Customer Development Manifesto – Is it still valid?

When Bob Dorf and Steve Blank wrote the Startup Owners Manual1 they listed a series of Customer Development principles. In a post on his blog, Steve strongly encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to print out a copy and “nail it to the wall”! Here they are:

A Startup Is a Temporary Organization Designed to Search for A Repeatable and Scalable Business Model

  1. There Are No Facts Inside Your Building, So Get Outside
  2. Pair Customer Development with Agile Development
  3. Failure is an Integral Part of the Search for the Business Model
  4. If You’re Afraid to Fail You’re Destined to Do So
  5. Iterations and Pivots are Driven by Insight
  6. Validate Your Hypotheses with Experiments
  7. Success Begins with Buy-In from Investors and Co-Founders
  8. No Business Plan Survives First Contact with Customers
  9. Not All Startups Are Alike
  10. Startup Metrics are Different from Existing Companies
  11. Agree on Market Type – It Changes Everything
  12. Fast, Fearless Decision-Making, Cycle Time, Speed and Tempo
  13. If it’s not About Passion, You’re Dead the Day You Opened your Doors
  14. Startup Titles and Functions Are Very Different from a Company’s
  15. Preserve Cash While Searching. After It’s Found, Spend
  16. Communicate and Share Learning
  17. Startups Demand Comfort with Chaos and Uncertainty

What do you say? Are these principles still as relevant after six and a half years? Are there some that should be removed? Others that should be added? Share your thoughts with us!

Want a copy? Here are two ways to download:

  1. Google Docs
  2. Downloadable PDF below

Originally published on 2 March 29, 2012


Downloadable Resources

File Description File size Downloads
pdf Customer Development Manifesto Customer Development Manifesto by Steve Blank from March 2012
305 KB 165
  1. Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf
  2. Steve Blank’s blog