Two days ago I attended my first London Meetup. It was with Lean Startup London, and the topic was In The Founders’ Studio With Brant Cooper, Entrepreneurs Guide to Customer Development.
The affable host was Salim (‘Sal’) Virani (@SaintSal) who organized it as a open chat with Brant Cooper. I had never heard of Brant Cooper before, and I really should have. He’s a Lean Startup guru and consultant from San Diego. He wrote The Entrepreneurs Guide to Customer Development and he had lots of practical advice for the audience.
A couple of important nuggets I took away:
- Lean Startup is a poor name. This is really a method designed to help you develop products with real value. Marty Cagan refers to this as Product Discovery. Brant refers to it as Customer Development.
- It’s Not Easy. Getting in front of your customers is invaluable. And if they can’t use or don’t understand your product then that’s great feedback. But what’s hard is when they like the product, but you’re not sure they love it enough to buy it. Brant advocates that you try to get them to actually buy it – even if you can’t deliver the full product yet and it requires some manual work. A few real customers beats a thousand ‘Oh yes I would buy this’.