Most companies during the product lifecycle invest a significant portion of their time in Product Development, optimising the product offering, but spend neglegable time understanding their customers, their needs and pain points. What happened to the Customer is King? This is precisely what Customer Development is, and following on from other concepts such as Lean Analytics and Lean Startup, Lean Analytics is the philosophy of concentrating on only the essential scientific customer characteristics and behaviours.
Customer Development is the process of shifting your mindset from assuming your ideas will fulfil your customer needs, to constructing hypotheses, invalidating them and re-defining your hypotheses.
The development process is repeatable, until your hypotheses are not contradicted by your potential customers, and by constantly fine-tuning and correcting the hypotheses, you will work out what your customers want, and constantly innovate.
For the complete article, see my post at http://softinsydney.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/customer-development.html?view=snapshot