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The Customer Development Manifesto

March 12, 2012

Customer Development process reflects the best practices of winning startups. The manifesto of 14 rules listed here come from those best practices. The process’  overarching goal is “To discover the repeatable, scalable, and ultimately profitable business before running out of cash”.

Rule 1: There Are No Facts Inside Your Building, So Get Outside

Rule 2: Pair Customer Development with Agile Development

Rule 3: Failure is an Integral Part of the Search

Rule 4: Make continuous Iterations and Pivots

Rule 5: No Business Plan Survives First Contact with Customers, So Use a Business Model Canvas

Rule 6: Design Experiments and Test to Validate Your Hypotheses

Rule 7: Agree on Market Type. It Changes Everything

Rule 8: Startup Metrics Differ from Those in Existing Companies

Rule 9: Fast Decision-Making, Cycle Time, Speed and Tempo

Rule 10: It’s All About Passion

Rule 11: Startup Job Titles Are Very Different from a Large Company’s

Rule 12: Preserve All Cash Until Needed. Then Spend

Rule 13: Communicate and Share Learning

Rule 14: Customer Development Success Begins With Buy-In


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