There’s a tremendous amount of positive energy in start-up communities around the globe regarding the Lean Canvas. ..for good reason. When executed properly it’s a very powerful approach to developing and documenting your Business Model.
We can’t explain it any better than Ash Maurya or Steve Blank or many others, so won’t even try. What we want to talk about is why Customer Development, as espoused by Blank is important to your development. The practice of creating hypotheses regarding your business model, then getting out of the building to talk with those you think might be your customers, potential partners, and other who could THEORETICALLY play a role in you developing a successful business model.
The reason we feel this is an important part of developing your business model has both a short-term and, hopefully, a long-term influence on your business success.
In the short-term, if you do Customer Development properly, you get out and ask people about their situations, their businesses, and their pain. You are not going out pitching or selling! You are starting with their broad perspective, then focusing down to where you can ask them “Given what you’ve told me, if you had This Thing™, how would that change your life/business/way of doing things?”
The discipline it takes to sit down and really listen to people is a life skill that not enough of us get to develop. So the more you do it, the more natural it will become