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The Customer Development Methodology : 

The Customer Development Methodology

Goals of This Presentation : 

Goals of This Presentation A new model for startups Introduce the Customer Development model Translate this knowledge into a better Company

Product Development Model : 

Product Development Model Concept/Seed Round Product Dev. Alpha/Beta Test Launch/ 1st Ship

What’s Wrong With This? : 

What’s Wrong With This? Concept/Seed Round Product Dev. Alpha/Beta Test Launch/ 1st Ship Product Development Create Marcom Materials - Create Positioning - Hire PR Agency - Early Buzz - Create Demand - Launch Event - “Branding” Marketing

What’s Wrong With This? : 

What’s Wrong With This? Concept/Seed Round Product Dev. Alpha/Beta Test Launch/ 1st Ship Product Development Create Marcom Materials - Create Positioning - Hire PR Agency - Early Buzz - Create Demand - Launch Event - “Branding” Build Sales Organization Marketing Sales Hire Sales VP Hire 1st Sales Staff

What’s Wrong With This? : 

What’s Wrong With This? Concept/Seed Round Product Dev. Alpha/Beta Test Launch/ 1st Ship Product Development Create Marcom Materials - Create Positioning - Hire PR Agency - Early Buzz - Create Demand - Launch Event - “Branding” Hire Sales VP Hire 1st Sales Staff Build Sales Organization Marketing Sales Hire First Bus Dev Do deals for FCS Business Development

Build It And They Will Come : 

Build It And They Will Come Only true for life and death products i.e. Biotech Cancer Cure Issues are development risks and distribution, not customer acceptance Not true for most other products Software, Consumer, Web Issues are customer acceptance and market adoption

Chasing The FCS Date : 

Chasing The FCS Date Sales & Marketing costs are front loaded focused on execution vs. learning & discovery First Customer Ship becomes the goal Execution & hiring predicated on business plan hypothesis Heavy spending hit if product launch is wrong Financial projections, assumes all startups are the same = You don’t know if you’re wrong until you’re out of business/money

IfStartups Fail from a Lack of customersnot Product Development Failure : 

IfStartups Fail from a Lack of customersnot Product Development Failure Then Why Do we have: process to manage product development no process to manage customer development

An Inexpensive Fix : 

An Inexpensive Fix Focus on Customers and Markets from Day One How?

Build a Customer Development Process : 

Build a Customer Development Process Customer Development ? ? ? ? Concept/Seed Round Product Dev. Alpha/Beta Test Launch/ 1st Ship Product Development

Customer Development is as important as Product Development : 

Company Building Customer Development CustomerDiscovery Customer Development is as important as Product Development Product Development CustomerValidation Customer Creation

Customer Development: Big Ideas : 

Customer Development: Big Ideas Parallel process to Product Development Measurable Checkpoints Not tied to FCS, but to customer milestones Notion of Market Types to represent reality Emphasis is on learning & discovery before execution

Customer Development Heuristics : 

Customer Development Heuristics There are no facts inside your building, so get outside Develop for the Few, not the Many Earlyvangelists make your company And are smarter than you Focus Groups are for big companies, not startups The goal for release 1 is the minimum feature set for earlyvangelists

Customer Discovery: Step 1 : 

Stop selling, start listening There are no facts inside your building, so get outside Test your hypotheses Two are fundamental: problem and product concept Customer Discovery: Step 1 CustomerDiscovery CustomerValidation Company Building CustomerCreation

Customer Discovery: Exit Criteria : 

Customer Discovery: Exit Criteria What are your customers top problems? How much will they pay to solve them Does your product concept solve them? Do customers agree? How much will they pay? Draw a day-in-the-life of a customer before & after your product Draw the org chart of users & buyers

Sidebar : 

Sidebar How to Think About Opportunities

“Venture-Scale” Businesses : 

“Venture-Scale” Businesses Create or add value to a customer Solve a significant problem/want or need, for which someone is willing to pay a premium A good fit with the founder(s) and team at the time Can grow large (≥$100 million) Attractive returns for investor

Ideas : 

Ideas Technology Driven Is it buildable now? How much R, how much D? Does it depend on anything else? Are there IP issues? Customer Driven Is there an articulated customer need? How do you know? How big a market and when? Are others trying to solve it? If so, why you? Does it solve an existing customer problem? Opportunity Driven Is there an opportunity no one sees but you do? How do you know it’s a vision not a hallucination?

Facts Vs. Hypothesis : 

Facts Vs. Hypothesis Opportunity Assessment How big is the problem/need/desire? How much of it can I take? Sales Distribution Channel Marketing Engineering Fact or Hypothesis?

Customer Validation: Step 2 : 

Customer Validation: Step 2 CustomerDiscovery CustomerValidation Customer Creation Company Building Develop a repeatable sales process Only earlyvangelists are crazy enough to buy

Customer Validation: Exit Criteria : 

Customer Validation: Exit Criteria Do you have a proven sales roadmap? Org chart? Influence map? Do you understand the sales cycle? ASP, LTV, ROI, etc. Do you have a set of orders ($’s) validating the roadmap? Does the financial model make sense?

