Customer Development Model


Companies do not fail because they lack a product or service.  They fail due to the lack of customers and a proven financial model.  The same is true for the introduction of new products and services.  Only 1 in 10 will result in a profitable business.

To succeed, a company must understand what motivates a customer to buy, demonstrate a market exists for their product or service (hereafter referred to as “product”), validate that a customer would pay money for the product, and then create the market.  Only in business case studies does this progression proceed in a linear fashion, as evidenced by the failure rate of new products.  A company cannot create a market or customer demand where customer interest is absent. 

The Customer Development model is an adaptation of “The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Gary Blank.  In our opinion, it is THE seminal book on customer development and a must read for any Main Street CPA firm that wants a comprehensive understanding of effective ways for companies to grow customers, particularly startups. 

The Growth CPR Customer Development model focuses on understanding customer problems, needs, and desires and has three phases:

  1. Customer Discovery – finding out who are the customers for the product and whether the problem a company believes they are solving is important to customers.
  2. Customer Validation – identifying a set of customers and proving a market exists that is large enough ensure a profitable endeavor.
  3. Customer Creation – creates and drives customer demand into the sales channels.

The Customer Development model should be run concurrently with…