These are slides from a talk Sean Tierney did for GameColab on 8/1/13 teaching concepts of Lean Startup, Customer Development, Lifecycle Marketing and Marketing Automation in the realm of game development.
What is Customer Development?
Brainchild of Steve Blank
“Four Steps to the Epiphany” = seminal work. The
revised sequel 10yrs later is “Startup Owner’s Manual”
Answers don’t exist within the building... therefore, get
out of the building and talk to your potential customers!
Need to intimately understand the problem & customer
before pushing your solution
CustDev = framework for doing entrepreneurship. Focus
on P-M ﬁt ﬁrst then worry about growth. Stages are like
“orbits” - must achieve escape velocity to move to next.
What is the Lean Startup?
Mindset of experimentation
Eric Ries’ book (apprentice has gotten more attention)
Originates from Toyota lean manufacturing principles
applied to startups
De-risk the most threatening aspects early
Build / Measure / Learn
Validated learning as the unit of progress
Innovation accounting via the Canvas
When you distill it all down
Lean is about systematically...
uncertainty & waste
What is the Business Model
An iterative “report card” to track validated learning
Replacement for the business plan
Snapshot of current understanding of the startup
Vessel for sharing and getting input from advisors
Learn, Build, Measure
Where does the greatest uncertainty lie and what is the
risk to the success of the product?
What testable hypotheses can we form to de-risk this?
What data would we need to collect to conﬁrm or
refute these hypotheses?
What experiments would we need to conduct in order
to collect that data?
Now go run these experiments.
Rinse and repeat...
Pre-launch list-building ideas
Blog about game creation / inspiration process
FB campaign for VIP super-secret sneak peek
Do podcast interviews with other game creators
“Proceeds during X days donated to charitable cause”
Contest drawing for access to XYZ awesome thing
(donated by sponsor you ﬁnd)
Give away one year subscription to PC Gamer Mag -
MCI “Friends ‘n Family” style campaign
Now that you have a list...
Never abuse it
Exceed original expectation
Show the human, personal side (no marketing-speak)
Always grandfather early-adopters on price increases