Customer Discovery

Commercialization Process: Customer Discovery


Customer Discovery is the process of defining and validating core business assumptions based on customer needs.  It is the application of a scientific method to discover, evaluate, and validate the appropriate market for the product or innovation.  This includes defining the problem as perceived by potential customers, profiling potential customers, and aligning customer wants and needs to product features and benefits.  Customer discovery provides a framework for the technology that will be developed and how it will solve a specific customer problem.  The output of Customer Discovery is a well defined customer profile including the perceived value of the potential innovation.

How this Milestone Reduces Project Risk

Customer Discovery reduces project risk by verifying that the innovation directly satisfies the users’ needs.  This provides a strategic roadmap for product development that is always customer focused. If the technology does not satisfy a specific need, Customer Discovery provides the insight to pivot to technology which better suits the market.

What to consider at this time

Obtain an objective understanding of the customer’s needs and problems by disconnecting personal bias and the solution that the innovator has in mind.   


In the Business Canvas Module you will learn how to:

  • Generate innovator assumptions on customer needs/wants
  • Determine key stakeholders who will need to be interviewed
  • Understand target market(s) for the technology
Customer Discovery BMC Guide

Learn about relevant resources for customer discovery and business models.

Intro to Business Development

A presentation that explores business development from the medical device point of view.

Business Model Canvas Worksheet

This Business Model Canvas worksheet will help you guide your customer discovery calls to ensure that you are maximizing your exploratory call time.

After exploring the Customer Interviewing Module you will be well versed in how to:

  • Validate assumptions of customer’s problem through
    interviewing key stakeholders
  • Network meaningfully with stakeholders
Customer Interviewing Guide

A robust exploration of the customer interviewing process. Provides details and explanations on why this step is critical for success.

Intro to Customer Interviewing

Presentation format that dives further into the best practices around interviewing customers.

Interview Questions Table

Step by step worksheet with prebuilt questions for conducting an interview.

Interview Data Collection Worksheet

Place your interview responses inside this worksheet for analysis at a later point.

Customer Discovery Supplemental Reading

Use this section to round out your customer discovery knowledge.