Rocks in the Rocket Science Lobby « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

Home Books for Startups Secret History-Bibliography Steve Blank Startup Resources Steve Blank Entries RSS | Comments RSS Categories Air Force (9) Ardent (9) Big Companies versus Startups: Durant versus Sloan (29) California Coastal Commission (3) Conservation (2) Convergent Technologies (1) Customer Development (98) Customer Development Manifesto (22) E.piphany (6) ESL (7) Family/Career (21) Market Types (9) Marketing (17) MIPS Computers (1) Rocket Science Games (7) Secret History of Silicon Valley (21) SuperMac (12) Teaching (9) Technology (39) Uncategorized (3) Venture Capital (18) Vertical Markets (5) Zilog (4) Recent Posts Who’s An Entrepreneur-Talk with the Kauffman Foundation Requiem For A Roommate Too Young to Know It Can’t be Done Strategy is Not a To Do List Why Pioneers Have Arrows In Their Backs Less is More, More or Less Panic at the Pivot – Aligning Incentives By Burning the Boats The Peter Pan Syndrome–The Startup to Company Transition You Negotiate Commodities, But You Seize Opportunities Job Titles That Can Sink Your Startup Archives October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 Other Stuff Steve Blank Startup Resources Secret History-Bibliography Books for Startups June 2009 M T W T F S S « May Jul » 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Meta Register Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress.com Rocks in the Rocket Science Lobby Posted on June 1, 2009 by steveblank In 1994 Rocket Science Games was the only video game company with a rock in its lobby. We had moved our game development facilities from Berkeley and Palo Alto and consolidated into one building on Townsend Street in the “ South of Market &# neighborhood in San Francisco. (We’re were just around the corner from the future home of SF Giants AT&T Baseball Park , which then was just a rubble-strewn parking lot in a sketchy neighborhood.) Since we were the hip, new, edgy, “Hollywood meets Silicon Valley” video game company (more about “ big hat, no cattle ” startups in subsequent posts,) our office obviously had to match the image. Our receptionists’ desk was built on the wing of a WWII P-51 fighter plane, and the rest of the office décor matched. All that is, except for our lobby, as our offices were on the 4 th floor. When you got off the elevator, you faced a non descript corporate-looking set of walls. This was about the time Christies and Sotheby’s were starting to auction Soviet space program artifacts , and I was thinking that perhaps a spacesuit in the lobby would be appropriate given our name. One day, out for a walk at lunch, enjoying one of my favorite activities – watching them tear down the Embarcadero freeway (San Francisco urban upgrade post 1989 earthquake,) – I realized I was looking at the answer. And it was much, much better than a space suit. A week later as our employees came up the elevator there was a Lucite case on a pedestal with a single grey rock, lit with a single spotlight, on a velvet pillow. In front of it was a brass plaque that read: “ Moon rock, Apollo 18, July 1973 – Copernicus Crater.” For the next few years, people from all around South of Market would come by the Rocket Science Games lobby to see our moon rock. It added to the mystique of the company – which helped with raising money and getting press ink. Everyone agreed that having our own moon rock was way cool. ———————————— Postscript : In all that time, not a single person who admired the moon rock questioned its provenance or authenticity. A bit surprising considering the intersection between geekdom and space. Maybe it was just too much ancient history. NASA’s moon missions ended at Apollo 17. The rock was a piece of rubble from the Embarcadero Freeway. ———————————— Only over time would I realize it augured the future of the company. Filed under: Marketing , Rocket Science Games | Tagged: Steve Blank , Entrepreneurs « Vertical Markets 2: Customer/Market Risk versus Invention Risk Vertical Markets 3: Reducing Risk in Startups » 3 Responses Dan L , on June 25, 2009 at 2:56 pm Said: I’ve only recently discovered your website, haven’t read any of your books, but *this* is the story I’d like to hear. How did your skills in sales and marketing and your ability to discover and validate customers run aground at Rocket Science? Reply steveblank , on June 25, 2009 at 3:01 pm Said: Dan, I have a pile of those stories queued up for later this year. But the short answer: hubris. steve Michael F. Martin , on August 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm Said: Here’s another fun layer to add to this story. The traffic problems caused by the Embarcadero Freeway may have been an embodiment of a Braess’s Paradox. [link] ‘s_paradox Reply Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. Order Here. To Order Outside of the U.S. Now In Print! Steve Blanks 30 years of Silicon Valley startup advice. Follow me on twitter @sgblank Follow my speaking schedule on Plancast @sgblank RSS Feed RSS - Posts Email Subscription Blogroll Alexander Osterwalder Andrew Chen Ben Horowitz Brant Cooper Dave McClure Eric Ries Great Advice Lean Startup Circle Mark Suster – Both Sides of the Table Sean Ellis Sean Murphy To Be an Entrepreneur Tom Byers – Technology Ventures Venture Hacks Conservation California Audubon California Coastal Commission Coastal Commission Videos Peninsula Open Space Trust Customer Development Customer Development Methodology – slides Eric Ries on Customer Development Four Steps to the Epiphany – the book Maples Investments Stanford Entrepreneurial Leadership Talks by Steve Blank The Lean Startup by Eric Ries & Steve Blank – slides Secret History of Silicon Valley The Secret History of Silicon Valley – Dec 2009 slides The Secret History of Silicon Valley – video The Four Steps to the Epiphany now available in Japanese. Blog at WordPress.com. Theme: Digg 3 Column by WP Designer.

