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Entrepreneurship as a Science – The Business Model/Customer Development Stack

“As described in my HBR article “Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything,” we developed lean as the business model/customer development/agile development solution stack where entrepreneurs first map their hypotheses about their business model and then test these hypotheses with customers in the field (customer development) and use an iterative and incremental development methodology (agile development) to build the product. This allowed startups to build minimal viable products — incremental and iterative prototypes — and put them in front of a large number of customers to get immediate feedback. When founders discovered their assumptions were wrong, as they inevitably did, the result wasn’t a crisis; it was a learning event called a pivot — and an opportunity to change the business model.” Steve Blank (https://hbr.org/2018/08/newtv-is-the-antithesis-of-a-lean-startup-can-it-work)

Steve Blank

Over the last 50 years engineers have moved from building computers out of individual transistors to building with prepackaged logic gates. Then they adopted standard microprocessors (e.g. x86, ARM.) At the same time every computer company was writing its own operating system.  Soon standard operating systems (e.g. Windows, Linux) emerged. In the last decade open source software (e.g LAMP) emerged for building web servers.

Each time a standard solution emerged, innovation didn’t stop. It just allowed new innovation to begin at a higher level.

In this post I want offer a solution stack for Entrepreneurship. It’s the combination of Business Model Design and Customer Development.

Business Model Design
Today every business organization from startup to large company uses the words “business model.”  Some use it with certainty like they know what it means. Others use it with an implied question mark realizing they don’t have a…

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