They're just not that into you

Customer discovery, or ‘Custy disco’ as we like to call it, is the process of finding out if anyone is going to buy what your startup is selling...hopefully before you spend too much time and money building it.

There are a few essential reads that if you've started a company or are thinking of starting one, you should drop everything (for a weekend) and read:

Running Lean by Ash Maurya - the natural successor to Lean Startup by Eric Ries, which in turn was the successor to Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank. You can read those too, but Running Lean is far more actionable and has much less bloat (if you do want to dive in deeper and read Blank, just read chapter 3).

The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick - the last person you should ask for feedback on your startup is your mother, but if you do here’s how to do it and still keep things real. It also applies to every other human being you’ll encounter as you conduct your customer interviews, and prevents you from fooling yourself into thinking you’re onto something when you’re not.

The Real Startup Book by Tristan Kromer - a practical guide to designing qualitative and quantitative experiments. Not sure which to run? Check this out.

All of the above assumes you are a fanboy of lean startup method, but if lean isn’t your thing we’d recommend Peter Thiel’s Zero to One for some counter-programming. He advocates monopolies instead of experiments...nice if you can get one.