• Introduction - Start Here
  • Section 1: Planning Your Business

    In the first section, Planning Your Business, you will learn how to find your customers, how to create a value proposition (a product that customers want) and how to build a business model around it. You will also learn how to use your startup to test your business model quickly and cheaply, and how to make necessary changes.

  • Section 2: FUNDING Your Business

    In the second section, Funding Your Business, you’ll learn how to test your startup like an investor. You’ll also better understand how venture capital works.

  • Section 3: PRESENTING Your Business

    In the third section, Presenting Your Business, you’ll learn how to present your startup to investors and customers.

  • Resources

    Finally, the Resources section at the end contains a glossary and reading list to help you on your journey from an idea to a profitable business.

  • Primer Demo Day

1.1 Meet your customer

1.1 Meet your customer


You have a great idea. That great idea will make a great product. As soon as the product is available, customers will automatically know about it and rush out to buy it, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

You might think your idea or innovation is great, but if you want to start a business, it doesn’t matter what you think. One more time: it doesn’t matter what you think. What matters is what the customer thinks.

After all, it’s the customer who will give you money for your product. You’re not going to sell it to yourself, are you?



So how do you find out what your potential customers think? Great question! The answer is simple: talk to them.

In The Startup Owner’s Manual, authors Steve Blank and Bob Dorf continually stress one main idea: “Get out of the building.” What this means is get out from behind your computer or workstation, stop building and start listening.


In this section you’ll find out why, how, and what to ask your potential customers once you’ve found them.