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The Four Steps to the Epiphany [Paperback]

Steven Gary Blank
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products That Win The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products That Win 4.8 out of 5 stars (12)
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Book Description

1 Feb 2005
Steve Blank's course text from Berkeley's Haas Business School and Stanford University, is the essential "how to" book for anyone bringing a product to market, writing a business plan, marketing plan or sales plan. Step-by-step strategy of how to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development for a new product or company. The book offers insight into what makes some startups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture. Packed with concrete examples, the book will leave you with new skills to organize sales, marketing and your business for success.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Quad/Graphics; 3 edition (1 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976470705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976470700
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 272,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Four Steps to buisnding successful start-ups 26 Feb 2010
If you were to interview entrepreneurial high-tech CEO's having just sold their companies, or less than successful CEO's who wound them up, they would provide a great source of information; however their reflections could sound like Tiger Woods at his recent press conference, "Regrets, I've had a few....too few...I mean too many to mention".

Underachievement of potential is an opinion many investors will have reached on exiting their high-tech investment. In a conversation with Nic Brisbourne, investment partner at Esprit Capital Ventures in London last week, we concluded that the principal factors causing underachievement are generally people, not product related and the root cause is nearly always poor sales and marketing execution.

In hindsight CEO's will generally agree that they should have made changes earlier and knowing what they know now, can tell you what they would have done differently.

But what if entrepreneurs had a method or set of best-practices that were proven to create early sales and marketing success in both startups and new product introductions in high-tech companies...would this change the odds of survival and over/underachievement and the value of the company on exit?

I believe it would and am currently reading and absorbing the wisdom and four steps cover knowledge captured in Steven Gary Blank's "The Four Steps to the Epiphany", subtitled "successful strategies for products that win", a book about building successful high-tech companies.

Blank is better known in the US than in Europe, having started 8 companies in CEO or Marketing roles, five of which were IPO's including names you may remember: E.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This book is a comprehensive guide to creating a technology product that sells. It reads a little like an MBA textbook and is better for it, eschewing the usual buzzwords and wit typical of this genre for clear, practical advice. Steve Blank is all over YouTube if you want to listen to some of the material before committing to the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate guide to establishing a new business 24 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Full of useful models and questions to ensure that you consider the things which will enable you to launch a new business or product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER
Note: The review that follows is of the Third Edition, published in 2007. Other than minor revisions and refinements, the material in the Fifth Edition is essentially the same. "A few typos were corrected and unfinished sentences completed."Blank would be the first to suggest that his book is literally a "work in progress" as is the revolution to which he continues to contribute. I especially appreciate having all of the information, insights, and counsel in a hardbound volume and only regret that it has no Index. Let's all hope that one is provided in the next edition.

* * *

In this volume, Blank introduces and then explains in thorough detail the "Customer Development" model, one that he characterizes as "a paradox because it is followed by successful startups, yet has been articulated by no one [person other than Blank, prior to its initial publication in 2005]. Its basic propositions are the antithesis of common wisdom yet they are followed by those who achieve success. It is the path that is hidden in plain sight." In fact, Blank insists that what he offers is a "better way to manage startups. Those that survive the first few tough years "do not follow the traditional product-centric launch model espoused by product managers of the venture capital community." And this is also true of product launches in new divisions inside larger corporations or in the "canonical" garages.

Moreover, "through trial and error, hiring and firing, successful [whatever their nature and origin] all invent a parallel process to Product Development. In particular, the winners invent and live by a process of customer learning and discovery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful and very detailed 28 Mar 2014
By Poddy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read a lot of books that wax lyrical over 'lean' but this one is the base template.

Its really not a read cover to cover book but to dip in and out of when your thinking about how you practically do something.

Really a must for your shelf as a reference if your a startup leader. Also not something you can find on the net (most of the lean stuff is just basic concepts which you can glean from the net).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening 1 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished but since I was around 10% of the way through I knew I'd have to read this a second time. Full of wise insights as to why you have to frequently measure your assumptions against the real world or suffer the consequences. On my second read I hope I'll understand it all a little better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars At this price, there's no excuse to challenge your approach
As a technologists, gets you thinking about customers. Have experienced developing an application without customers, now, building a customer/marketing base before coding is a... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Andrew Chukwu
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting and very insightful
Published 2 months ago by V Baldry
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
Really insightful, and quite holistic in its approach, in that it really covers everything a start-up will need to deal with, right until the time it transforms into a full-blown,... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Taimur
5.0 out of 5 stars Here is "a radical reexamination of the entire new product...
Note: The review that follows is of the Third Edition, published in 2007.

In this volume, Steven Gary Blank introduces and then explains in thorough detail the "Customer... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Robert Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars Some good insights, could be a bit shorter and to the point
I liked a lot the overall framework and all the practical info and examples from Steve Blank. However, I found it overall a bit hard to read and that could have been synthesized in... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Aoife Mooney
5.0 out of 5 stars If you run or intend to run a start up you must read this book now
A simple premise, fully understand you potential customers *before* you build or release your product and validate those customers, ideally with sales to know that they will... Read more
Published on 2 May 2009 by Ian Wilson
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