Steve Blank

The Fatal Flaw of the Three Horizons Model and How To Fix It

Steve Blank

I’m a big fan of McKinsey’s Three Horizons Model of innovation. (if if you’re not familiar with it there’s a brief description a few paragraphs down.) It’s one of the quickest ways to describe and prioritize innovation ideas in a large company or government agency.

How do you apply Lean to Digital Health and Life Sciences?

Steve Blank

Five years ago we brought evidence-based entrepreneurship to Life Sciences – teaching the first Lean Lean Launchpad class at UCSF, then the NIH and Imperial College. But it’s been awhile since I was in a room made up entirely of Life Science entrepreneurs.

Lean 217

Driven to Distraction – the future of car safety

Steve Blank

If you haven’t gotten a new car in a while you may not have noticed that the future of the dashboard looks like this: That’s it. A single screen replacing all the dashboard gauges, knobs and switches. But behind that screen is an increasing level of automation that hides a ton of complexity.

Why Founders Need a Moral Compass

Steve Blank

I’ve been thinking why the ethical boundaries of todays founder/VC interactions feel so different then they did when I was an entrepreneur. I’ve written about the root causes in an HBR article here and an expanded version here. Worth a read.

What Startups Need to Know About Regulated Markets

Steve Blank

Often the opposite of disruption is the status quo. If you’re a startup trying to disrupt an existing business you need to read The Fixer by Bradley Tusk and Regulatory Hacking by Evan Burfield. These two books, one by a practitioner, the other by an investor, are must-reads.

How to Keep Your Job As Your Company Grows

Steve Blank

I know a change is going to come. If you’re an early employee at a startup, one day you will wake up to find that what you worked on 24/7 for the last year is no longer the most important thing – you’re no longer the most important employee, and process, meetings, paperwork and managers and bosses have shown up. Most painfully, you’ll learn that your role in the company has to change. I’ve seen these transitions as an investor, board member and CEO.

Is the Lean Startup Dead?

Steve Blank

A version of this article first appeared in the Harvard Business Review. Reading the NY Times article “ Jeffrey Katzenberg Raises $1 Billion for Short-Form Video Venture, ” I realized it was time for a new startup heuristic: the amount of customer discovery and product-market fit you need to find is inversely proportional to the amount and availability of risk capital.

Lean 260

Why Entrepreneurs Start Companies Rather Than Join Them

Steve Blank

If you asked me why I gravitated to startups rather than work in a large company I would have answered at various times: “I want to be my own boss.” “I I love risk.” “I I want flexible work hours.” “I I want to work on tough problems that matter.” “I I have a vision and want to see it through.” “I

The Innovation Stack: How to make innovation programs deliver more than coffee cups

Steve Blank

Is your organization full of Hackathons, Shark Tanks, Incubators and other innovation programs, but none have changed the trajectory of your company/agency? Over the last few years Pete Newell and I have helped build innovation programs inside large companies, across the U.S.

The Difference Between Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Steve Blank

I just received a thank-you note from a student who attended a fireside chat I held at the ranch. Something I said seemed to inspire her: “I always thought you needed to be innovative, original to be an entrepreneur. Now I have a different perception.

How to Survive in a World of Disruption – Innovation in Large Organizations

Steve Blank

The team at Innovation Leader had me over to share some observations on how to survive in a world of disruption in large organizations. It’s worth a listen – here. 5:30: The cultural differences between startups and big companies. 8:30: Not everyone is an innovator. 9:10: Being an ambidextrous organization is the key to survival for a big company. 9:42: Apple stopped changing the world; here’s why. 10:55: The most disruptive companies are driven by founders.

Leadership is More Than a Memo

Steve Blank

I just read Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley. It was both eye-opening and cringe-worthy. The book explores the role of gender in the tech industry – at startups and venture capital firms – and the interaction between men and women in the two.

This 1 Piece of Advice Could Make Or Break Your Career

Steve Blank

There’s no handbook on how to evaluate and process “suggestions” and “advice” from a boss or a mentor. But how you choose to act on these recommendations can speed up your learning and make or break your career. Here’s what to keep in mind: I had a team of students working on an arcane customer problem. While they were quickly coming up to speed, I suggested that they talk to someone who I knew was an expert in the area and could help them learn much faster.

Email 224

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

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.

Azure 343

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.

Azure 343

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.

Agile 315

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.

Agile 315

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

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. link]. Filed under: Hacking For Defense , Hacking for Diplomacy , Lean LaunchPad , Teaching. Hacking For Defense Hacking for Diplomacy Lean LaunchPad Teaching

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.”

Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy

Steve Blank

When you’re up to your neck in alligators, don’t forget the goal was to drain the swamp. I love teaching because I learn something new every class. This time it was, “Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy.”.

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.

Lean 289

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.

Lean 289

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.

Why the Future of Tesla May Depend on Knowing What Happened to Billy Durant

Steve Blank

A version of this article appeared in the Harvard Business Review. Elon Musk, Alfred Sloan, and entrepreneurship in the automobile industry. The entrepreneur who founded and grew the largest startup in the world to $10 billion in revenue and got fired is someone you have probably never heard of. The guy who replaced him invented the idea of the modern corporation.

CoinOut Gets Coin In

Steve Blank

It’s always fun to see what happens to my students after they leave class. Jeff Witten started CoinOut four years ago in my Columbia University 5-day Lean LaunchPad class.

Lean 200

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.

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.

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.

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.

Salary 342

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

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.

Lean 332

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.

Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2018 – wonder and awe

Steve Blank

We just finished our 3rd annual Hacking for Defense class at Stanford. Six teams presented their Lessons Learned presentations. Watching them I was left with wonder and awe about what they accomplished in 10 weeks.

Hacking for Defense at Columbia University

Steve Blank

Over the last year we’ve been rolling out the Hacking for X classes in universities across the U.S. – Hacking for Defense , Hacking for Diplomacy , Hacking for Energy , Hacking for Impact (non-profits), etc.

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. —-.

Lean 204

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.

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.

Why Corporate Entrepreneurs are Extraordinary – the Rebel Alliance

Steve Blank

I’ve spent this year working with corporations and government agencies that are adopting and adapting Lean Methodologies. The biggest surprise for me was getting schooled on how extremely difficult it is to be an innovator inside a company of executors. —– What Have We Lost?

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.

Why Founders Should Know How to Code

Steve Blank

“ By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist.”. Book of Five Rings. A startup is not just about the idea, it’s about testing and then implementing the idea. A founding team without these skills is likely dead on arrival. —-.

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.