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The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Startups That Win
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The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Startups That Win

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  10,602 ratings  ·  158 reviews
The essential book for anyone bringing a product to market, writing a business plan, marketing plan or sales plan. Step-by-step strategy of how to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development for a new product or company. The book offers insight into what makes some startups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture. Packed with concrete e ...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by K & S Ranch (first published 2003)
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Herve
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Although I had mentioned him in previous posts such as The Art of Selling and his Views on Entrepreneurship, I had never read Steve Blank’s until now. I just finished reading The Four Steps to the Epiphany and I must just say it is a great book.

I will explain into some details his theory but the main reason I love this book is how he explains why founders are critical in all the decisions of the early phases of a start-up. Not the usual “hire business people”, but “learn and become an expert unt
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Brian
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
(4.0) Good stuff, helpful resource, especially for enterprise software

* "Customer Development" should be the focus, rather than blind execution of product development
** You've got a product vision, so find your potential customers and cultivate them, learn from them
** Validate your vision, refine as appropriate
** Don't ramp up sales/marketing efforts till you have a repeatable, proven process for selling (and be sure it's repeatable for the mainstream market, not early adopters
* Know whether you
...more
Федор Кривов
Полезно про стартапы - какие типы бывают, как выходить на рынок, причины провала. Сократить бы раза в 2 размер, на мой взгляд, местами водянисто. Заметки ниже.

Разница между победителями и проигравшими проста. Когда топ-менеджмент компании с самого начала выходит из офиса и много и часто общается с потребителями, развитие продукта завершается успехом. Когда судьба продукта отдается полностью в руки департаментов по продажам и маркетингу, которые не вовлечены напрямую собственно в процесс разработ
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TarasProkopyuk
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Очень и очень рекомендую данную книгу всем-всем-всем предпринимателям, менеджерам, инвесторам да и другим специалистам, которых интересуют вопросы запуска бизнеса, удержания «на волне», и его эффективное развитие.

Найти похожую книгу весьма редчайшее удовольствие. Одно из преимуществ данной работы это очень и очень качественный материал и легкая форма подачи, понятная даже для «чайников». А ещё вы найдёте в данной книги те советы, которые можно получить только у опытных практиков, а не у паркетны
...more
Eric Smith
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, non-fiction
I am torn between giving this book five stars and giving it two - it's an incredibly useful book to me personally and I wish I'd read it years ago, but at the same time it is turgidly written, complex, encrusted with typos and amateurish editing, and it is applicable to a narrow audience. However! If you are a member of that audience - entrepreneurs starting up a technology-based firm, especially one doing business-to-business - then it is incredibly useful, provided you can get through it and d ...more
Sahar Hawamdeh
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book! I recommend it to everyone starting a new business or working on getting their product out in the market. It proposes a customer-centered rather than a product-centered approach, one I truly believe is the X factor in a start-up success.
Jeff
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-book-list
A must-read if you're going to start an organization or business.

Some takeaways:

* In the early stages of start-up, focusing on 'execution' will put you out of business. Instead, you need a 'learning and discovery' process so you can get the company to the point where you know what to execute.

* Before you can build and sell a a product, you have to answer some very basic questions: 1. What are the problems our product solves? 2. Do customers perceive these problems as important? 3. How many cu
...more
Marwan
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
provides fresh approach on how to find your customer through the customer development process. it is a good read with the lean startup.
Nguyên ngộ ngộ
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 7questions
should be read with the lean starup at the same time.
Atif Rahman
Nov 17, 2018 rated it liked it
The core gist of the Customer Development process parallel to a typical product development process is the core message and is very well articulated. Perhaps an article expanded into a book with a few skirmishes from the era long gone when customer validation happened primarily with ethnographical evidence only which today is not complete without considering the changing market conditions brought by cloud, BYOD, subscriptions and product->company versus company->product mindset.

The lean s
...more
Dan W
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An exceptional book that deserves its own category. Rough in spots as it's from the author's keystrokes to your page. You can quite literally take this book in hand and use it as a field manual on growing your business. Mr. Blank rightly points out within the starting pages that most business have failed before they even started, illustrates clearly why no amount of time or money will fix them, and what the more successful approach is and how to use it.

Charts, graphs, and words with definitions
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Harish Venkatesan
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: product-design
This is the best book I've read about starting a company, full of key insights about how startups differ from established organizations-- and the practical implications of how to run your business based on this core difference. An in-depth manual/how-to-guide/workbook all in one, the concepts in here are ridiculously valuable and will assist anyone interested in bringing a product to market and achieving the mythical "product-market fit". This is the first book I recommend to people in startups/ ...more
Sarah Uhlfelder
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the startup, product launch, business planning BIBLE!
Igor Artamonov
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Step by step guide to running your company/startup, with a lot of details about every moment
Vlad Caluș
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Good one for people starting their own company. Focuses on the most basic things to do before even really start.

