Can we really claim to offer a methodology for starting anything? Yes. That’s our belief – our hypothesis – and this guide is our value proposition (lots more about these two concepts shortly). Our hypothesis is that all new initiatives have ‘customers’, and that you have to align your ideas with their needs very closely to succeed. You could be trying to revive a tired city, build a community or fan base, start a neighborhood business, enter a new market or create a technology startup. In all of these situations you have customers that have specific needs, and you must meet these needs in order to achieve success, regardless of how you define success in the context of your particular endeavor.
Starting things is hard and succeeding in them is even harder. Yet there are people who regularly do both, and there are a lot of very competent people who fail. We (and those who initially developed this methodology) wanted to understand what accounted for success and failure:
Could it be quantified, described and proven?
Can you learn how to successfully start things?
Our answer is a resounding ‘yes’, and this guide is our take on how to do it, regardless of what you’re starting.
How to Use the Customer Discovery Matrix
Have everyone involved in your startup read the entire guide (it only takes an hour or two) and discuss the ideas. Then map out what you need to do first (your ‘Toolkit’ items), and follow the process for meeting and talking to your ‘customers’.
Note: We use business metaphors throughout the guide. Simply substitute your situation. The basics are the same!
Who this book is for:
- People starting new things
- Business startup teams
- Sales organizations that are not meeting their goals
- Sales managers looking for a better way to train talent
- People with products in search of new markets
- New product development teams
- Community and not-for-profit organizations creating new initiatives
- People facing turnaround situations
- Failing businesses
- Corporate ‘Innovation’ leaders
In short, this is a simple, proven methodology for starting or re-starting (i.e. improving) something.