Sidebar : 

Sidebar Customer Development Engineering And Agile Development Methodologies

Traditional Agile (XP) Tactics : 

Traditional Agile (XP) Tactics Planning game programmers estimate effort of implementing cust stories customer decides about scope and timing of releases Short releases new release every 2-3 months Simple design emphasis on simplest design Testing development test driven. Unit tests before code Refactoring restructuring and changes to simplify Pair Programming 2 people at 1 computer

Slide 25: 

Problem: known Waterfall Unit of progress: Advance to Next Stage

Slide 26: 

Problem: known Waterfall Unit of progress: Advance to Next Stage Solution: known

Slide 27: 

Problem: known Solution: known Waterfall Unit of progress: Advance to Next Stage

Agile Development : 

Agile Development “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” http://agilemanifesto.org/ Embrace Change Build what you need today Process-oriented development so change is painless Prefer flexibility to perfection Ship early and often Test-driven to find and prevent bugs Continuous improvement vs. ship-and-maintain

Slide 29: 

Problem: known Agile (XP) “Product Owner” or in-house customer Unit of progress: Working Software, Features

Slide 30: 

Problem: known Solution: unknown Agile (XP) “Product Owner” or in-house customer Unit of progress: Working Software, Features

Slide 31: 

Problem: known Solution: unknown Agile (XP) “Product Owner” or in-house customer Unit of progress: Working Software, Features

Slide 32: 

Problem: unknown Customer Development Engineering Unit of progress: Learning about Customers Hypotheses, experiments, insights

Slide 33: 

Problem: unknown Solution: unknown Customer Development Engineering Unit of progress: Learning about Customers Hypotheses, experiments, insights

Slide 34: 

Problem: unknown Solution: unknown Customer Development Engineering Unit of progress: Learning about Customers Hypotheses, experiments, insights

Slide 35: 

Problem: unknown Solution: unknown Customer Development Engineering Unit of progress: Learning about Customers Hypotheses, experiments, insights Data, feedback, insights

Slide 36: 

Problem: unknown Solution: unknown Customer Development Engineering Unit of progress: Learning about Customers Hypotheses, experiments, insights Data, feedback, insights Incremental, quick, minimum features, revenue/customer validation

Customer Development Engineering Tactics : 

Split-test (A/B) experimentation Extremely rapid deployment Continuous deployment, if possible At IMVU, 20-30 times per day on average Just-in-time architecture and infrastructure Incremental investment for incremental benefit Software “immune system” to prevent defects Five why's Use defects to drive infrastructure investments Customer Development Engineering Tactics

Five Why's : 

Five Why's Any defect that affects a stakeholder is a learning opportunity We’re not done until we’ve addressed the root cause… … including, why didn’t any of our prevention tactics catch it? Technique is to “ask why five times” to get to the root cause

Five Why's Example : 

Five Why's Example For example: Why did we change the software so that we don't make any money anymore? Why didn’t operations get paged? Why didn’t the cluster immune system reject the change? Why didn’t automated tests go red and stop the line? Why wasn’t the engineer trained not to make the mistake? We’re not done until we’ve taken corrective action at all five levels

Customer Development Engineering : 

Customer Development Engineering How do you build a product development team that can thrive in a startup environment? Let's start with the traditional way... Waterfall “The waterfall model is a sequential software development model in which development is seen as flowing steadily downwards through the phases of requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing (validation), integration, and maintenance.”

Customer CreationStep 3 : 

Customer CreationStep 3 CustomerDiscovery CustomerValidation Customer Creation Company Building Creation comes after proof of sales Creation is where you “cross the chasm” It is a strategy not a tactic

Customer Creation Big Ideas : 

Customer Creation Big Ideas Big Idea 1: Grow customers from few to many Big Idea 2: Four Customer Creation activities: Year One objectives Positioning Launch Demand creation Big Idea 3: Creation is different for each of the three types of startups

New Product Conundrum : 

New Product Conundrum New Product Introduction methodologies sometimes work, yet sometimes fail Why? Is it the people that are different? Is it the product that are different? Perhaps there are different “types” of startups?

Three Types of Markets : 

Three Types of Markets

Three Types of Markets : 

Three Types of Markets Who Cares? Type of Market changes EVERYTHING Sales, marketing and business development differ radically by market type Details next week

Type of MarketChanges Everything : 

Type of MarketChanges Everything Market Market Size Cost of Entry Launch Type Competitive Barriers Positioning Sales Sales Model Margins Sales Cycle Chasm Width Finance Ongoing Capital Time to Profitability Customers Needs Adoption

Definitions: Three Types of Markets : 

Definitions: Three Types of Markets Existing Market Faster/Better = High end Resegmented Market Niche = marketing/branding driven Cheaper = low end New Market Cheaper/good enough can create a new class of product/customer Innovative/never existed before

Existing Market Definition : 

Existing Market Definition Are there current customers who would: Need the most performance possible? Is there a scalable business model at this point? Is there a defensible business model Are there sufficient barriers to competition from incumbents?

