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Customer Development for Entrepreneurs: How to Test Startup Ideas and Build Products People Love (Lean Startup Tactics Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Mike Fishbein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Build Products Your Customers Will Buy

Customer development is a process for discovering and validating market demand for an idea and determining the right product features to meet customer needs through interviews and structured experiments. Customer development is used to help build products that customers want and avoid spending time and money on products customers don’t want. It can be used to identify problems and new startup ideas, to test ideas, and to optimize ideas and existing products. Customer development helps us learn about our potential customers so we can build products they will actually use.

Validate Startup Ideas Efficiently and Effectively

Customer development and Lean Startup methodology have become quite popular with entrepreneurs. This book was written to be a supplement to books like The Lean Startup and The Startup Owner’s Manual. Without rehashing too much of the basics, this is a tactical guide to practicing customer development. Many entrepreneurs and corporate innovation teams know they need to be practicing customer development, but don’t know how to do it in a way that will help them build awesome products.

Topics include:
How to Get Startup Ideas Through Customer Development
How to Test a Startup Idea’s Viability Before Building a Product
How to Find Customers to Interview
How to Ask for and Get Customer Interviews
How to Gain Customer Insights to Build Products People Want
The Best and Worst Customer Development Questions to Ask
How to Optimize Ideas and Existing Products
Common Mistakes to Avoid

In an age, where technological advancement has made it easier than ever to build a product, the question is no longer whether a product can be built, it's whether or not it anyone actually wants it. The job of an entrepreneur in a free-market economy is to relentlessly serve customers. It's to provide more value to customers than competing or comparable activities, and to do it in a way that generates a profit. Customer development helps us do that effectively.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Fishbein is an entrepreneur in New York City, author of multiple books on entrepreneurship, and has advised both startups and fortune 500 companies on customer development and new product innovation. Mike is the Founder of, an education technology company in New York City. With over 2,000 enrolled students,'s online courses help entrepreneurs start and grow their companies. Prior to, Mike was a founding team member of Casual Corp, a venture studio and corporate innovation firm founded by an accomplished serial entrepreneur. While at Casual Corp, Mike served as a lead product manager in validating and launching three new consumer technology products. In addition, Mike advised two of the world's largest publishing companies on new product innovation. Mike's expertise lies in customer development, Lean product strategy, and customer acquisition. He is the author of "Customer Development for Entrepreneurs" and "Growth Hacking with Content Marketing." His writing on startup strategies and tactics have been published in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and more. Mike has been starting companies since he was a teenager and serves as a resource and advisor to startups in New York City. You can learn more about Mike via his blog,

Product Details

  • File Size: 830 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend. November 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For the last few years I've been working on starting up businesses and this is the biggest problem that I've struggled with. We all have a great idea but great ideas don't always make a great product.

His last book gave me a lot to think about and I've been experimenting with works best for me. It's taken a lot of work but I've become much better at finding and recruiting talent.

I've just started reading this book but it's excellent so far. I don't follow many authors but Mike is fantastic and his insight is excellent. Support this author buy his book, I'd love to see more from him. There's so much to learn. :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome supplement to LSM and The Lean Startup November 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
5 stars... because this is such an awesome supplement to The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Mike combines real actionable points to help people go out to build stuff that customers want. For those learning lean methodologies or furthering their education post-Lean Startup Machine, this book is amazing because he helps you figure out how to formulate experiments and questions to find out what your customers want. No more guessing and no more assuming... Thanks for providing us and awesome guide and further insight into lean methodologies.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Written in haste, it's a quilt of blog posts that's more of a brochure for his courses and books. He cites many other blog posts and authors but only hyperlinks to his own content. You would be better served by "Entrepreneurs Guide to Customer Development" by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovitz for an overview of customer development and Giff Constables "Talking to Humans" (free from ) for guidance on conducting customer interviews.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good read May 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great for first timers, very good to change perspective of old timers. Nice and clean, easy to digest, lots of references and examples. Fair price.
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I think Mike gives a terrific overview of Customer Development in an easy to digest format. He takes the best books, posts from of-the-moment thought leaders, and his own unique personal experience as a VC and distills it into a book you can read in a weekend. Plus, there is great tactical advice like scripts and questions to ask. This is a great read for those new to customer development or anyone who needs a refresher.
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By BrianE
Format:Kindle Edition
my favorite part about the book is that he zooms in on a specific portion of doing a startup: customer development. others have written on the topic, but this author provides a level of detail that the "startup owner's manual" or "running lean" don't explore. it's the combination of all the "little things" that make customer development such a difficult area to master, and this is precisely the subject of this book.

how would i create an action plan for finding people to interview? what type of question do i ask when the customer says X? pure gold.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entrepreneur must read November 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book gets at the heart of launching a successful business: establishing your value proposition through customer validation. There are some powerful and intuitive ideas in this book to make sure you're focusing on the right things.
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By Gideon
Format:Kindle Edition
This book provides great tactical advice on how to practice customer development effectively. The author explains the importance of practicing customer development correctly, and how to do it. I highly recommend this book for anyone thinking of starting a business.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on customer development
If you want to learn about customer development the. This is one of the best books you can read on the subject in my opinion. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Tapiwa Gwaze
1.0 out of 5 stars waste of time!
If you have been reading about business, marketing or entrepreneurship books, no need to spend extra 2 hours! The author wrote nothing new!
Published 13 months ago by Ozge Z. Yilmaz
4.0 out of 5 stars A great resource to read before launching your business
This book is awesome if you are an entrepreneur about to launch a product or service, but it also is a great resource if you are a coach building a service based business. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Michael Roderick
5.0 out of 5 stars Very practical info
This book contains practical, useful information for anyone looking to start a company. It's a great supplement to many of the books you've already heard of or read (LSM, four... Read more
Published 18 months ago by AO
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all about the tactics
What I like most about this book is how it discussed real tactics. While some other books focus on theory, Mike takes a pragmatic view on tactics that have proven to be... Read more
Published 18 months ago by lylan masterman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough & informative
Entrepreneurs will benefit from this book, because the author is clearly an expert who shares his knowledge in great detail. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Linda Quotes
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and inspiring read
This book provides great insight in to the new product development process. It's both an informative and entertaining read. I highly recommend it!
Published 18 months ago by AF
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More About the Author

Mike Fishbein is the Founder of, an online school for startups. Previously, Mike was a founding member of a venture studio and corporate innovation company. There he helped launch multiple consumer technology products and advised some of the world's largest companies on new product innovation. Mike has written books on customer development, networking, and content marketing. His writing has been featured in Huffington Post,, and more. You can learn more about him at

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