Doing Customer Development (and stop wasting your time)

'Most startups fail due not to the failure of product development but due to the lack of customers’ - Steve Blank

Everybody can come up with the next BIG idea. The next big thing which is going to revolutionise the world! You see a problem and you think to yourself, that whatever it is you are going to build, will solve that problem for a lot of people. And is off course going to make you rich, filthy rich. The next Zuckerberg or Page, am I right?

You wake up one morning in this beautiful bubble and you start building straight away, as soon as your product or service is ready to be shared with the world all your customers will come flocking in and you are set for life!

In the end 9 out of 10 businesses fail, all because of one little world. Entrepreneurship is not risky….if you understand this word. However it is responsible for all of the risk in entrepreneurship.


Fixing Homebrew for OS X 10.10 Yosemite

OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Update: Homebrew was fixed while Yosemite was in beta. If you are running into problems after upgrading to Yosemite you can easily fix Homebrew by doing a git pull from /usr/local or do a brew update before updating your system to Yosemite. In other words it is no longer needed to make changes to your Homebrew install manually. Some great work by the Homebrew team!

Now that Apple opened up the beta program of their Desktop OS to everyone (not requiring a developer license anymore) a lot of people will be upgrading to OS X 10.10 already before the official release later on this year. I did it as well earlier this week, however I found out that one of my all time favourite “programs” was not working anymore on OS X 10.10. Homebrew, for those who don’t know it is “the missing package manager for OS X” and really saves a lot of time and trouble trying to install software on your mac system. It is like the ports collection from *BSD only for your Mac.


New free WordPress Plugin to help you drive traffic to your website

I’ve been preaching the whole inbound marketing theory already for some time now, both online and offline. Now it is time to not only start preaching it but giving something back to the community. Last week I released the first version of my first WordPress plugin. With Selection Sharer, any visitor on your website / blog can easily highlight any part of your content and share it immediately on Twitter of via email. Ultimately off course, the more your readers share, the more new traffic your site will get. And all of this in a familiar medium like styling.

Selection Sharer in action, on both desktop and mobile
Selection Sharer in action, on both desktop and mobile


Open letter to Mike McCue: Dear Flipboard, please give me an API

Dear Mike McCue,

Some time last year you opened up Flipboard Magazines to the world. Up until today there are a lot of users, and even companies like Levi’s and Cisco, starting to make use of this “easy to use” publication platform. Trying to make an attempt at creation a magazine for delighting other people with some quality content. I myself too, decided not to long ago to create a small magazine called the “Future of Marketing & Entrepreneurship”. I always share interesting articles and content I found online on my social networks. I thought it might make it easier for the readers of those articles to bundle them together for more people to enjoy. This way making a sort of safe haven for my readers to read back on the articles they might have missed out and or just wanting to read them at a later point. What started out as a fun thing to do has now already turned over in a short amount of time to over 12.000 readers (yeah vanity metrics!).


OpenIdea: handing out free STD tests

Sometimes the best ideas are the craziest ones right? Some time ago I attended Evolv Weekend Antwerp as a participant. For people not known with the concept of Evolv yet, Evolv Weekend forms founders and ideas into problem solvers and pain killers. An action packed weekend in which the participants will learn a lot about changing an idea into an idea which has business potential, by giving them hands-on experience around customer development.

Evolv Weekend, teaching the participants
Evolv Weekend, teaching the participants

As stated in my previous (sorry in Dutch) blogpost we worked around a concept of doing STD tests at home, starting from the hypotheses that people might feel ashamed to go to a doctor in case needed. Starting to do customer development, running experiments is not easy for a lot of people. Stepping up on the street, in a shop or any other place where your ideal persona is located and starting to have a talk with a random stranger is a fear a lot of people have to overcome. Asking people about STD tests makes this a little bit harder since you enter their private space immediately.


10 Startup Lessons geleerd tijdens Evolv Weekend

Je hebt een idee voor een nieuw product of dienst en je wilt een onderneming gaan starten. Je bent er echter niet zeker van of dat idee wel levensvatbaar is en het uiteindelijk wel de moeite gaat zijn om alle tijd in te steken. Hier komt Evolv weekend om de hoek kijken: een weekend gericht op ‘customer development‘.

Evolv Weekend

Onlangs ging de eerste editie over de Nederlandse landsgrenzen door in Idealabs in Antwerpen. Tijdens dat weekend ging het er niet zozeer om of je al een bestaand business idee hebt, maar meer om het proces van ‘customer development’. (more…)