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If You Build It Will They Come: Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity Hardcover – April 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047056363X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470563632
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Why do 65 percent of new products fail? In today's hyper-competitive market, companies too often misjudge demand. They either perform too little of the necessary market research, misuse the data they do collect, or neglect to integrate their research into product development. Amazingly, many companies get their market insights during or after their product's failure. It doesn't have to be this way!

If You Build It Will They Come lays out a complete system for objectively assessing a market before you develop a product or any business idea. Whether you're in a tiny startup or a major corporation, venture capitalist and business professor Rob Adams's proven Market Validation process enables you to maximize your investment dollars while minimizing your risks.

If You Build It Will They Come helps you execute the essential actions for any new product offering. Using this book's "Ready, Aim, Fire" framework, you'll:

  • Evaluate product ideas

  • Gather the right information on competitors

  • Find and understand your target audience

  • Match product features to market demand

  • Determine pricing

  • Utilize experts and data

  • Prepare the market for your product

  • Bring your product to market

Successful product launches often look easy in retrospect when they actually require a phenomenal amount of effort and planning—and you usually don't read about the many failures. Filled with real-life examples, case studies, and practical tips, If You Build It Will They Come gives you tested tools to ensure that your work ends in a successful launch. So before you build it, get this book—and watch customers come running!

From the Back Cover

Praise for IF YOU BUILD IT WILL THEY COME?

"This book will force any entrepreneur or intrapreneur to take a brutally honest look at their planned product development and launch—before it's too late."—Curt Jackson, Director, Global Technology & Capital Management, Toppan Photomasks, Inc.

"Taking an idea or product to market is expensive and prone to failure. When we had to reconstruct our business, we rigorously adhered to Rob Adams's Market Validation process to test our new ideas. We avoided organization-killing mistakes and created products and services that our clients need, value, and are willing to pay for. The process outlined in this book will save you immeasurable amounts of time, money, and wasted effort."—Eliza Evans, President and CEO, InCenter

"Whether you're sitting in your garage trying to be the next Google, or trying to extend your Fortune 1000 company's product line, this book will show you how to develop products that customers actually want."—Mark McLain, CEO and cofounder, Sailpoint

"Lots of people launch new products; few earn meaningful revenues. What do those few have in common? The clear focus and discipline it takes to excel at something truly difficult. If You Build It Will They Come? lays out the not-so-obvious basics of market-focused product development and launches."—Bruce Roberson, retired director, McKinsey & Company

"I've been helping companies for twenty years with the kinds of Market Validation programs described in If You Build It, Will They Come? Adams understands the power of market guidance and the practical aspects of collecting market input. This book will give you a competitive advantage during the product design phase, when it has the most impact, while avoiding costly mistakes."—Peter Simon, President, Simon Management

"Adams has assembled the collective wisdom of countless product launches, executive interviews, and venture capital perspectives on how companies can efficiently deliver market-oriented products. His conclusions are compelling, but obvious; yet few companies actually do it." —John Sibley Butler, Director, The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship and The Institute for Innovation, Creativity, and Capital, The University of Texas at Austin


More About the Author

Rob Adams is an active investor, author, consultant, and on the staff of the Management Department at the University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business, where he teaches in the MBA program and is the Director of the Global Moot Corp Program.

Dr. Adams is an active angel investor and board member for several start-ups, and is affiliated with numerous venture funds, several of which he started. Prior to the venture business, he was a software operating executive for two decades. Throughout his venture and operating career he has been a founder, founding investor or involved with the merger or acquisition of more than 40 companies, representing more than one billion dollars of capital, and has been involved with the launching of more than 100 products.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Texas, Adams founded Tejas Venture Partners, the second venture fund he has started. Previously he was the founder of AV Labs, a successful early stage venture fund allied with Austin Ventures, starting it after being a partner with TL Ventures. Before entering the venture business, he was a technology executive. He started his career with Lotus (NYSE: IBM), joining the company shortly after its public offering. Adams was instrumental in the development and launch of both 1-2-3 for Macintosh and Lotus Notes. He went on to be founder and CEO of Business Matters, a venture backed developer of financial modeling products and was an executive with Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW), a company he helped take public in 1997.

Adams holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Purdue University, a Masters of Business Administration from Babson College's Olin School of Management, and a Ph.D. in Management from Capella University. He has taught at the MBA programs of The Acton School of Business, Babson College, The University of Texas at Austin, and St. Edwards University.

He is a nationally recognized expert and speaker on entrepreneurship, company and product strategy, marketing and technology issues. He recently keynoted the Inc. 500 business conference and consults for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He provides expert testimony on technology related business issues, and has consulted on economic development and early stage company development for numerous governments including Chile, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Thailand. He has been covered in Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Money, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, on Bloomberg Radio, Public Television, public radio's nationally syndicated "Marketplace" program, and blogs for Inc.com.

