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4.5 out of 5 stars30
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 October 2013
This book is repetitive, and frankly a mess. An editor who knows what they are doing needs to seriously restructure the material in this book. It's all over the place and the different chapters overlap ridiculously such that it isn't clear which section you are in. And finally it is very wordy.

Clean it up and this could be a great book as it does have some good recommendations in it - but its very frustrating extracting it due to the lack of clarity in how each stage actually relates to the others.
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on 6 May 2012
Steve Blank and Bob Dorf have created a masterpiece. The book provides real step-by-step practical guidance on setting up and developing a startup based on Blank's renowned customer development approach (see The Four Steps to the Epiphany): Customer discovery, validation, creation, and company building. It covers both software companies as well as companies developing physical products (differences are clearly pointed out). Its 547 pages are a gold mine. Don't let the number of pages put you off. They contain a wealth of information yet they are easy to read and comprehend. This is a book which should be read by all aspiring entrepreneurs as well as people running startups.
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on 16 January 2015
this isn't a book that you'd read like a novel, its a reference guide that you can dip into and out of, perfect for anyone wanting to start or grow a business.
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on 13 May 2012
This book is amazing. Unlike the Four steps to the epiphany, it's very easy to read, very action oriented and very clear in the message.

It's not a book to read to cover to cover but a reference book that you use multiple times when you face a situation. It is so action oriented that the authors even provide the reader with a series of Todo lists that the entrepreneur can use when he is facing a certain situation.

The book details the Customer Development methodology and it goes beyond that by giving you a step by step guide on how to implement it on your day by day work, using tools like the Business Model Canvas made popular by this book: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

If you are serious about creating a company, you have to have this book.

Pedro Gairifo Santos, author of European Founders at Work
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on 24 September 2012
Short Review:

An awesome 'How to' guide that takes you through every stage of launching either a physical or digital business.

Recommendation: If you're considering starting a business, or looking to improve an existing one, then buy and apply this book.

Longer Review:

I've not read all of this book yet. But, as the authors point out, you don't do that until you've completed every stage of the process they outline. The book is a detailed (very detailed) step-by-step guide to formulating your Business Idea, Customer Discovery and Lean Launch.

As you go through each of these phases, the book is intended to act as a reference document. It's a chunky, large book that is not bedtime reading. Although, if you're interested in this type of material, you'll find it something of a page turner! Every page (of those that I've read so far) is well written, easy-to-understand and immediately applicable. You can tell that this is a guide written by people who have really launched businesses. You can also tell that they've been both successful and unsuccessful because the advice is honest and realistic.

It's unusual for me when I write a review not to find something in a book that I don't like. However, with this book, I haven't (yet) found anything in it or about it I'd change.

OK, maybe I'm a bit starry eyed about this stuff as I plan my own £100 million business ;) But it's the guide I wished I'd had in previous job roles and business ventures. And it's a guide I think all new entrepreneurs, as well as people working in established businesses, would do well to read, study and apply page, by carefully crafted, page.

Highly recommended.
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on 8 September 2015
The ideas in this book are good, it just takes a long time to explain them. This book would be so much better if it was half the size. This could be easily achieved if it didn't repeat itself.
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on 24 July 2012
Recently purchased the The StartUp Owner's Manual by Steven Blank & Bob Dorf. It is absolutely fabulous and a must for any entrepreneur or would be entrepreneur. Full of extremely useful guidance and very well written. Amusing at times but always full of gems. Buy it - you won't regret it!
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on 31 December 2014
Pretty much essential reading for anyone doing a startup - makes a lot of sense for non-tech startups also. Use it as a reference - I found Appendix C very hand as a road map.
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on 24 May 2015
This book is highly regarded in the business world and it lives up to the hype. A great read and offers some very interesting insights. Recommended.
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on 16 April 2012
If you run a startup or have a great idea that you want to test out, then the startup owner's manual is a must. Steve Blank is already well known in the startup circles and along with Eric Ries has championed the case for lean startup.

This book will guide from the initial steps of validating your idea using customer development tactics. As entrepreneurs we tend to get caught up in self justifying assumptions that can be harmful in the long run. This book will also show you the metrics you need to measure and how to take the idea further to a point it can become a viable business.

A must buy.

Other books I would recommend - Running Lean by Ash Maurya, Business Model Generation by Alex Osterwalder and the Lean Startup by Eric Ries
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