The Average Startup Overnight Success Takes Six Years

Startup Professionals Musings

This company was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994. Amazon.com - Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 and took it public three years later, making him a multibillionaire. Every startup founder knows implicitly that startup success is a long hard road.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

SXSW is a Strong Reflection of What’s Hot in Austin says Hugh Forrest on the Ideas to Invoices Podcast

SiliconHills

By LAURA LOREK Publisher with Silicon Hills News When South by Southwest started in 1987, it was a music only event and in 1994, the Interactive conference launched. What was state of the art in 1994 was […]. There was this thing called the Web but not many people understood what it was,” said Hugh Forrest. The post SXSW is a Strong Reflection of What’s Hot in Austin says Hugh Forrest on the Ideas to Invoices Podcast appeared first on SiliconHills. Austin

Web 66

Can You Beat Amazon In The Race To Overnight Success?

Startup Professionals Musings

This company was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994. Amazon.com - Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 and took it public three years later, making him a multibillionaire. Every startup founder knows implicitly that startup success is a long hard road.

Entrepreneur Louise Epstein Shares her Secrets to Success on Ideas to Invoices

SiliconHills

By LAURA LOREK Publisher and reporter with Silicon Hills News In 1994, Louise Epstein launched Charge-Off Clearinghouse after serving on the Austin City Council. “I I went on a shameless search to find out what was happening in the world,” Epstein said. There was an explosion in credit card debt and an explosion in debt that […] The post Entrepreneur Louise Epstein Shares her Secrets to Success on Ideas to Invoices appeared first on SiliconHills. Ideas to Invoices Podcast

4 key traits retailers need to adopt to thrive in 2018

The Next Web

On August 11, 1994, the first ever ecommerce transaction occurred when a 21-year-old in New Hampshire named Dan Kohn sold a copy of Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales to a friend in Philadelphia who paid $12.48

Austin: The New Gateway for International Startups

SiliconHills

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News The thing that makes Austin a great town for an international startup, according to Jean Belanger of Pruf Technologies who moved his Montreal company to Austin in 1994, is the character of the place.

Austin 102

An Interview with Notation Capital about Starting VC Funds

Feld Thoughts

They walked me through multiple origin stories, including how I started making angel investments (1994), the origin of Mobius / Softbank Venture Capital (1996-1997), the origin of Foundry Group (2007), and the creation of Foundry Group Next (2015-2016). Last month I had dinner at Pizzeria Locale in Boulder and did a long interview with Nick Chirls and Alex Lines of Notation Capital for their podcast. Dinner was about them and as they learned, if you trek out to Boulder, dinner is on me.

LP 142

How Does An SSL Certificate Work And Why Do I Need One?

YoungUpstarts

The first protocol of SSL was developed in 1994 with the intention to solve increasing concerns regarding both cyber and internet security, and since its birth, https or an SSL certificate has become a website ‘norm.’. Since the inception of the SSL in 1994, the TLS was also birthed.

Guess How Long Overnight Success Really Takes

Startup Professionals Musings

This company was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994. Amazon.com - Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 and took it public three years later, making him a multibillionaire. Every startup founder knows implicitly that startup success is a long hard road.

Why Amazon Is the Undisputed E-Commerce Growth Leader

Startup Professionals Musings

From meager beginnings selling books online back in 1994, Amazon is currently the largest e-commerce retailer and cloud computing platform in the world, and now dominates even the giant Walmart. Everyone wants to grow and innovate like Amazon these days.

Every Entrepreneur Dreams of an Overnight Success

Startup Professionals Musings

This company was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994. Amazon.com - Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 and took it public three years later, making him a multibillionaire. Every startup founder knows implicitly that startup success is a long hard road. Yet we always dream that we are the exception to the rule. So once in a while it’s good to look at some facts to temper our imagination.

