Steve Blank - Value propostion and how I (not) develop past my customer

A value propostion is neither about you nor about your product. On the other side of the business is a (potential) customer and only that is relevant to all your decisions - if you want to earn money.

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We have already mentioned this here several times in the course of the series. No matter which product you develop, whether physical, digital, virtual... if you want to build up a business with it, there is only one golden rule in the end: The customer is king. I have caught myself getting so excited about customers so many times. Months have gone into development and optimization and in the end it was not appreciated at all. Not as much as I would have considered "sufficient". Here and there the opposite happened, the customers did not need it at all. You can quickly waste money and time here, so this question should have absolute priority for you:

Who are your customers?

The relationship between your customers and the development of your product is crucial for whether you will be successful or not. This is also called "Product Market Fit" (Does this product fit my market). If I can customize my product so that my customers like to use it or even can't get around it anymore, then I have done everything right. Here is an example. In the beginning, we only ran alugha in a mobile app. So if you wanted more features, you could not get around the app. "More features" was above all the possibility to switch languages in the video on demand and to get title and description in the respective language. Many users were annoyed by the fact that it was only possible via the app. Although we had several thousand installations, the complaints outweighed them and we decided to fundamentally rebuild alugha and make it mobile accessible without having to install anything additional.



We were supported here by the "A/B Testing" procedure. We build single features into the browser or take others out again and add them to the app. Then we interview testers and read the feedback and e-mails. Then we decide whether it makes sense or not. We limit this partially to single special user groups and then roll out a bigger update. In the software industry this is of course much easier, especially if you - like us - develop web-based applications. But no matter where you are, it is - and here I like to repeat myself! - it is essential that you take your customers very seriously and collect as much data as possible as quickly as possible, evaluate it and then react. My last post was about the topic in detail.

The more focused you are and the more you turn the knobs, the better your product will reach the big market. A little tip: if you take testers, you can also ask them later what feature A/B/C... would be worth to them and let them always test new innovations.


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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