In the past ‘it’ was called new business sales or business development. There were clear demarkation lines between ‘those guys’, and the engineering and product management teams. However, as the pressure to launch products intensified, and products became more complex, industries realised that developing markets was as critical, as developing products. Functional lines blurred and a new group emerged who could work across these groups. We’re starting to refer to this group as ‘customer development’ managers. They have a mix of sales, marketing and entrepreneurial skills, and they get teams through the processes of product innovation by focusing on customers and markets. I am one of these people and I’ve been involved with ‘customer development’ for the past twelve years in large, early-stage and startup companies – before it even had a label.

This blog aims to apply the ideas from the customer development thought leaders and apply them to the programmes that I’m involved with in the UK. It is a personal blog and predominantly used as a self-reference tool. Any poorly worded thoughts are my own, and well thought through insights are probably somebody else’s. If others find some of the experiences useful and/or humorous then do post your own thoughts.

“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

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