Real customer development examples?

I heard a lot about "customer development" and how important it is. Steve Blank and others say over and over again: "do custdev before writing a line of code".

Okay, but what about real life examples? I can't find any. It looked like it worked solely in this way:

  1. Idea came to a founder
  2. He/she created a quick dirty prototype and showed to a couple of friends
  3. They said "cool!" and the founder made a product
  4. Profit! Everyone needs it.

So... where is custdev here? "showing to a couple of friends" is not definitely. Can you please point me to some real life examples? Maybe you saw it in blogs, articles, stories?


    1. 1

      Thanks, I know this book and read it. My question was not about how to conduct interviews or ask questions but I wanted to read about the real life examples that I simply could not find. Thanks anyway :)

  1. 1

    I really like Jim McKelvey's book, The Innovation Stack, which discusses how you go from a bright idea (like the Square card reader he invented) and do the customer development to discover and solve all the RELATED problems that unlock your bright idea and make it a useful product and sustainable business.

    He goes through examples from other startups as well, that is the bulk of the book. Square, Southwest Airlines, an innovative bank startup, and some others.

    I did a writeup of our process at ContactLink and how we followed the Innovation Stack process starting with our bright idea (links instead of phone numbers / email addresses) and discovered the related problems that flowed from that and had to be solved to make something really useful.


    1. 1

      Thanks, looks pretty interesting!

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