. Mike is the Founder of stpcollege.com, an education technology company in New York City. With over 2,000 enrolled students, stpcollege.com's online courses help entrepreneurs start and grow their companies. Prior to stpcollege.com, Mike was a founding team member of Casual Corp, a venture studio and corporate innovation firm founded by an accomplished serial entrepreneur. While at Casual Corp, Mike served as a lead product manager in validating and launching three new consumer technology products. In addition, Mike advised two of the world's largest publishing companies on new product innovation. Mike's expertise lies in customer development, Lean product strategy, and customer acquisition. He is the author of "Customer Development for Entrepreneurs" and "Growth Hacking with Content Marketing." His writing on startup strategies and tactics have been published in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and more. Mike has been starting companies since he was a teenager and serves as a resource and advisor to startups in New York City. You can learn more about Mike via his blog, mfishbein.com.
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