The purpose of this document is to give some good resources to get started working with customer development and lean startups.
NOTE: this page is a work-in-progress.
Lean Startup Books
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
A great introduction and resource on the problems lean startups purport to solve, with case studies of successful companies using the lean startup methodology. Written by the guy who coined the term lean startup (which should possibly be called “learning startup.”)
The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits
This is an excellent overview of Customer Development and has a number of useful case studies.
Running Lean by Ash Maurya
Discusses Ash’s experiments with SAAS products and also talks about how he wrote the book using the lean startup methodology.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
This book contains invaluable insights. Focuses on capturing business model assumptions how they are validated. Introduces the theory of customer development as the methodology by which repeatable success is best used.
The First two chapters are available for free at: Four_Steps.pdf. The reading is sometimes rough due to the editing of the book, but it is one of the canonical texts so far for people interested in lean startups.
The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank
Have not read this yet, but it promises to be good. It combines Steve Blank’s customer development methodology with Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation book. Get the Startup Owner’s Manual here.
Key blogs in the field
Startup Lessons Learned by Eric Ries
One of the key founders of Lean Startup principles. If you want to read this straight through (which is advised), this book made of the posts will save you a lot of time (Eric’s site is slow.) Alternately, check out Feed Rerun for an easy way to read old blog posts.
- What is Customer Development?
- Validated Learning About Customers
- Four myths about the Lean Startup
- Pivot, Don’t Jump To A New Vision
Gave inspiration to Eric Ries, formalized differences between startups and established companies. Blank gives general entrepreneurial experiences and is on the cutting edge of entrepreneurial education.
- Great series on personified metrics (understanding AARRR at a deep level)
- A series on how to NOT build something fully and still learn what you need to learn:
Running Lean blog (Ash Maurya and others). An interesting set of resources and slides from around the internet.
Market By Numbers by Brant Cooper
Master of 500 Hats by Dave McClure
An interesting curated list of interesting posts in the LS community (not sure how active this page is).
Great list of lean startup tools and additional entrepreneurial resources curated by Steve Blank.
A nice list of early stage company creation tools created by Sproutbox.
Generally Accepted Terms / Definitions
Minimum Viable Product – that version of the product which gives maximum validated learning for minimal effort
pivot – a change in business model, grounded in learning
Comments? Thoughts? Questions? Additions?