Trust but Verify: When Customer Feedback is Not Enough


[Editor’s Note: If you’re following the methodology laid out by startup strategy guru and Xconomist Steve Blank, you have begun with a hypothesis about a customer need or problem. Then you develop a “mininum viable product” (MVP), a prototype with the smallest possible feature set that still shows potential customers how your idea can help them. In a video Xconomy published June 2, Blank explains The Real Meaning of “Minimum Viable Product.”

From there, you move to customer discovery and development, which Blank outlines in a video we published on June 23, “Keep Calm and Test the Hypothesis.”

Before you can draw a sales road map for closing deals with your top Beta users, however, you have to make sure you’re not fooling yourself. You have to validate that what you think your customers are telling you is what they really want and need. Today we’re sharing Blank’s video on the next step in customer development, “Be Sure Your Startup Vision Isn’t a Hallucination.”  —BVB]

Steve Blank is the co-author of The Startup Owner's Manual and author of the Four Steps to the Epiphany, which details his Customer Development process for minimizing risk and optimizing chances for startup success. A retired serial entrepreneur, Steve teaches at Stanford University Engineering School and at U.C. Berkeley's Haas Business School. He blogs at Follow @sgblank

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