Logo For Startup Lessons Learned ConferenceEric Ries has asked me to help out as a mentor for B2B startup teams at the Startup Lessons Learned Conference on Friday April 23 from 8AM to 6:30PM. It’s quite a line-up and even if you don’t plan to travel to San Francisco there will be a number of streaming video sites that will be broadcasting the event live at very low cost.

I think the best way to take advantage of the conference material would be to pick up a copy of Steve Blank’s “Four Steps to the Epiphany” (cheaper at http://www.cafepress.com/kandsranch) and make sure that you and your team members at least read Chapter 3 on “Customer Discovery” and Chapter 4 on “Customer Validation.” Write down your current key hypotheses and identify which of these you are going to test in the next two to thirteen weeks. Come up with a plan and then revisit in light of what you hear at the conference. If you are selling to businesses I would be happy to schedule a short call to review your list before the conference and one follow up two to four weeks afterward to see what progress you have made against your goals.

Another good way to prepare would be to read these three blog posts by Ash Maurya

Registration is at http://startuplessonslearnedsf.eventbrite.com/.

I have blogged extensively about customer development as well.

Update Mon-Apr-19: I got this question from Joseph Fung:

Any idea if there’s a electronic copy of Four Steps to the Epiphany that can be ordered somewhere? PDF, MOBI or EPUB would each be ok…

I checked with Steve Blank and got this answer:

Short answer No.

Long answer is people who want an e-book version think the book is a novel. It’s not. The people who actually use the book have marked up, dog-eared, tattered copies.