Week 2

Customer, Problem, Solution, Benefit, Competition & Advantage

CO.STARTERS Resources/Forms

Customer Portrait Template
A Day in the Life Template
Customer Conversation Template

Business Models vs. Business Plans

Why the Lean Start-up Changes Everything
In this article in the Harvard Business Review, Steve Blank discusses how the old model of business planning is giving way to a newer, leaner way of starting businesses.

Start with a Business Model, Not a Business Plan
This time in the Wall Street Journal, Steve Blank shares advise he gave a former student turned entrepreneur whose customers just weren’t acting according to plan.

Business Plans are a Historical Artifact
Brad Feld shares his personal insights on why business plans are outdated.

Benefits vs. Features

Benefits vs. Features
This article provides a quick and easy to understand explanation of the difference between features and benefits.

Marketing Features vs. Benefits
From Entrepreneur, this article explains how learning the difference can help you reach customers better in your marketing.

Your Customer

The Mom Test
Rob Fitzpatrick works through how to get, structure, and maneuver through customer conversations in order to get the most complete and useful feedback to help you and your team move towards a more viable product or service.

The Moment You Speak to the World, You Speak to No One
Jonathan Fields discusses the importance of knowing who in particular is your customer.

To Succeed as an Entrepreneur, Know Your Customer
This Forbes article examines why it is important to know your customer, and how failing to do so has consequences.

To help business owners access government data on prospective customer demographics, the Small Business Administration makes links to the different databases available with a short explanation of each.

Seven Steps to Market Testing
his one pager from the $100 Startup provides a quick guide to making sure you correctly understand the problem, solution, customer, and market.

Brand Identity

Business, Branding and the Art of Storytelling
One of the most compelling ways to launch and build a business or brand is to create a legend around it. Blogger Jonathan Fields shares how to craft your business’s story.

Why a Brand Matters
According to this Forbes article, a brand is a promise and developing a brand shouldn’t be taken lightly.