I haven’t posted in a while but I have a great excuse. Last Fall, I started validating a new product for, well, product managers. After a thrilling few months of building a team and starting a company, last week my co-founder and I launched ProductPlan, a better way to create product […]

A New Customer Development Adventure: ProductPlan

A few weeks ago I was invited to speak at the Rincon Venture Partners Annual CEO Summit in Santa Barbara. I was fortunate to be there – it was an incredible group of startup founders, investors and executives. My talk outlined ways that software companies can evaluate which products and markets provide […]

Are You Building the Right Products?

  How can product teams and startups quickly validate new product ideas without spending a dime? That concept got put to the test earlier this month at Startup Weekend Santa Barbara. If you’re not familiar with Startup Weekend, participants have 54 hours to develop a business model, get customer validation […]

Guerrilla Validation: Test Your Product Idea in a Weekend

Brainstorming a Business Model
  How can startups and product organizations take a kernel of an idea and evolve it into a fleshed out business concept? In this video I describe one of the processes I use to help teams think through the different elements of a successful business model. The goal is to […]

How to Brainstorm a New Business

  Last week I conducted a webinar for a software company in Portland, Oregon. My talk, “Innovation through Customer Development,” discussed the benefits of combining agile software development (Scrum) with customer development. The webinar was pretty uneventful, with one exception: In addition to the development team, the company asked several […]

Why Customers Love Agile and Customer Development

Over time I’ve developed a few philosophies for pricing products that I regularly pass on to startups and product managers. The central theme is the same: Validate the pricing and revenue model early in the product development cycle. If you’re part of a lean startup and you’re getting your early MVP […]

How to Price Your Product and Avoid Startup Pricing Mistakes

Yesterday my new online video course Startup Business Models and Pricing went live at Udemy.com. I created the course because I regularly talk with startup founders and teams who are getting ready to launch and haven’t validated their pricing or business model. Oh, and Udemy also asked me to create the […]

Is Your Product’s Pricing Leaving Money on the Table?

What’s the ideal business model for a startup? I tried to answer that question as I’m developing my online course called Successful Business Models and Pricing Strategies. Here’s one of the 14 lessons with my thoughts about the characteristics of a great business model. Background: I was asked to create an […]

What Makes a Great Startup Business Model?

This week I wrote a guest post for the team at SecureDocs about how startups know whether they are ready to invest in sales and acquisition. Some business models make it difficult to sell cost-effectively, yet I see startups pouring cash into sales at the first sign of revenue. In the […]

Startups: 5 Ways to Know if Your Sales Model Will ...

Why do startups fail? I’ve been reading through the Startup Genome Project to understand the patterns of why some startups succeed while others crash and burn. The project is based on data from over 3,200 high tech startups and describes the similarities of successful startups. It also describes common factors […]

What’s the Number One Cause of Startup Death?

Optimism always runs high in startups and in product development teams. The entrepreneurial spirit keeps everyone focused and working hard to get to product launch. No one has time to consider failure. Yet despite the stakes, I regularly talk with entrepreneurs who are developing (or have already launched!) a product […]

Can You Handle the Truth About Your New Product?

Whether you’re a startup or part of a larger product team, interviews with prospective customers are the best way to test your assumptions and identify problems worth solving. If you are actively developing a product and have yet to get out of the building to validate your assumptions, how do […]

10 Tips for Amazing Customer Development Interviews (Part 2)

When it comes to discovering and validating a great product, nothing is a substitute for hearing the good, bad, and ugly first-hand from potential customers. The interview is the most basic, core part of customer development, and is the best way to challenge your assumptions, validate your minimum viable product, […]

10 Tips for Amazing Customer Development Interviews (Part 1)

I like lunch.  About once each week a startup founder, aspiring entrepreneur, product manager, or other software professional asks me to lunch to share my advice about how to test whether an idea will become a successful product. For the last 10 years, I have been a practitioner, advocate, and […]

Adventures in Customer Development