A few months ago I read an interesting blog post by Nigel Eccles about a book called ‘Four Steps to the Epiphany’ by Steve Blank. It was so interesting that I forked out and got it shipped from the US by Amazon.com. A few weeks later it arrived and I sat down to have a read and pretty promptly got stuck. It’s not exactly a rip-roaring yarn. In fact even Steve Blank admits it’s a bit ‘turgid’.
Now we’ve been forced to rethink what it is we’re offering people with School of Everything, I’ve gone back to the book and we’ve all been reading it at Everything HQ. The basic premise is that you should go through a process of ‘customer development’ rather than the standard way that start-ups tend to think of things which is ‘product development’.
Although the book is a good reference, I’ve found myself looking on the web for other resources. This post is really just a starting point if you haven’t had a look at the ideas around customer development before. Basically I wouldn’t bother buying the book until you really need to, I’d read these posts instead:
- Eric Ries on ‘customer development’
- Venture Hacks summary of the book
- Jon Bischke’s links to other customer development resources
And perhaps best of all, listen to this podcast of a talk by Steve Blank given at Stanford. It’s the clearest introduction to the ideas I’ve come across so far.