This book is a handbook for those who are thinking of bringing a product to market. It describes the traditional product development model, and suggests it is a recipe for disaster:
- Seed concept
- Develop product
- Test product
Author Steven Gary Blank describes why this approach rarely works. First, the greatest risk for new endeavors is not in the development of a product, but rather in the development of customers and markets. His assertion is that startups don't fail because they lack a product; they fail because they lack customers and a proven financial model. They over-emphasize execution instead of learning and discovery, and typically end up launching the wrong product.
Instead, he offers an alternate, customer-focused approach to pursuing a new endeavor:
- Customer discovery
- Customer validation
- Customer creation
- Company building
The kinds of questions that should be asked through this customer-focused process are:
- What problems will our products solve?
- Which customers are most impacted by these problems?
- What is it worth to them?
Each of Blank's four steps are described in detail