Steve Blank, an individual who’s work I look to and one of the most influential thought leaders in technology and startups, has launched a new book: The Startup Owner’s Manual.

Before I discuss the book, I want to provide some background on Mr. Blank. Steve Blank has founded and/or been a part of 8 startup companies, and he currently serves as a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business.

Steve’s contributions to the startup world cannot be emphasized enough. If you have you ever heard of the Lean Startup Movement, you should know that Steve’s customer development methodology launched this movement. His first book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, is a must read for any entrepreneur and forever changed how investors, entrepreneurs and educators viewed startups.

Steve Blank Photo

Just as those interested in finance consider the “Intelligent Investor” to be the bible of the investment world, many, including myself, consider the “Four Steps to the Epiphany” to be the bible of entrepreneurship.

This is one of the reasons I was so excited to hear about his new book, The Startup Owner’s Manual. His new book is a definitive manual for building successful new companies – for entrepreneurs in startups and large companies. This book is for the dedicated entrepreneur, and at over 500 pages, consider it as an entrepreneur’s companion.

Having read dozens of business books, I have found that many tend to repeat similar information. I have never found this to be the case with Steve’s writing though, and it is one of the reasons he has become such a thought leader.

The Startup Owner's Manual

This is the first book to lay out the step-by-step process for managing the search for a new business model, and it provides entrepreneurs a path from idea to scalable business model. Steve reiterates that entrepreneurs need to see that all ideas are assumptions that must be tested through customer contact.

I cannot say enough positive remarks about Steve Blank’s work and his writing. If you have the opportunity, I also recommend you watch Steve Blank on Youtube HERE.

I will end this article with Steve Blank’s 14 rules for customer development. I hope you get as much out of his writing as I have. If you are interested in his book, you can access it HERE (this is not an affiliate link).

The Customer Development Manifesto

Rule No. 1: There Are No Facts Inside Your Building, So Get Outside.

Rule No. 2: Pair Customer Development with Agile Development.

Rule No. 3: Failure is an Integral Part of the Search For the Business Model.

Rule No. 4: Make Continuous Iterations and Pivots.

Rule No. 5: No Business Plan Survives First Contact with Customers, So Use a Business Model Canvas.

Rule No. 6: Design Experiments and Test to Validate Your Hypotheses.

Rule No. 7: Agree on Market Type. It Changes Everything.

Rule No. 8: Startup Metrics Differ from Those in Existing Companies.

Rule No. 9: Fast Decision-Making, Cycle Time, Speed and Tempo.

Rule No. 10: It’s All About Passion.

Rule No. 11: Startup Job Titles Are Very Different from a Large Company’s.

Rule No. 12: Preserve All Cash Until Needed. Then Spend.

Rule No. 13: Communicate and Share Learning.

Rule No. 14: Customer Development Success Begins With Buy-In.

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