You're trying to put together a new product. Steven Gary Blank, author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, doesn't want you to give the early version away. His test for a viable product isn't "Will people use it?" but rather "Will people pay to use it?" This isn't necessarily something that a startup founder wants to hear. I just want to make something cool. I want to dive into that stage, the making stage. Noodling around trying to figure out what to make isn't the fun part. But laying off everyone in your startup isn't much fun either, so maybe it's worth having a higher threshold when figuring out what's worth making. This book presents a checklist for the various stages of figuring out a worthwhile product. Come up with a rough design. Talk to potential customers: do they grab you by the lapels and say "Omigawd this will solve my problem Make this now Why arent you making it yet Oh sorry i will let go of your lapels now"? If so, you've found a viable product idea. And you should keep in touch with this potential customer to make sure that you stay on track. And... there are lots more stages. Honestly, I only made it halfway through this book. Figuring this stuff out is a lot of hard work! And I just want to dive in and make stuff. This book convinced me that I want someone like Blank on my hypothetical startup's founding team, but I shouldn't be that person. Because wow this stuff is a lot of work. Talking to people about their problems, possible solutions, going back, iterating on the product... Yeah, I only made it partway through this book. I got tired just reading it.