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Lean Customer Development: Building Products Your Customers Will Buy Hardcover – June 8, 2014
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About the Author
Cindy Alvarez is a product manager who turns understanding the customer into competitive advantage. Currently the Director of User Experience and Product Design for Yammer (a Microsoft company), she has worked with early- and mid-stage startups as well as Fortune 500 companies to make customer development an ingrained part of company culture and product development process.
From the Publisher
Look for more books in the series
The Lean Series, curated by Eric Ries, is a collection of books written by the best people in the field, on topics that matter. The authors dive down into Lean Startup implementation-level details, providing readers with information they can immediately put to use.
We live in an age of unparalleled opportunity for innovation. We’re building more products than ever before, but most of them fail—not because we can’t complete what we set out to build, but because we waste time, money, and effort building the wrong product.
What we need is a systematic process for quickly vetting product ideas and raising our odds of success. That’s the promise of Running Lean.
Top Customer Reviews
I have already read the book in the first 10 days and am now starting to read it again. Making notes, and planning my projects.
If you are looking for, probably one of the best titles on defining your customer, and step-by-step methods to do it, pick up this book.
- The author talks about interviewing, how to do it, some questions to get you started and walks you through it.
- The descriptions offer you a way to tell if what you are planning to do really does make sense. If it does, great, if it doesn't, what you can do to address this and really find you niche.
- Now this isn't really a con, but be prepared to learn. This book has a great deal of depth and breadth. I would suggest reading it once, then going back with a notebook to really plan your project with it.
I have founded companies and helped others do the same. If I had this book years ago, it would have saved huge amount of time on 2 businesses that investors thought was a good ideas, but we figured out there were some key issues that, if we identified them earlier, would have saved us a lot of time and $$$.
I would recommend this book to:
1. Anyone starting a business
2. A person in a large company planning a new product or service
3. A person that has a business that is 0-16 months along and wants to see how they might be able to do more-better-faster
Give Me The Basics? - Customer Development Is All About Testing That Hypotheses.
Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez is one of the latest releases from the O'Reilly Lean book series with each release focusing on a different element of the Lean Startup Model. The earlier books have included titles such as Lean Analytics and UX for Lean Startups, and this books focuses on how you can integrate customer development into the product life-cycle. The idea of customer development as described by the Lean Startup model is that a startup business concept is just a series of untested hypotheses, and that the Customer Development process is way of testing and validating each of those hypotheses to discover the correct model.
What Do You Like? - Providing A Complete Guide.
No matter if you work for are a startup company or established organisation this book has chapters devoted to enterprise size companies. The book has case studies throughout and includes practical advice. To help reinforce the knowledge the author has included takeaways with the key points from the chapter. The book impressed me as it provides a complete guide to the process from the start of a customer development project right through to the end.
Give Me The Low-down On One Concept From The Book? - It's All Problem Solving.
I am a true believer of the context driven testing model and the fact that "The product is a solution. If the problem isn't solved, the product doesn't work." A similar concept runs throughout the book about finding the true problems the customer is facing and how customer development can help you find that.
Give Me One Quote From The Book?Read more ›
***Solving a problem the customer has
***Getting out of the building
However this book as the other two I have read; Lean UX for Startups, Lean UX, has a unique take that the title indicates. It is all about developing products that a customer needs or wants. The prior two books I read were specifically usability-based and took a different bead on what was being tested.
This book suggests more customer directed interviews where the interviewee tells you about a problem they have, or how they do a specific process. From this the conclusions are made as to what a MVP (minimally viable product) is made. Testing this product to validate this hypothesis and to potentially get an NPS (net promoter score) to compare variations.
It talks about dealing with current customers as well.
Unique for this book is that there is many suggested scripts to follow to assist in interviews. There are many examples provided of various use cases and how this type of involvement continues on even after the product is created.
Overall I think this is a worthwhile read, for someone that wants to do Customer interviews for new product development. Is it somewhat repetitive of the lean series books? Yes, but, it covers a unique area and can be a stand-alone book so the repetition is warranted.
This method of tailoring one's offerings changes the way we think. Instead of trying to persuade a customer, we are instructed to think of our interaction with the customer as an experiment. Everything we do to connect with the customer is meant to be a learning experience.
I believe this book is helpful because it gives the reader a purpose to every customer interaction. This is a way to think and it is a process of questioning and probing for solutions.
Also by the author: Pragmatic Marketer Winter 2013
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very tactical approach to crying to understand the foundations of your startup. I recommend it to companies on a daily basisPublished 1 month ago by John Sechrest
Too basic, too cursory, too obvious. Author gets a little wrapped into minute details.
It's not a book I would recommend to others, nor would I read it again.
I've just joined a new startup and out of the gate we have many assumptions. After a few chapters, I got out of the building and started using the interview techniques. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Adrian D
If you're interested in the question and answer process around developing new products, this book collates some useful info into a single place. Read morePublished 12 months ago by BrautiganLives!
Lots of practical, immediately applicable knowledge. It’s very well structured, and still, almost intuitive. Low-ceremony, low-science material that sticks and yields results. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Vlad GURDIGA
The book gives practical advice on how to work with customers to develop better products. Recommended reading for anyone working with product development.Published 13 months ago by Jarkko Turunen
Probably the most important book yet in the "Lean" series. If you ain't got the customers, you ain't got a business. Very very valuable sections on how to get started. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Edward H. Carleton