Book: March

Feld Thoughts

I had a great digital sabbath today. I was wiped out from the week so I slept until 10am, had breakfast, and then crawled back into bed with Amy until 2pm. I spent the afternoon on the couch reading March by John Lewis , Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.

Dallas 132

AngelList Accreditation Report

VC Adventure

I’ve made about 200 angel investments and over 50 VC fund investments at this point since 1994 and I’ve filled out some version of this form at least 250 times.

We Were Right – Just a Decade Early

Feld Thoughts

1985 – 1994 was the initial entrepreneurial Grind. This is a line my friend Jerry Colonna uses when something like the AT&T – Time Warner deal occurs. As time passes, the line has shifted to “We were right – just fifteen years early.”

Merger 199

Bitcoin: things only grow this fast when something important is happening

The Equity Kicker

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, so this was the data he was looking at. Coindesk just published their quarterly ‘ State of Bitcoin ‘ presentation.

Egypt 152

Overnight Startup Successes Usually Take Years

Startup Professionals Musings

This company was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994. Amazon.com - Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 and took it public three years later, making him a multibillionaire. Every startup founder knows implicitly that startup success is a long hard road.

Revolutions and pleasure

Start Up Blog

In the October 1994 Issue of Wired , Gary Wolfe said in an article, article about Mosiac (the worlds first GUI web browser) and the coming internet revolution.

Viral 79

The Philanthropic Efforts Of James Dondero

YoungUpstarts

James Dondero has lived in Dallas since 1994. James Dondero is an entrepreneur who perfectly embodies how business persons should handle their philanthropic efforts. Mr. Dondero’s charitable activities have seen successful results in a wide array of organizations.

Dallas 151

The Year of Startups Everywhere

Feld Thoughts

I’ve asserted for a long time that Silicon Valley is a collection of startup communities, which includes San Francisco, Marin (the first board I was on – in 1994 – was for a company in San Rafael), Oakland, Redwood *, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Menlo Park, and Sunnyvale.

Prevailing Wisdom

Mucker Lab

1994 – “Consumers are fickle and unpredictable. Consumer products and services are hit driven, it’s really hard to build a scalable consumer company”. Internet). 1996 – “It’s impossible to get to build a billion dollar company selling widgets at $15 and taking $1 commission one at a time”.

CEO Bootcamp with Jerry Colonna

VC Adventure

We first met in 1994 when I was a chairman of NetGenesis. It’s really hard to be a CEO. Becoming a great CEO takes a lot of time, work, focus, coaching, and introspection. My very close friend Jerry Colonna is hosting his second CEO Bootcamp from April 2 – April 6.

Ecommerce: How to Survive its Troughs

ReadWriteStart

Dell – the American multinational computer technology firm had broken the barrier of a million-dollar online sales back in 1994. On the topic of ecommerce, one wonders to what extent this business model is applicable, and where is it likely to end?

CU Boulder’s New Venture Challenge 10th Anniversary

Feld Thoughts

The entire experience was foundational for me, both as an entrepreneur and an early angel investor (I started investing in 1994 after I sold my first company at the end of 1993.). Tonight, the New Venture Challenge at CU Boulder is having its 10th anniversary. It’s happening at the Boulder Theater from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm and is open to the public. Register here to attend if you are interested.

What’s Old Is New Again

Feld Thoughts

Between 1994 and 1996 I made 40 angel investments with the money I made from the sale of my first company. I know I’m getting old. I remember in 2007 when the idea of a super angel appeared, where successful entrepreneurs were suddenly angel investors making 10 or more seed investments a year. This was a “new” innovation that was celebrated with much fanfare.

The Link Between Infinite Computing and Machine Learning

Feld Thoughts

Since I started investing in 1994, I’ve been dealing with the annual cycle of the hot new thing. At the Formlabs Digital Factory event in June, Carl Bass used the phrase Infinite Computing in his keynote. I’d heard it before, but I liked it in this context and it finally sparked a set of thoughts which felt worthy of a rant. For 50 years, computer scientists have been talking about AI.

Cloud 115

Your Computer May Already be Hacked – NSA Inside?

Steve Blank

After a particularly embarrassing math bug in 1994 that cost Intel $475 million, the company decided to fix the problem by allowing it’s microprocessors to load fixes automatically when your computer starts. In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Startup Lessons: 4 Companies Facing Product Lawsuits

The Startup Magazine

A number of lawsuits followed, like in 1994 when a Texas man was awarded $15 million as compensation for accidentally shooting himself in the foot when using this rifle on a hunting trip. When conducting business, it is crucial to make a profit and keep your operations running smoothly.

