The Non-Dummies Guide to Customer Discovery

Customer Development is a stupidly simple idea. It’s one that you can describe in 30-seconds or less. But it took me 3 years and almost 300 pages of 10-point type to describe the concept in my book The Four Steps to the Epiphany.  Unlike a traditional business book, The Four Steps is more akin to a reference manual for how to “engineer” a startup – from the initial search for a repeatable business model all the way through the management techniques to transition to a company. Entrepreneurs who use it effectively have dog-eared pages marked with sticky notes.

Enter Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits who looked at my text as the equivalent of War and Peace. They decided that what the world needed was a simple explanation of the key concepts of Customer Discovery – the first of the four steps of Customer Development. Their book The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A cheat sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany does just that. If you are interested in Customer Development, there’s now a quick and simple way to get up to speed.

This is a book you should have on your shelf.

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7 Responses

  1. When is the electronic version of The Four Steps and this book coming!

  2. Note that this book is also available as a PDF directly from the authors at — I bought a copy from them this morning.

  3. I highly recommend Brant and Patrick’s book, as well as 4 steps, obviously.

    I am developing a business concept right now and am constantly referring to both of them!

    PS – the Lean Startup Circle at Google Groups –

    is a great tool as well..

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Steve.

    It is our passion and affection for The Four Steps to the Epiphany that compelled us to write the CustDev book.

    I am sure that I can speak for both of us, when I write that our time spent at the ranch with you talking about the past, present and future of Customer Development was priceless.

    Thanks again, we couldn’t have done it without your support.

  5. Steve, great link…I post it to our in preparation of our meeting with you in Palo Alto , August 31st

  6. Lean Startup principles and customer development are key emerging practices that every entrepreneur needs to follow in order to make something lots of people want. I have recommended Four Steps to the Ephiphany to every entrepreneur I meet. I now also recommend Brant and Patrick’s CustDev book and Eric Ries’s blog, as must reads to anyone that truly wants to succeed.

    By practicing lean startup and customer development at KISSmetrics we have been able to effectively reduce waste and shorten our time through the build, measure, learn cycle. The material covered in these books and blogs is really worth it’s weight in gold. Ignore these principles at your peril.

  7. Can’t recommend this one enough as a companion to Steves excellent Four Steps to the Epiphany. Picked up a copy at the Lean Start Up Conference and have read and referred to it a number of times since. Road map for your start up. I must say I also really like this graphic from @thulme @hackfwd

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