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Customer Development


This course is about how to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development, with particular emphasis on the “Customer Development” methodology. The premise is that startups are not smaller versions of large companies. Instead early stage ventures require their own tools and techniques. For the purpose of this course, a “startup” can either be a new venture, or an existing company entering a new market. Both must solve a common set of issues: Where is our market? Who are our customers? How do we build the right team? How do we scale sales? 


Very few companies fail for lack of good products or services. They almost always fail for lack of customers. Yet surprisingly few companies take the basic step of attempting to learn about their customers (or potential customers) until it is too late - it's just so easy to focus on product and technology instead. This class is about understanding and getting customers. 


Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Customer Discovery - understanding customer problems and needs

  • Customer Validation - developing a sales model that can be replicated

  • Customer Creation - creating and driving end user demand

  • Company Building - transitioning the organization from learning and discovery to a well oiled machine engineered for execution

Suggested Text: The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank.

Total Credit Hours: 3.0



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