Avoiding Complexity Makes You More Likely To Be Successful

YoungUpstarts

between 1994 and 2008. If you’re an entrepreneur with a singular focus, the last thing you need is complexity. Complexity takes your time and attention away from your goals and can be a source of stress.

Salary 172

Start Every Board Meeting With A Demo

Feld Thoughts

When I first started investing in 1994, this was the norm. I find three hour “reporting board meetings&# where everyone sits around and goes through a 50 page PowerPoint deck to be tedious.

Give First Podcast with Rajat Bhargava

Feld Thoughts

We’ve been working together since 1994 when I made my first angel investment in Raj’s first company (NetGenesis). It was a delight to interview Rajat Bhargava for the Give First Podcast.

Prevailing Wisdom

Mucker Lab

1994 – “Consumers are fickle and unpredictable. Consumer products and services are hit driven, it’s really hard to build a scalable consumer company”. Internet). 1996 – “It’s impossible to get to build a billion dollar company selling widgets at $15 and taking $1 commission one at a time”. eBay). 1998 – “There is no room for personal productivity software startups – Microsoft will eat your lunch when you get big enough and Symantec will take the crumbs”. Evernote, Dropbox).

The Future of Work Is Not That Far Away

YoungUpstarts

Cory Treffiletti is a successful marketer, author, entrepreneur and student of popular culture with a deep background in digital dating back to 1994. by Cory Treffiletti, Global Head of Marketing, Webex.com at Cisco.

The Best Approach To A Board Package

Feld Thoughts

I joined my first board of a company other than mine in 1994 (NetGenesis). For any that aren’t awesome, I’ve tried to kill the experiment quickly so it didn’t hurt anything and when I reflect on everything I’ve tried I think I’ve managed to “do no harm”, which is more than I can say for a lot of the other VCs who I’ve sat on boards with since 1994. Since then, I’ve sat on hundreds of boards and been to a zillion board meetings.

Three Common Expense Tracking Mistakes

YoungUpstarts

He graduated from the University of Utah with Honors in 1994 with a BA in Accounting and earned his MACC from Southern Utah University in 1995. by William Olsen, CPA, Co-founder and VP of Product Development at Deductr.

Utah 236

Patent and Intellectual Property Protection for Startups

The Startup Magazine

Representations of a brand including the name, slogans, jingles and logos can be protected under the Trademarks Act 1994. An invention with great commercial potential; a catchy business name; artworks and innovative designs. Intellectual property is the most important asset of many start-ups.

Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed: Ron Conway

Scott Edward Walker

To Our Clients & Friends: Welcome to our weekly series “ Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed.” Each week, we post a favorite video of a successful entrepreneur, investor or business leader on a variety of topics.

Come hang with me while I interview Atlanta startup legend Charles Brewer!

Jeff Hilimire

Charles, as many of you know, is one of the first startup successes in Atlanta, founding MindSpring in 1994. Mr. Brewer is one of Atlanta’s first startup success stories, bringing to life one of the largest ISP’s in the country from his Midtown Atlanta apartment in 1994. I’m so excited about this! On March 2nd I am going to be interviewing Charles Brewer in a fireside chat.

The Future of Advertising will be Integrated

Both Sides of the Table

They first started in 1994 and are therefore almost as old as the Web itself. This article originally appeared on TechCrunch. Banner Ads. They were very effective back then, with the original ad garnering a 78% click-through rate (CTR) ! I guess from there we had nowhere to go but down.

Episode 42: Office Products and Niche Focusing with Adam Smith and Jonathan Domsky

Mike Michalowicz

They met and married in China in 1994. They met and married in China in 1994. Also Available On. Show Summary. Adam Smith and Jonathan Domsky join us for Episode 42 of the Profit First Podcast. Adam talks about office products that can help protect your company.

B2B 132

Digital Transformation And The Evolution of Apps – What’s The Link?

YoungUpstarts

It was launched in 1994, and had over 10 inbuilt apps. by Keiichiro Nozaki, Regional Marketing Architect/Evangelist of Asia Pacific, China, and Japan for F5 Networks. A century ago, we had the industrial revolution. It transformed how we manufactured, well, everything.

SMS 186

An experienced coach has seen your movie before.

Berkonomics

Original 1994 book. Business coaches come in all sizes and shapes. Entrepreneurs will have a relative willing to devote time, a school friend with business experience, professionals who charge for the service, investors with a reason to promote your success and more.

Boy! If I had only learned this before spending a million!

Berkonomics

In 1994, (I know a long time ago), I invested over a million dollars into a company whose entrepreneurs had a vision that I bought into for many reasons, not the least of which was that I had industry experience and understood the need.