Steve Blank

The No Excuses Culture

Steve Blank

Getting ready for our next semester’s class, I asked my Teaching Assistant why I hadn’t seen the posters for our new class around campus. Hearing the litany of excuses that followed –“It was raining.” (The The posters go inside the building.) “We We still have time.” (We

Tesla Lost $700 Million Last Year, So Why Is Tesla’s Valuation $60 Billion?

Steve Blank

Automobile manufacturers shipped 88 million cars in 2016. Tesla shipped 76,000. Yet Wall Street values Tesla higher than any other U.S. car manufacturer. What explains this more than 1,000 to 1 discrepancy in valuation? The future.

Trending Sources

Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer and Why He Still Has His Job at Apple

Steve Blank

What happens to a company when a visionary CEO is gone? Most often innovation dies and the company coasts for years on momentum and its brand. Rarely does it regain its former glory. Here’s why.

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Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer and Why He Still Has His Job at Apple

Steve Blank

What happens to a company when a visionary CEO is gone? Most often innovation dies and the company coasts for years on momentum and its brand. Rarely does it regain its former glory. Here’s why.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Marketing Communications

Steve Blank

I was having coffee with the CEO of a new startup, listening to her puzzle through how to communicate to potential customers. She was an academic on leave from Stanford now selling SAAS software to large companies, but was being inundated with marketing communications advice. “My

Working Outside the Tech Bubble

Steve Blank

Annual note to self – most of the world exists outside the tech bubble. —– We have a summer home in New England in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street. Drive down the road and you can see the tall stalks of corn waving on other farms. Most people aren’t in tech or law or teaching in universities; they fall solidly in what is called working-class.

Machine Learning Meets the Lean Startup

Steve Blank

We just finished our Lean LaunchPad class at UC Berkeley’s engineering school where many of the teams embedded machine learning technology into their products.

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The 11 Bad Habits Killing Innovation in Your Company

Steve Blank

Alexander Osterwalder invented the Business Model Canvas , co-founded strategyzer.com and was the lead author of Business Model Generation which sold a million copies in 30 languages. Alexander and I often collaborate on new ideas for corporate innovation.

Intel Disrupted: Why large companies find it difficult to innovate, and what they can do about it

Steve Blank

In the 21 st century it’s harder for large corporations to create disruptive breakthroughs. Disruptive innovations are coming from startups – Telsa for automobiles, Uber for taxis, Airbnb for hotel rentals, Netflix for video rentals and Facebook for media. What’s holding large companies back?

Why Some Startups Win

Steve Blank

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? I was having a second coffee with an ex student, now the head of a marketing inside a rapidly growing startup. His company had marched through customer discovery, learning about the customer problem, validated solutions and was now scaling sales and marketing. All good news. But he was getting uneasy that as his headcount was growing the productivity of his marketing department seemed to be rapidly declining.

Why a Company Can’t “Be More Like a Startup”

Steve Blank

This article originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review. As more and more companies face disruption from globalization, new technology, and startups that have more capital than the incumbents, the continuing cry from Wall Street investors is, “Why can’t companies be as innovative as startups?”. Here’s one reason why: Startups can do anything. Companies can only do what’s legal. Startups can do anything.

Working Hard is not the same as working smart

Steve Blank

Measuring how hard your team is working by counting the number of hours they work or what time they get in and leave is how amateurs run companies. The number of hours worked is not the same as how effective they (and you) are.

Office of Naval Research (ONR) Goes Lean

Steve Blank

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been one of the largest supporters of innovation in the U.S. Now they are starting to use the Lean Innovation process (see here and here ) to turn ideas into solutions. The result will be defense innovation with speed and urgency. —-.

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Innovation – something both parties can agree on

Steve Blank

On the last day Congress was in session in 2016, Democrats and Republicans agreed on a bill that increased innovation and research for the country. For me, seeing Congress pass this bill, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act , was personally satisfying.

The Mission Model Canvas – An Adapted Business Model Canvas for Mission-Driven Organizations

Steve Blank

As we prepared for the new Hacking for Defense class at Stanford, we had to stop and ask ourselves: How do we use the Business Model Canvas if the primary goal is not to earn money, but to fulfill a mission?

Removing the Roadblocks to Corporate Innovation – When Theory Meets Practice

Steve Blank

Innovation theory and innovation in practice are radically different. Here are some simple tools to get your company’s innovation pipeline through the obstacles it will encounter.

What Founders Need to Know: You Were Funded for a Liquidity Event – Start Looking

Steve Blank

There are many reasons to found a startup. There are many reasons to work at a startup. But there’s only one reason your company got funded. Liquidity. ——-. The Good News. To most founders a startup is not a job, but a calling.

Dalhousie University Commencement Speech – 2017

Steve Blank

Light a path for the better angels. Thank you, Chancellor McLellan, President Florizone, Dean Charlebois, Dr. Hewitt, and Dr. Kilfoil for the invitation to speak today and thank you for the honorary degree. I’m honored to speak at a university whose motto is: Pray and Work.

How companies strangle innovation – and how you can get it right

Steve Blank

A shorter version of this post first appeared on the HBR blog. — I just watched a very smart company try to manage innovation by hiring a global consulting firm to offload engineering from “distractions.”

Blank’s Rule – To predict the future 1/3 of you need to be crazy

Steve Blank

In a rapidly changing world those who copy the past have doomed their future. When companies or agencies search for disruptive and innovative strategies they often assemble a panel of experts to advise them.

Innovation, Change and the Rest of Your Life

Steve Blank

I gave the Alumni Day talk at U.C. Santa Cruz and had a few things to say about innovation. —-. Even though I live just up the coast, I’ve never had the opportunity to start a talk by saying “Go Banana Slugs.”. I’m honored for the opportunity to speak here today. We’re standing 15 air miles away from the epicenter of technology innovation. The home of some of the most valuable and fastest growing companies in the world.

