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

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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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

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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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This is a very disappointing book. There is not a single chart, graph, or table in the entire thing. There are no meaningful sample surveys. And there are no calculations presented to clearly answer the question "If you build it, will they come?".

The author states that using his method will produce an initial product that is more akin to a second or third generation product. I wonder, did he use his own method when producing his book? Because it reads like a first generation product, and a hurried one at that.
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Dr. Adams is a brilliant investor and offers solid advice for planning the launch of a small business. He taught a few of my classes at McCombs, and I found them to be very helpful. This book is definitely worth a read.
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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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This book is absolutely phenomenal at touching on the necessities that any new business needs to take into account when launching a new product or service. The author touches on the processes needed to thoroughly and uniquely understand your market (which is essential when developing your competitive advantage). The only drawback that some readers may find with this book is the lack of detail in some areas. HOWEVER, this book is not meant to be a textbook with a specific focus in one area of business study.
On a side note, this book perfectly compliments his earlier book "A Good Hard Kick in the Ass" which i have not reviewed for amazon because I read that book a while back.
5 Stars!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book by Dr. Rob Adams will provide you the insight you need to build stuff that customers will actually pay hard earned money for.

In this important book, Rob Adams discusses market validation or the process in which entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs validate the quintessential product idea before pushing forward and releasing it to the market. The risk of not following Rob's advice is to build and ship products that MAKE NO MONEY. Often the excitement of building something cool can give way to the cold, harsh reality that no one wants it! Market validation is about finding out this important fact before spending and investing enormous amounts of energy and resources on building an unwanted product.

The market validation process is broken down into an easy-to-remember 3 step process - Ready, Aim, and Fire. The Ready stage asks the potential product producer to complete a back-of-the-envelope validation to prove that a market exists and is ripe for your product. The Aim stage asks the entrepreneur to dig a little deeper and interview potential customers to determine if they have a real pain or need for your product. Lastly, the Fire stage takes what you learned in both of the two prior stages and uses it to quickly build a minimum feature product that will satisfy the needs of your target market segment.

I am a new entrepreneur and learning the ropes. I feel this book will be a good starting point for anyone with an idea and the desire to learn. I feel so confident that I am taking Rob Adams advice to heart and implementing it in my own entrepreneurial efforts. Followers of the Lean Startup (i.e. Running Lean by Ash Maurya, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries) will see similarities between Rob's approach and the approach advocated by Lean Startup.

I definitely recommend this book for any entrepreneur or intrapreneur looking to get his or her idea off the ground and into the hands of real customers!
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