A curated list of customer development resources (40+) 📖 [updated: Oct 2018]

Once, I was the guy who thought ‘if I build this, they will come’. And of course, they didn’t. Don’t make the same mistake, read this.

Photo by Roman Koester.

Customer development. I love it. Finding out what works and what not is super important and often overlooked by entrepreneurs who what to ship asap. I too want to ship asap, but I also want to ship stuff that is actually going to be used by people. That’s what customer development is for.

Note 1: this is a work in progress. I’ll keep adding resources to it. If you want to be kept in the loop of updates, please sign up for our newsletter.

Note 2: this is not the whole story. The resources below are primarily focussed on customer discovery and validation. To me, those are the most exciting phases of custdev.

I grouped the resources in the following sections:

  • Introduction to Customer Development
  • Experiments — Experiment types
  • Experiments — Finding customers to interview
  • Experiments — Interviewing techniques
  • Experiments — Success criteria & metrics
  • Customer Development Stories
  • Customer Development Tools
  • Customer Development Books

Do you have a resource that really needs to be listed here? Send me an email at b.wenneker@gmail.com.


Introduction to Customer Development

Steve Blank first wrote about customer development, but there are lots of others who wrote about this subject later on. These resources are here to get you started.

Experiments

Experimenting is at the heart of customer discovery. These resources will show you which experiments have been used in the past.

Interviewing is one of the most popular experiment types around because it is cheap and you can get amazing results quickly. So I give special attention to this type of experiment

Experiment types

Finding customers to interview

Ok, finding people to learn from is not always easy. Check out these ‘hacks’ to get you up to speed.

Interviewing techniques

Interviewing looks easy but it is not. Interviewing is an art. Interviewing must be mastered. Read these and you’ll have a great starting point.

Success Criteria & Metrics

These articles are primarily about how to interpret experiment results.

Customer Development war stories

Some cool war stories from customer development legends which can be quite helpful if you’re stuck.

Tools

Books

  • The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick. This actually was the first book I read about interviewing. Great resource, gets you up to speed with interviewing in no time!
  • Talking To Humans (free) by Giff Constable. A book to help people learn how to talk to their real or potential customer.
  • Running Lean by Ash Maurya. “Running Lean is a repeatable, actionable process for building products”. It is a good practical book on using the Lean Strategy method for startups.
  • More to come soon!

Do you have a resource that really needs to be listed here? Send me an email at b.wenneker@gmail.com.