The answer is it depends. Although both place great emphasis on learning what works or does’t from customers they are quite different tools. The key to selecting which might workout best is to understand the culture of your organization – fast, slow, process focused, urgency to gain traction – and thus the implied urgency. Startups are all about gaining a toe-hold, while established concerns are dominated by process, procedures and incentives tuned to help generate predictable revenue and profits. “This real sense of urgency—and how it shapes employee attitudes and practices – is a big reason why innovation processes in startups are different from those in large companies.” says Steve Blank (@steveblank) in this post. Bottom-line Design Thinking works best where time allows one to methodically extract market desires. Customer Development, on the other hand, is geared towards finding customers now for an already conceived product/service.