Resegmented Market Definition (1)Low End : 

Resegmented Market Definition (1)Low End Are there customers at the low end of the market who would: buy less (but good enough) performance if they could get it at a lower price? Is there a business profitable at this low-end? Are there sufficient barriers to competition from incumbents?

Resegmented Market Definition (2)Niche : 

Resegmented Market Definition (2)Niche Are there customers in the current market who would: buy if it addressed their specific needs if it was the same price? If it cost more? Is there a defensible business model at this point? Are there barriers to competition from incumbents?

New Market Definition : 

New Market Definition Is there a large customer base who couldn’t do this before? Because of cost, availability, skill…? Did they have to go to an inconvenient, centralized location? Are there barriers to competition from incumbents?

Hybrid Markets : 

Hybrid Markets Some products fall into Hybrid Markets Combine characteristics of both a new market and low-end resegmentation SouthWest Airlines Dell Computers Cell Phones Apple IPhone?

Company Building: Step 4 : 

Company Building: Step 4 CustomerDiscovery CustomerValidation Customer Creation Company Building (Re)build your company’s organization & management Re look at your mission

Company Building: Big Ideas : 

Company Building: Big Ideas Big Idea 1: Management needs to change as the company grows Founders are casualties Development centric  Mission-centric  Process-centric Big Idea 2:Sales Growth needs to match market type

Company Building: Exit Criteria : 

Company Building: Exit Criteria Does sales growth plan match market type? Does spending plan match market type? Does the board agree? Is your team right for the stage of company? Have you built a mission-oriented culture?

New Product Conundrum : 

New Product Conundrum New Product Introduction methodologies sometimes work, yet sometimes fail Why? Is it the people that are different? Is it the product that are different? Perhaps there are different “types” of startups?

A Plethora of Opportunities : 

A Plethora of Opportunities

Startup Checklist – 1What Vertical Market am I In? : 

Startup Checklist – 1What Vertical Market am I In? Web 2.0 Enterprise Software Enterprise Hardware Communciaton Hdw Communication Sftw Consumer Electronics Game Software Semicondutors Electronic Design Automation Cleantech Med Dev / Health Care Life Science / Biotech Personalized Medicine

Market Risk vs. Invention Risk : 

Market Risk vs. Invention Risk

Startup Checklist - 2 : 

Startup Checklist - 2 Market Risk? Technical Risk? Both?

Execution: Lots to Worry About : 

Execution: Lots to Worry About

Startup Checklist - 3 : 

Startup Checklist - 3 Opportunity Where does the idea come from? Innovation Where is the innovation? Customer Who is the User/Payer? Competition Who is the competitor/complementor? Sales What is the Channel to reach the customer? Marketing: How do you create end user demand? What does Biz Dev do? Deals? Partnerships? Sales? Business/Revenue Model(s) How do we organize to make money? IP/PatentsRegulatory Issues? How and how long? Time to Market How long does it take to get to market? Product Development Model How to you engineer it? Manufacturing What does it take to build it? Seed Financing How much? When? Follow-on Financing How much? When? Liquidity How much? When?

Execution: Very Different by Vertical : 

Execution: Very Different by Vertical

Market Risk Reduction Strategy : 

Market Risk Reduction Strategy

Slide 65: 

Customer Development and the Business Plan

The Traditional Plan & Pitch : 

The Traditional Plan & Pitch Technology Team Product Opportunity Customer Problem Business Model Customers Since You Can’t Answer my real questions here’s the checklist

Business Plan Becomes the Funding Slides : 

Business Plan Becomes the Funding Slides Fire Founders

Why Don’t VC’s Believe a Word You Say? : 

Why Don’t VC’s Believe a Word You Say? What’s wrong with a business plan? Hypothesis are untested Execution Oriented Assumes hypothesis are facts Static No change upon contact with customer and market

What Are Early Stage Investors Really Asking? : 

What Are Early Stage Investors Really Asking? Are you going to: Blow my initial investment? Or are you going to make me a ton of money? Are there customers? How many? Now? Later? Is there a profitable business model? Can it scale?

“Lessons Learned” Drives Funding : 

“Lessons Learned” Drives Funding Concept Business Plan Lessons Learned Series A Do this first instead of fund raising Test Hypotheses

Credibility Increases Valuation : 

Credibility Increases Valuation Customer Development and the Business Plan Extract the hypotheses from the plan Leave the building to test the hypothesis Present the results as: “Lessons Learned from our customers” Iterate Plan

The Customer Development Presentation : 

The Customer Development Presentation Answer the implicit questions about the viability of the business Tell the Discovery & Validation story Lessons Learned & “Our Customers Told Us” Graph some important upward trend

Customer Development: Summary : 

Customer Development: Summary Parallel process to Product Development Hypothesis Testing Measurable Checkpoints Not tied to FCS, but to customer milestones Notion of Market Types to represent reality Emphasis is on learning & discovery before execution

Further ReadingCourse Text at: www.cafepress.com/kandsranch orwww.amazon.com : 

Further ReadingCourse Text at: www.cafepress.com/kandsranch orwww.amazon.com

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