Testing Business Ideas Book Summary - Testing Business Ideas Book explained in key points
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Testing Business Ideas summary

David J. Bland and Alexander Osterwalder

A Field Guide for Rapid Experimentation

4.4 (103 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

Testing Business Ideas by David J. Bland and Alexander Osterwalder is a guidebook for entrepreneurs and innovators that provides actionable steps for testing new business ideas, minimizing risk, and maximizing potential success.

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    Testing Business Ideas
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    The best teams are diverse, open-minded, and entrepreneurial.

    If you’re going to test your business ideas, you’ll need a great team in place. But what kind of people do you need to hire for your winning team? What sort of skills do they need to bring to the table, and how can they work together to make your venture a success?

    Well, it all starts with great design, and the best entrepreneurs proactively design their teams. They think carefully about bringing together people who have a cross-functional skill set that encompasses all or most of the competencies that a fledgling business needs. 

    The key message here is: The best teams are diverse, open-minded, and entrepreneurial.

    Some of the most important skills needed are a knack for design, product knowledge, and tech prowess. Other capabilities you might want to add are sales and marketing expertise, legal know-how, and data management. If you can’t find the right people with all of these skills, then you may be able to partner with people outside of your organization. Alternatively, you might be able to invest in technical programs that can help fill the gaps. 

    As well as having a wide range of capabilities, the best teams tend to be diverse. They are filled with people from a range of backgrounds – of different genders, ethnicities, ages, and careers. Why is diversity so important? Because a successful business has an impact on people’s lives and on society as a whole – and society is made up of people from all walks of life. If business teams don’t reflect this reality, then their decision-making – and their testing – will contain inherent biases. 

    The best teams also engage in three specific behaviors that continually help to improve their performance. 

    First, great teams accept that they won’t always get things right. They’re unafraid to run experiments to test their assumptions – and they’re honest with themselves when the results show their assumptions are wrong.

    Second, winning teams are highly customer-centric. They know exactly why their business is helpful to their customers’ lives, and they have a genuine connection to the people who use their products. What’s more, they stay in touch with their old customers as well as their newest ones. 

    Finally, whatever line of business they’re aiming for, the best teams have an entrepreneurial spirit. They work fast, and they can solve problems creatively and validate new ideas on the fly. Entrepreneurial teams move so quickly because they have a feeling of urgency and momentum; things need to happen today rather than tomorrow. 

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    What is Testing Business Ideas about?

    Testing Business Ideas (2021) explores how entrepreneurs can use experimentation to give their new venture the best chance of success. It outlines the rationale behind testing, and describes a framework for deciding how to proceed. 

    Testing Business Ideas Review

    Testing Business Ideas (2020) is a must-read for anyone looking to validate and launch new business ideas successfully. Here's why this book stands out:

    • Packed with practical tools and methods, it equips readers with the necessary skills to test and iterate their business concepts effectively.
    • The book combines real-life case studies and examples to illustrate key principles, making it highly applicable and relatable.
    • With its engaging and accessible writing style, it manages to transform a potentially dry topic into an exciting and insightful journey into the world of business innovation.

    Who should read Testing Business Ideas?

    • Anyone working at a small company or start-up
    • Entrepreneurs hoping to turn their big idea into a profitable venture 
    • Business students looking for fresh insights

    About the Author

    As well as being an author, David J. Bland is the founder of Precoil, a strategy consultancy that helps businesses test their ideas. Alexander Osterwalder is a business theorist and entrepreneur who specializes in business modeling. 

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    Testing Business Ideas FAQs 

    What is the main message of Testing Business Ideas?

    The main message of Testing Business Ideas is to test and validate your business ideas before investing time and resources.

    How long does it take to read Testing Business Ideas?

    The reading time for Testing Business Ideas varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is Testing Business Ideas a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Testing Business Ideas is worth reading as it provides practical guidance on testing and validating business ideas, helping entrepreneurs increase their chances of success.

    Who is the author of Testing Business Ideas?

    David J. Bland and Alexander Osterwalder are the authors of Testing Business Ideas.

    What to read after Testing Business Ideas?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Testing Business Ideas, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
    • The Idea Is the Easy Part by Brian Dovey
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