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February 08, 2005

Value of Customer Development

We are all very familiar with software product development.  Its a process with well designed steps (design, code, test, iterate, release, etc.).  We schedule, plan, and track the various stages.  Given how granular we track the product development process, its strange how we have such a laissez-faire attitude towards sales.  With sales, we just hire a VP of sales give him some budget to hire a few more folks and hope (and in my case pray) that sales show up. 

Chris Whitted, VP of sales at Steelwedge (one of my portfolio companies), forwarded me a presentation from a gentlemen at Berkeley who tries to formulate a "Customer Development" framework.  I found it to be very useful.  I am attaching the presentation for everyone's benefit:
Download customer_development.pdf

Update 1: Just received an email from Steve Blank identifying himself as the author of this piece.  He teaches a course at Berkeley in the business school.  I highly recommend it for all current and aspiring entreprenuers. There is also a book that covers the material in the slides I posted and follows the course.  It can be found at: www.cafepress.com/kandsranch.  Steve can be reached at steveathassdotberkeleydotedu



Posted by Venky Ganesan at 02:44 PM in software | Permalink


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Posted by: Rickey Meadows | Oct 16, 2007 5:23:18 AM

I agree. I have seen each of the problems Steve covers in starups. His approach is absolutely necessary for startup to be successful. He is great in person, too.

Posted by: JDMorris | Aug 15, 2008 9:22:36 PM

When visiting these blogs that are written by the same author, he has a lot of followers.

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