He is the author of A Good Hard Kick in the As*: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs (Random House/Crown, 2002), and is currently working on his next book, If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity (Wiley, April 2010).

Adams is a Fellow at the IC2 Institute; a University of Texas based foundation that runs the Austin Technology Incubator, on the board of Purdue Research Park, and a volunteer with Austin's Habitat for Humanity. He is an avid downhill skier and marathoner. He was a collegiate rower and graduated from the Marine Corps' Officer Candidate School.

Phone: 512-633-5955
Email: rob.adams@mccombs.utexas.edu

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The rest of the book tells you how to do it.
Shawn Carson
Dr. Adam's book is an excellent guide to processes in developing a validation strategy and making the decision to proceed with an idea into the marketplace.
Thomas Paine
I would recommend this book for any one interested in entrepreneurship.
jam1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NageshDotCom on November 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has made a reasonable attempt to make the reader think about the factors involved in making their software product a better success. However, the book does not give a clear way of measuring, calculating, or even estimating the probability of succeeding their product in the marketplace through some quantitative techniques. I got that impression because the book has zero pictures and zero tables. Author needs to rewrite second edition with one picture and one table at the end of every one of the 26 chapters to make this book a great use for the entrepreneurs on the street.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Hudson Baird on November 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Just finished this book last night - couldn't recommend it more strongly. It's about market validation and refining your concept before pouring money into building a product. Mr. Adams incorporates lean, fail fast, and data driven studies. He pushes you out from behind the computer and encourages you get market feedback before you start. That way, you're on the third iteration of your idea before you spend money on building out. For anyone starting out or looking to expand their product, this book can talk them through how to effectively execute a market study in sixty days.

Where other business books give you theories, traits, or mentalities, this book gives you a step by step process that will tell you if your idea is ready for launch. It's in my top three business books I've read. If you get one book, get this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Martin on April 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a good customer-driven approach to developing a product. It is logical, makes sense.
It can be used both my bootstrapping entrepreneurs and by large companies developing a new product.
That said, I wish the book had a table with the framework handy, as well as a process-chart,
and "field notes" to use while executing on the market validation.

Notice how the reviews for this book are coming from Austin, where the author is based.
Silicon Valleys entrepreneurs should read it too before taking on VC money. ;)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Adams is a great writer and the subject is well organized. The book emphasizes the simple truth that the only way to find out what customers "may" buy is by digging down into the pain they are experiencing and working with them to deliver a product that addresses that pain in a timely fashion.

The focus on keeping perspective (not deluding yourself) and on failing early are appreciated. There is always a tension between persistence and knowing when a project/product is going no-where.

While we could all use an "easy" solution, the message is clear. It will take many hours of seeking out people with needs, soliciting feedback, and building an on-going partnership with them; and this through-out and after the initial development cycle. Adams is blunt about the number of contacts required per nugget of truth. This is work!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gary E. Hoover on May 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My colleague and friend Rob Adams has written this great book about how to evaluate opportunities. All the books about the philosophy of entrepreneurship are great, but we need more hands-on advice. I see folks who want to be entrepreneurs every day, and often they don't know where to start. I urge them to become as much an expert on the industry as possible, above all else "find a need and fill it." Then talk to potential customers, get inside their heads and inside their lives, listen to them! So Rob was preaching to the choir when I got into his book. Virtually any entrepreneur -- including and perhaps especially non-profit and social entrepreneurs -- will advance their chance of success by studying Rob's patterns of thoughts and actions as described in this book. The table of contents tells you what you need to know to understand how this book can help you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bradley A. Phillips on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Adams has done a great job in laying out a step by step process for launching a new product that helps eliminate the irrational decision making chain that so many businees people fall into when taking a product to market that they are so heavily emotionally and financially invested in. Sorry to say, our company had been a long time practitioner of the "ready, fire, fire, aim" methodology, but fortunately was able to apply a number of the steps in this book to the recent acquistion of a competitor.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Paine on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a veteran of multiple technology evaluation projects worldwide, I found this book to be an excellent summary of the processes to be followed in product development. Too often entrepreneurs fall in love with their idea but do not seek reviews or comments from other players or potential customers in the marketplace. Dr. Adam's book is an excellent guide to processes in developing a validation strategy and making the decision to proceed with an idea into the marketplace. It's well paced, thorough, and I would recommend it to our clients.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rob has written some undeniable good content. He certainly knows his stuff and if you care about solid content above readability this book might be perfect for you. For me it just got a bit too laborious to read. I am sure that its hard to write about such a topic in a fascinating way but at times it was just a bit to lacking in sparkle for me, and thus I did not get very far. Perhaps it picked up more life further in to the book but I'm not overly convinced by that. For serious business people its ideal, for generation YouTube not so much. Awesome content from a man that definitely knows his stuff though.
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