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The Four Steps to the Epiphany Hardcover – July 17, 2013
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... a book that all technology entrepreneurs will actually want to read. Blank peppers his narrative with many concrete, realworld examples.; --TechComm The Technology Journal of Technology Commercialization Aug-Sept 2005 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The bestselling classic that launched 10,000 startups and new corporate ventures - The Four Steps to the Epiphany is one of the most influential and practical business books of all time. The Four Steps to the Epiphany launched the Lean Startup approach to new ventures. It was the first book to offer that startups are not smaller versions of large companies and that new ventures are different than existing ones.Startups search for business models while existing companies execute them. The book offers the practical and proven four-step Customer Development process for search and offers insight into what makes some startups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture. Rather than blindly execute a plan, The Four Steps helps uncover flaws in product and business plans and correct them before they become costly. Rapid iteration, customer feedback, testing your assumptions are all explained in this book.Packed with concrete examples of what to do, how to do it and when to do it, the book will leave you with new skills to organize sales, marketing and your business for success.If your organization is starting a new venture, and you're thinking how to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development you need The Four Steps to the Epiphany.Essential reading for anyone starting something new.
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Steve Blank hammers home several big ideas, the most prominent being that startups will greatly increase their chances of success by following a model called Customer Development as opposed to the traditional Product Development model.
The Customer Development concept is only one of the big ideas that Blank introduces. Other big ideas include:
- The identification of different market types and their associated impact on business strategy
- The concept of a mission-centric organization as a transition between startup / learning oriented and process-oriented organizations
Blank's experience, hard-earned through multiple successes and failures, clearly shows in the content. The book contains a step-by-step guide to each element of Customer Development, from the very earliest stages through the transition out of startup mode. He offers a nice balance of philosophy/theory and practical advice, illustrating his points with examples from his experience or well-known case studies. He demonstrates excellent breadth of knowledge, frequently offering points of view from various parts of the organization, including Marketing, Sales, Product Development, Management/Leadership, and the Board or venture capital companies.
The book is split into six chapters - two introductory chapters then one for each of the four steps in the Customer Development process. Each chapter is long and packed with information. Each chapter concludes with a one page summary that serves as a quick reference guide. The appendix contains a checklist for each step in the Customer Development process as well as a useful bibliography with Blank's comments.
Like other readers, I noted issues with the editing - words are missing, grammar is sometimes incorrect, and fonts are different throughout the book. However, these editing issues did not diminish my understanding of the content at all. I found them to be harmless compared to the quality of the concepts, ideas, and advice. In many ways, the editing reflected the spirit of Blank's message - get your product out there and try to sell it.
One of my former jobs was in consulting, where I worked with a few startup companies. I wish that I read The Four Steps to the Epiphany years ago - the knowledge I gained from this book would have helped me tremendously in working with startup clients.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany should be on the desk of every person who works for a startup company.
This book will help you avoid that trap by reducing the risk and increasing the success chances of your start-up or corporate project. In The Four Steps Blank outlines a practical approach that will help you move from a business model hypothesis to a tested and scalable model in an concrete way and with low initial cash requirements.
I use Blank's method in conjunction with the Business Model Canvas to help companies reduce their risk of implementing new business models. Blank's 4-step method shows readers how to systematically test and validate business models 'by getting out of the building and talking to customers' before moving on to launching and scaling.
Blank's book convinces not only through its content, but through the author's proven entrepreneurial track record. If you are really serious about succeeding with your start-up or corporate project buy the book now.