You all know I really like the Value Proposition Design book* and the Value Proposition Canvas*. I guess for many of you the reasons are obvious. Getting a deeper understandingof who your customer is, and what they really want, is incredibly valuable. However, there is more to it than that! I would like to take you all on a deeper dive and explain the second reason I like the book, the tools and the methodology. Let me take you all on a Value Proposition Design Deeper Dive 2.

After running dozens of workshops with dozens of teams, and running my own companies through the same process, and seeing what the customer conversations uncover, I have seen additional information that flows through, beyond who your customer is and what they really want.

When you reduce your Value Proposition Canvasdown to a High Level Value Proposition^ for the first time, you will start to see a shift in your team’s language. The language is much more customer-centric.

This is a very small but very important shift.

The longer the team spends in this customer discovery process, the more the team will get a deeper understanding of the context the customer is in, when they reach for a solution (this is the space you hope to fill with you product or service). Your team will get a deeper understanding of the customer’s world, their priorities, and the noise around them in that context. The team will get a deeper understanding of who the potential early adopters and innovators are likely to be, and what language will resonate with them in their world.

The context and language can be a great guide for product design, or service design, and the drafting of content for marketing materials that resonates with the target early adopters and innovators. This is a super-rich word that can uncover a lot of information using tools like ecosystem mapping, customer discovery distillation and extended customer discovery.

I have seen teams significantly de-risk their projects, significantly re-orient their projects, and even pivot their projects, based on their customer discovery journey.

Slowing down and focusing on customer discoverycan increase the value of a project by multiples. In fact, I believe customer discovery can potentially create inflection points.

Separate your project from the rest. Embrace the Value Proposition Design book* and the Value Proposition Canvas* and customer discovery!

*Value Proposition Design (10 Oct 2014): How to Create Products and Services Customers Want Paperback by Alexander Osterwalder (Author), Yves Pigneur (Author), Gregory Bernarda (Author), Alan Smith (Author), Trish Papadakos (Designer) and supported by the team at

^a simple sentence that summarises your Value Proposition Canvas