What is it about?
Build a product and they will come? Sorry, probably not. Today, you have to work with your prospective customers from day one. Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits talk about the Customer Discovery, i.e. finding problems to be solved and building your MVP (Minimal Viable Product).
What can I learn?
Solve needs: You probably don’t have a billion dollars to create demand for your product. So the best thing to do is solve a real need. Why? You don’t have to educate your prospects about the problem you’re solving and they will more likely give you money for your solution.
Get out the building: But what are these real problems? The best way is to talk to your prospects. You can meet them face-to-face, phone them or even write an email. You have the role of an interviewer. Let your prospects/customers do the talking. Often they appreciate that they can talk with you about their business problems.
Test your market: Now that you have identified some problems, you should start building your MVP, i.e. something that will you bring to your next step. Your first MVP is probably a landing page to check if there is enough demand for your solution. Later you could print some mock-ups or build a product that will solve the most important problem you have encountered. This will allow to tweak your product without spending too much time and money.
The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development is OK. The title is a bit misleading because it’s only about Customer Discovery and I found it a bit too short. However, I think the next book I will review is much more appropriate if you haven’t read The Four Steps to Epiphany before.
What is it about?
Michael E. Gerber reveals an important fallacy of being an entrepreneur. He thinks that most entrepreneurs are technicians (e.g. engineers, copy writers, biologists) who think that they just have to do the work they’ve done before as employees.
You should work on your business, not in it: The problem, so Michael Gerber, is that most new entrepreneurs just do their old job. This mostly leads to exhaustion and too much time working. The solution is to work on your business, i.e. building a business model which could be replicated even without you.
Establish a culture: The first thing to do is to find your biggest aim. What do you want to do? What should your business do? It’s about building a culture which lives in every employee and every product.
Make yourself futile: Before you hire people you should try to document as much as possible. Start out with your organization chart (yes, even for solo founders) and define what each position have to do. You could build checklists with each step that has to be done. Eventually, you built a documentation system, which allows you to run the business without you.
Hire open and inexperienced people: You could hire some experienced managers or technicians but they maybe too expensive. Rather aim for open and inexperienced people. They will rather accept your culture and learn how to do things by your company manual.
Test, Test, Test: If you documentation leads to garbage your employees will deliver garbage. You have to test as much as possible to achieve the highest success. What should your employees wear? How should they welcome people? To whom should they sell? Try to find the best solution. Though, the world isn’t fixed. You/your employees have to test new methods and update the manual if these new methods are more successful.
I would call me a non-bureaucracy guy but I’m kind of falling in love with the concept of scaling businesses. It’s about the simplicity of using checklists instead of 1500 pages forms ;). Seriously, this methods allows even disorganized people to work in a business and deliver constant results. Furthermore, he wrote the book as a conversation with a woman who runs a small bakery, which helps to learn the main points of his book. Lovely!
What is it about?
Do you want to boost your customer base? Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shan show you how. Inbound Marketing focuses on building relationships and delivering remarkable content to your customers instead of interrupting them with TV or radio ads. Furthermore there are several steps for each chapter which shows you how to execute these ideas.
Track your progress: Whether you test a new layout or a new form of online activity, track your progress. Test what works and what doesn’t and act on this!
Remarkable content: It is important that you create content which is valuable to others. It should be so valuable that your readers decide to share your content with their peers.
What I really like about this book is that it gives you actionable advice. This point was missed by The new Rules of Marketing & PR. Additionally, there is one really cool list with about 20 points on how to promote your startup on social media or tips on how to name your blog/company.
In conclusion, Inbound Marketing gives you a great view about a lot of important topics in social media (marketing) and provides a solid base to work on.
I’ve repeated my information search for better accuracy. Moreover, I’ve added an column char with the single personality factors.
Maybe I’m going to crawl Google’s results for improving accuracy.
Source: Google. searched term: “DHLC” +programmer