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Lean Customer Development: Building Products Your Customers Will Buy

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,026 ratings  ·  43 reviews
How do you develop products that people will actually use and buy? This practical guide shows you how to validate product and company ideas through customer development research--before you waste months and millions on a product or service that no one needs or wants.

With a combination of open-ended interviewing and fast and flexible research techniques, you'll learn how yo
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2014)
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Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a part of a study group at work. We discussed 2-3 chapters each week, which is a good pace for this book because you do get the most value out of it if you can implement some of the practices as you read the book. I am more convinced as a result of reading this book that customer development is critical to my line of work, and I think that this book provides very valuable and practical tools to implement a customer development program, both for new ventures and for establishe ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: product
Before reading this book I already read: The Lean Startup, Running Lean, UX for Lean Startup and I am half way through the Lean Analytics.

I found all O'Reilly books to be structured more like a framework some of them going so far to give you templates to use. They all reference the Lean start-up but adopt a more practical approach. While some part are valuable and really useful I usually find only 30-50% of the content to be really interesting. I would say that The Lean starup + Running Lean are
Jose Papo
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent how to book about customer development, interviews, validation of hypothesis and Minimum Viable Products.
Ahmad hosseini
This book offers a view of how companies of any size can practice deep customer development in parallel with product development. It is full of actionable steps to make the most out of every conversation, user test, and feedback session.
This book is not only for startups but also for companies.
Denys Sham
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
That's a great book on how to start using a tool called Customer Development (or User Research). This is a framework that allows you to speak to your potential or existing customers and get insights on how to build or improve your product.

I've enjoyed this book harder than Mom Test and recommend to everyone, who wants to dig into product management.
Bob Ferrante
Useful if sometimes obvious

If you're interested in the question and answer process around developing new products, this book collates some useful info into a single place. If you want a good portmanteau for types of mvps, there are many chapters devoted to these.

Customer acquisition is not covered so if you're on the quest for customers and prospects, go elsewhere.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, kindle, biz
Good instructional book on how to carry out the iterative process of speaking to your potential customers to figure out what kind of product to build, then building it, getting more feedback, etc.

It focuses on the practical and nitty-gritty; nothing glamorous but really helpful when you’re in the process.

The book consists of 9 chapters, roughly covering the following (which should give some idea of the exact contents):

1: Facts supporting customer development
2: Assumptions, problem hypothesis,
Mikhail Filatov
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This book consists of two major parts:
1. 2/3 is about "customer development". Which is a strange mix of requirements gathering/validation and a lot of psychology (the author is actually a psychology major). It's useful if you are shy to talk with people (not necessary customers) but too general.
2. The second part is about MVPs and use of them both in startups and enterprises. Here the use cases are more close to real product development and interesting. It's just a reality check when you see a K
Contains valuable ideas about how to better understand your customers and thus build better products. However, the distinction between *customer* development and *product* development seemed artificial. This book essentially takes a small part of the the overall product development process and zooms way in.

There is a lot of information that is repeat of books I have read prior to this one (i.e. Lean Startup, Running Lean, Inspired) so it was harder to find this one super valuable. Perhaps if I h
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: startups, product
It is quite good, I wish I had it years ago - I wouldn't make that many errors being a product owner.
But well, no one does it in a perfect way since day one.
Some of the things are idealized, some of the suggestions are quite difficult to follow when you are the company of 3 but still, I wish I've read it some 4-5 years ago ;)
It is of use for product people and basically everyone working in startups.
Keeping it on my 're-read' list for future references, the section on interview questions & user
Erin Cloutier
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: industry
I was recommended this book by a user experience researcher for a midsize company. I currently work for a small start up, so this book spoke to both of us! By far my favorite book in this LEAN series. Alvarez gives great examples, questions and doesn’t waste your time. It’s amazing that she can write about general situations we all experience with such distinct and specific helpfulness. This is a book I would want to put on my shelf in my office.
Claudio Cesar Sanches
It is a great book for the ones wanting to learn customer development. Full of examples and in the apendix, several question that can be used in interviews. Most of the time organizations want to conduct research to prove the point they already have. That’s not the way to go. You have to be agnostic about customer opinion.
Gerard Chiva
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Practical guide to customer development with plenty of examples and tips. A must for product discovery and user research.

It covers the whole lifecycle of a product from idea to established businesses.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some sound advice on connecting with your customers. I particularly liked the focus on validating your hypothesis by interviewing potential customers. There are some good tips on how to find your target customers and how to interview them.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's a great book for starting a startup, obviously after reading Lean Startup. It gives the tools for managing the most critical parts at the beginning, I recommend to follow it's instructions with a team of 2 or 4 people ...more
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-again, business
Practical advice on how to find what customers need. The first couple of chapters are nothing new but after that the recommendations are the value that the book adds. Lots of good questions in the appendix.
Denis Romanovsky
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great practical book on customer development. I liked very much the way it introduced all the customer development techniques with good explanations and real life examples.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Excellent! Highly recommended for anyone having trouble finding the perfect product to market fit (which is pretty much every startup I've worked with!) ...more
Nguyễn Thái
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A step-by-step instruction to customer development.
Dennis Muthuri
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Awesome book for practical customer development thinking. Examples may be a bit dated but the concepts are well communicated.
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great for startups. Provide the methods to develop customer and make great example from that. I'm easy to apply the methods to interview and gain useful feedbacks from users. ...more
Irma Kuraspediani
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not just a book. It’s an useful guide how start to talk to your customers and create mvp.
Davi Bauer
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business-startup
The book teaches you how to use customer development in order to identify assumptions, find target customers, ask right questions, choose between types of minimum viable product and how to ongoing customer development research into product development process.

You can get many tips on how to ask questions to identify:

- Who are the people that as suffering the most severe pain.
- What are their current behaviors.
- What are their problems and needs.
- What workarounds they are currently using (as wel
Daniel Cook
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Useful overview of Lean Customer Discovery framework and methodology. Worth reading if you are interested in product research or validation, but just one perspective of many:

My favorite part of reading Lean books is to see how well their “example cases” have aged. The real ‘gotcha’ case here is Kinect which has a whole section dedicated to how the Microsoft team leveraged discovery to design and ship the product despite tight timelines.

Fast forward a few years: Kinect is discontinued and can ob
Eduardo Laureano
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Almost an essential read for those that truly want to build products based on what customer would truly buy. It's an art to extract such information out of customers, this book has a very structured approach to customer interviews. It's also an easy read with a lot of interesting quotes and references. ...more
Jarkko Turunen
Practical howto on developing better products by engaging customers

The book gives practical advice on how to work with customers to develop better products. Recommended reading for anyone working with product development.
K. Chase
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Although written with a traditional/startup business in mind, I did find this book useful in reshaping my perspectives about my publishing business. As the author would've hoped, it did reframe my thinking and I was able to take actionable steps in furthering my business. ...more
Mms Mamdouh Al Shamy
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
It should be reformed ınto smaller versıon as ıt wasted my tıme by dıggıng ın detaıls that kılled the flow of readıng
As I expected much from knowıng potentıal customers and ıntervıewıng them then keep them, the last part for me was missing
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, a completely new perspective on User Research.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Customer Development from 0 to hero.
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