Challenges of lean customer discovery as invention

Tatiana Batova, Dave Clark, Daniel Card

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    18 Scopus citations


    The lean startup approach to developing products and businesses has become central to entrepreneurial culture. Touted as a scientific approach to creating successful startups, the lean approach relies on customer discovery-A process in which entrepreneurs validate hypotheses about their business models via a rhetorically specific model of interviews with potential customers. In this article, we examine canonical texts of the movement and our own experiences in three lean startup boot camps, in the process exploring the notable absences and silences in the narrow range of texts that define Lean Startup. Lean methods as practiced by government agencies tend to exclude research on user experience design, technology transfer, and qualitative research methods, and foster an underlying suspicion of academic expertise in favor of relying solely on the self-reporting from potential customer segments.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationIEEE ProComm 2016 - International Professional Communication Conference
    PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
    ISBN (Electronic)9781509017614
    StatePublished - Nov 9 2016
    Event2016 International Professional Communication Conference, IEEE ProComm 2016 - Austin, United States
    Duration: Oct 2 2016Oct 5 2016


    Other2016 International Professional Communication Conference, IEEE ProComm 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


    • Customer development
    • Customer discovery
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Lean startup

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Communication
    • General Engineering


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