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How to Build a Startup

Free Course

The Lean LaunchPad

Related Nanodegree Program

Introduction to Programming

About this course

In an introduction to the basics of the famous Customer Development Process, Steve Blank provides insight into the key steps needed to build a successful startup.

The main idea in this course is learning how to rapidly develop and test ideas by gathering massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback. Many startups fail by not validating their ideas early on with real-life customers. In order to mitigate that, students will learn how to get out of the building and search for the real pain points and unmet needs of customers. Only with these can the entrepreneur find a proper solution and establish a suitable business model.

Building a startup is not simply building an execution plan for a business model that the entrepreneur thinks will work, but rather, a search for the actual business model itself.

What you will learn

  1. What We Now Know
    • History of the Corporation
    • Startups Are Not Smaller Versions of Large Companies
    • Waterfall Development
    • Customer vs. Product Development
    • Entrepreneurial Education
  2. Business Models and Customer Development
    • Value Proposition
    • Customer Segments
    • Revenue Streams
    • Key Resources
    • Customer Development Processes
    • Minimum Viable Product
    • Market Opportunity Analysis
  3. Value Proposition
    • Value Proposition and the Minimum Viable Product
    • Customer Archetype
    • MVP Physical && Web/Mobile
    • Common Mistakes With Value Proposition
  4. Customer Segments
    • Product Market Fit
    • Rank and Day in the Life
    • Multiple Customer Segments
    • Market Types Introduction: Existing, Resegmented, New, Clone
    • Consequences of Not Understanding a Market
  5. Channels
    • Distribution Channels Overview
    • Web Distribution
    • Physical Distribution
    • Direct Channel Fit
    • Indirect Channel Economics
    • OEM Channel Economics
  6. Customer Relationships
    • Paid Demand Creation
    • Earned Demand Creation
    • Get Physical
    • Viral Loop
    • Web Customer Acquisition Costs
  7. Revenue Models
    • How Do You Make Money
    • Revenue Streams and Price
    • Direct and Ancillary Models
    • Common Startup Mistakes
    • Market Types and Pricing
    • Single and Multiple Side Markets
    • Revenue First Companies
    • Market Size and Share
  8. Partners
    • Partner Definition
    • Partner Resources
    • Partner Types
    • Greatest Strategic Alliance
    • Joint Business Development
  9. Resources, Activities and Costs
    • Four Critical Resources
    • Financial Resources
    • Human Resources
    • Qualified Employees and Culture
    • Intellectual Property Overview

Prerequisites and requirements

This class involves no programming. The characteristics of a budding entrepreneur: passion, tenacity, and a willingness to work hard, are essential.

We also recommend you join the class with at least a rough idea of a business model for a startup you would like to work on throughout this class.

See the Technology Requirements for using Udacity.

Why take this course?

You will learn the business skills it takes to bring your idea from conception to market. These include:

  • Actively listening and engaging your customers to find out what exactly they want in your product and how you should deliver it to them

  • Gathering, evaluating and using customer feedback to make your product, marketing, and business model stronger

  • Engaging your customers through the three phases of the customer relationship management lifecycle: get, keep, and grow

  • Identifying key resources, partners, activities, and distribution channels required to deliver your product to your customer

  • Calculating your direct and indirect costs for delivering your product

Learn with the best.

  • Steve Blank
    Steve Blank


  • Kathleen Mullaney
    Kathleen Mullaney