Hacking for Diplomacy – The State Department Takes Notice

Steve Blank

We’ve just held our seventh and eighth weeks of Hacking for Diplomacy at Stanford, and the attention our course is getting from Washington – and around the world – has been interesting.

Hacking for Diplomacy – The State Department Takes Notice

Steve Blank

We’ve just held our seventh and eighth weeks of Hacking for Diplomacy at Stanford, and the attention our course is getting from Washington – and around the world – has been interesting.

Why GE’s Jeff Immelt Lost His Job – Disruption and Activist Investors

Steve Blank

This article first appeared on the Harvard Business Review blog. Jeff Immelt ran GE for 16 years. He radically transformed the company from a classic conglomerate that did everything to one that focused on its core industrial businesses. He sold off slower-growth, low-tech, and nonindustrial businesses — financial services, media, entertainment, plastics, and appliances. He doubled GE’s investment in R&D.

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Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2017 – Lessons Learned Presentations

Steve Blank

We just finished our second Hacking for Defense class at Stanford. Eight teams presented their Lessons Learned presentations. Hacking for Defense is a battle-tested problem-solving methodology that runs at Silicon Valley speed.

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Lean Innovation Management – Making Corporate Innovation Work

Steve Blank

I’ve been working with large companies and the U.S. government to help them innovate faster– not just kind of fast, but 10x the number of initiatives in 1/5 the time. A 50x speedup kind of fast. Here’s how. —– Lean Innovation Management.

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Innovation Outposts in Silicon Valley – Going to Where the Action Is

Steve Blank

This is the second in a series about the changing models of corporate innovation co-authored with Evangelos Simoudis. Evangelos and I are working on what we hope will become a book about the new model for corporate entrepreneurship. Read part one on the Evolution of Corporate R&D.

Organizational Debt is like Technical debt – but worse

Steve Blank

Startups focus on speed since they are burning cash every day as they search for product/market fit. But over time code/hardware written/built to validate hypotheses and find early customers can become unwieldy, difficult to maintain and incapable of scaling.

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The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Goes Lean

Steve Blank

We tend to associate the government with words like bureaucracy rather than lean innovation. But smart people within government agencies are working to change the culture and embrace new ways of doing things. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a great example.

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Why Corporate Innovation is Harder Now

Steve Blank

I was at Stanford in the Graduate School of Business and was interviewed by Peter Gardner of StartGrid for his On The Road podcast. I shared my current thinking about innovation in companies and government agencies. It’s worth a listen. BTW, it seems every podcast has a trick last question. This one was, “if I was on a road trip what’s the destination and what’s playing on the radio?”

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You adapt, or you adopt, or you die

Steve Blank

I was in Boston and stopped by the Harvard Business Review for their IdeaCast podcast. I shared my current thinking about innovation in companies and government agencies. The interviewer, Curt Nickisch was great and managed to get me to summarize several years of learning in one podcast. He even got me to tell my Steve Jobs interview story. It’s worth a listen. Listen to the entire interview here : Or listen to just parts of the interview: 3:29 Entrepreneurs make their own luck.

Hacking for Defense @ Stanford – Making the World a Safer Place

Steve Blank

Introducing Hacking for Defense – Connecting Silicon Valley Innovation Culture and Mindset to the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. Hacking for Defense is a new course at Stanford’s Engineering School in the Spring of 2016.

Why Build, Measure, Learn – isn’t just throwing things against the wall to see if they work

Steve Blank

I am always surprised when critics complain that the Lean Startup’s Build, Measure, Learn approach is nothing more than “throwing incomplete products out of the building to see if they work.”. Unfortunately the Build, Measure, Learn diagram is the cause of that confusion.

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How The Marine Corps Builds an Innovation Culture

Steve Blank

Jennifer Edgin is the Chief Technology Officer of the Intelligence Division at the Headquarters of the Marine Corps.

Why Uber is The Revenge of the Founders

Steve Blank

A version of this article is in the Harvard Business Review. Uber , Zenefits , Tanium , Lending Club CEOs of companies with billion dollar market caps have been in the news – and not in a good way. This seems to be occurring more and more. Why do these founders get to stay around? Because the balance of power has dramatically shifted from investors to founders. Here’s why it generates bad CEO behavior.

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The 7 Deadly Healthcare Startup Sins

Steve Blank

Todd Dunn is the Director of Innovation and runs the Intermountain Healthcare Transformation Lab , which is working to foster innovation in the healthcare industry. He’s now run several Lean LaunchPad classes and has seen a ton of healthcare startups. Here’s his advice for startups in this space.

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How One Startup Figured Out What Could Really Help Deaf People

Steve Blank

Thibault Duchemin and his team applied for our Lean LaunchPad class at UC Berkeley in 2014. We accepted them because it was clear Thibault was driven to solve a very personal problem – he grew up in a Deaf family, the only one who could hear.

There are 145 Entrepreneurship Courses at Stanford

Steve Blank

Stanford is an incubator with dorms. Download the full text file with links to the courses here. Filed under: Hacking For Defense , Hacking for Diplomacy , Lean LaunchPad , Teaching. Hacking For Defense Hacking for Diplomacy Lean LaunchPad Teaching

Pixar, Artists, Founders and Corporate Innovation

Steve Blank

I’m still surprised when I find unexpected connections with innovation in different industries.

What Do I Do Now? The Startup Lifecycle

Steve Blank

Last week I got a call from Patrick an ex-student I hadn’t heard from for 8 years. He was now the CEO of a company and wanted to talk about what he admitted was a “first world” problem.