In my opinion, one of the basic books to read about entrepreneurship.
Lori Grant
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A should-read book on creating and building new products for knowledge workers and entrepreneurs.
Yogesh Baher
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book and the Lean Startup are kind of twin brothers, they talk about the same fundamentals of Start-up success, but with different approaches. The best part is -These two books kind of pull together a framework of best practices almost universally applicable for start-ups and growing firms.

A must read for all aspiring product managers (like me :))

My basic takeaways from this book:
1. Start a customer search along with developing a product. run Customer dev and product dev in parallel.
2. Spe
...more
Yevgeniy Brikman
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A good book to learn how to develop, market, and sell products as a startup. Makes a very convincing case for why the product development, marketing, and sales practices used in a big, established company will not work in a new venture trying to grab a foothold. Reasonably clear guide on the proper way to do it in such an uncertain environment, including lots of great questions to ask yourself (as a startup employee) and your customers.

Downsides to the book are that parts of it feel a little dra
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Petr Bela
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: startup
The book that has reached the "recommended reading" status at many entrepreneurship courses and coined the term "customer validation" needs no introduction. Written by a Silicon Valley icon, serial entrepreneur and business professor at Berkeley and Stanford, it advocates that the secret formula to building companies, and new products in general, is finding who your customer is and what products do they actually need. It's written as a methodical textbook, with chapters dedicated to individual t ...more
Giorgio Giuliani
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good book about startups, it probably is the foundation of the Lean Startup movement.
It actually is an handbook that explains step by step what to do to successfully start and scale a company.

Extremely suggested the first 2 steps, Customer discovery and Customer validation. Here Steve B. explains in details how to maximize the probability to reach PMFit - the essence of the startup theory.

The rest of the book is interesting but quite theoretical.
Daohu
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I know how the customers is important, and sometimes I loss the patient to the customers.The book told us how to build a relationship between the customers and engineers.Also it tell us how to build a company in different stages.
We see that many problems have already existed in real companies, and maybe the book help us to deal with them.
Ferhat Culfaz
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great manual for stating and running a start up business. Great rules of thumb and details on how companies should be run and structured. What differentiates this book from others is the focus on customer development and validation. Too many focus on product development and rush to market into the wrong market type. All explained in clear and simple prose.
Luís Felipe
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ótimo livro para quem está a frente da estratégia geral de uma nova startup.
Tyler
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got through the first couple chapters but stopped. As he acknowledges, Lean Startup (which I’ve read) is based on learnings from this book. Still, pretty good stuff and very good detail.
Frank
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just read the first 2 chapters. Very hard for me to continue due to the bad writing style.
Arfan Ismail
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of those books every start-up CEO/VP of Marketing needs to read.
Douglas Sellers
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Your better off just reading the lean startup
Robert Postill
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, got-it
I've taken a while to get to this book butI'm glad I did. This book is a greta recipe book for working with a startup. It gives clear specific advice on the business of running a startup and provides necessary and valuable guidance for those people in charge of startups. The book gets mentioned a lot in other people's work (particular hat tip to The Lean Startup and it's clear to see why. The advice is clear and no-nonsense. I know it's not exactly the meat of the book but I did love the biblio ...more
Peter
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
The main idea of the book, though not stated explicitly, is that scale up should happen at the right time: after real customers have been found and validated, and the business model still makes sense with the information gathered from real customers. The four steps are customer discovery, customer validation, customer creation, and company building. Each step is meticulously described, complete with documents you should end up with, numbers of interviews, and so on.

What Blank doesn't mention up
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  • The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany
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  • Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model
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  • Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers
  • Venture Deals
  • Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works
  • Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days
  • Out of the Crisis
  • The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup
  • Business Model Generation
  • Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Web Application
  • The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs
  • The Partnership Charter: How To Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (or Fix The One You're In)
  • Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow
  • The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law
  • The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
  • Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management
169 followers
Put to a vote, I might have been chosen “least likely to succeed” in my New York City high school class. My path has taken me from repairing fighter planes in Thailand during the Vietnam War, to spook stuff in undisclosed location(s), and I was lucky enough to arrive at the beginning of the boom times of Silicon Valley in 1978.
After 21 years in 8 high technology companies, I retired in 1999. I sta
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“My advice was to start a policy of making reversible decisions before anyone left the meeting or the office. In a startup, it doesn’t matter if you’re 100 percent right 100 percent of the time. What matters is having forward momentum and a tight fact-based data/metrics feedback loop to help you quickly recognize and reverse any incorrect decisions. That’s why startups are agile. By the time a big company gets the committee to organize the subcommittee to pick a meeting date, your startup could have made 20 decisions, reversed five of them and implemented the fifteen that worked.” 19 likes
“In a startup no facts exist inside the building, only opinions.” 3 likes
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