Steve Blank - What added value do we actually create?

What are the advantages you give your customers with your product? You can only achieve growth if you can really answer this question. If you can't really find it, think about changing your strategy and your product.

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The most important fact of all (and yes, you really shouldn't be surprised anymore): all information only gets to you if you take place outside of the office. It's your job as CEO in a startup to understand what your customers want! There are some simple questions here that you need to get answers to and you can find them talking to your customers. Of course you can also use email campaigns and surveys, but if you have the opportunity to get in touch with your (potential) customers directly and ask your questions fact to face, you will get a much better output.

How satisfied are your customers with your product? The question sounds banal, doesn't it? If you ask it WHILE you're on site, you will quickly be able to recognize the "pain" of your customers. What they lack, what causes them problems, what they would like to do differently, what they haven't understood. Focus especially on the negative statements and don't take them personally. It won't help you to think your customers are stupid or incompetent. Through their openness, you can quickly identify a pattern of whether it is the case with a few customers, or whether there is in fact a misconception on the part of your development. In such conversations I often get suggestions, which I wouldn't have considered in such a way myself. We then discuss these in the team and if and when we can implement these functions.

By talking to people who are active in your industry and for whom you make your product, you can find out what the cost-drivers are. You can then do your own research and see to what extent your product can alleviate this pain. You can be sure if you can show your customer a simple calculation, such as :

With the product of the company "Fragdendanem" GmbH you have had so far 1 week expenditure and about 5,000 euro costs. With our product you achieve the same result in 2 days and only 1.000 Euro expenditure. Try it out and we will accompany you through the process so that you can achieve the best possible result for your business.



Every businessman will think about how he can save costs, whether the quality is better than the current solution, will it make his life or job easier or will it have positive consequences for him that he has wanted for a long time? And if this calculation, arguments and questions are plausible to him and it can also be proven, a great hurdle has been overcome.

I repeat myself here once again, you can put up any number of hypotheses to get answers to all the questions, but you'll only understand them directly from and through your customers.


This article is written by our CEO, Bernd Korz. With his experience as an entrepreneur, he shares his vision about the lessons provided by Steve Blank. Join us every week for a new article on Steve Blank’s lectures.

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