Synthesizing Your Work ( HowTo: Customer Development & Leanlaunch Pad )

* updated Mar 2, 2015 – update Plan of Record to link to include “HowTo PoR post”
* updated Jan 7, 2014 – add “Insight & Inspiration Map” as super-set of Market Adoption Forces Map
* updated Nov 18, 2013 – add Competitive Analysis – Petal Diagram » Steve Blank
* updated Mar 25, 2013 – includes Business Model Canvas as Scorecard examples – Jersey Square video and MammOptics.ppt

I’ve been having many meetings with people early on in their Customer Development Process. A common issue is that the Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank is very large and figuring out where to start is overwhelming. The second issue is the unsaid, “You don’t really mean I have to develop my own diagrams and models?”. The answer is, “Yes your progress is directly correlated to how well your version of these diagrams and models is!”. Here is a post from the current LLP workshop that I’m running. It may help you prioritize. Enjoy.

Synthesizing Your Work

Here are some thoughts on synthesizing your work/data, gathering insights from your data, and develop new questions/tests to perform.

First it would be good to go back to Chapter 4 and revisit your hypotheses. In doing that you’ll see that there are a lot of diagrams and models that will help you synthesize your work. The practice of evolving these diagrams from “rough sketches” to “working models” is an important part of your work. Telling your story with these supporting diagrams will become a powerful tool for you. The gaps in the diagrams are most useful because these gaps highlight what you need to do next. Continue to focus on the “fit” between “Value Proposition” and “Customer Segments”.

The second point is that we have been focussing on the marketing aspect and you should take a peek at the Selling Concepts. This brings Channels, Customer Relationships, and Revenues more into view.

The third is to read the “Market Type” subsection pages 112–122. There is a big difference in the actions you will need to take in entering Existing, New, and Re-Segmented markets. The key is that no one is entering “existing” market head on – you are either a creating a new segment or a new market. Please look at Market Type- Cost of Entry, Table 4.2, page 115 for an answer to why this is the case.

Fourth. Some of you need to read Intellectual Property ( SOM page 171–174).


Go Back to Chapter 4 – Refine and Go Deeper

Customer Discovery Phase One: State Your Business Model Hypotheses

  • Review Chapter 4 with a focus on Value Proposition and Customer Segments.
    • See if you can take your Canvas to another level.
  • Then take a look at Channels, Customer Relationships, and Revenue. The online How to Build a Startup course covers this material with a depth that complements the textbook.

Diagrams, Visualization, Models

The Startup Owners Manual is full of techniques to diagram your work. There are Customer Workflow, Purchasing Decision Flows, Sales Roadmaps, Get-Keep-Grow Funnels, Market Maps, Organization Influence Maps, and more. Here are some that you should take begin getting familiar with and start working on.

Diagram Figure Page Number
– Business Model Canvas Examples
( As Scorecard w/ Iterations )
* MammOptics 9 Canvas Iterations
* Jersey Square Canvas Video
– Customer Workflow (organizational/influence map) 4.4 Page 92
– Customer Archetypes to Drive Strategy 4.5 Page 94
– Day-in-the-Life To Drive Strategy 4.6 Page 95
– Petal Diagram
(Competitive Analysis & Market Segmentation)
Petal Diagram
– Market Type Tradeoffs Table 4.1 Page 114
– Market Map Fig 4.1 Page 119
– “Insight & Inspiration” Map
(super-set of Market Adoption Forces)
– Market Adoption Forces
( Key Players )
MammOptics (Adoption)
– Purchasing Decision Tree MammOptics (Purchasing Tree)
– Customer Workflow
(Before & After)
MammOptics(Customer Workflow)
– Get, Keep, Grow Funnel Figure 4.11 page 126
– Marketing Collateral Plan Figure 9.2 page 301
– Plan of Record Sketch
(whole product timeline)
(includes Marketing Collateral) HowTo Devlelop PoR
– Service Journey
(Day in Life of Product )
* Internet H/W
* Medical V0.1
– Organization & Influence Maps “Deeper” Page 345–349
– Test Selling Page 375
– Refine Influence map page 389–395
– Sales Access Strategy Map 10.10 page 389–395
– Sales Roadmap figure 10.11 page 394

Comment on “What is the End Game?”

For me ( physical products and channels) the End Game of “customer development” is to develop a Sales Funnel with supporting Marketing activities, and materials, for your product. This translates into four maps/models: 1) Plan of Record Sketch ( the whole product timeline), 2) Get-Keep-Grow Funnel model, 3) Sales Access Strategy Map, and 4) the Sales Roadmap. If you can “discover” these and make them “operational” then everything else will fall into place. You will have what is called, “Traction” for your product/service. From this point you can “really” develop a solid “bottom-up” Sales Forecast which will provide you with a ton of leverage with investors. To make those models work you’ll need to do a lot detail work first ( iteratively ).

For more colour on the priorities of Sales vs. Marketing vs. Engineering read on. The Sharp End of the Stick « Steve Blank


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