Steve Blank

Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 8 – AI – Chris Lynch and Nand Mulchandani

Steve Blank

We just held our eighth session of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War.

Technology, Innovation and Modern War – Class 6 – Will Roper

Steve Blank

We just held our sixth session of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War.

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Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 3

Steve Blank

We just held our third session of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War.

Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 5 – Chris Brose

Steve Blank

We just held our fifth session of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War.

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 1

Steve Blank

We just had our first week of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War.

Technology, Innovation, and Modern War

Steve Blank

I’m teaching my first non-lean start up class in a decade at Stanford next week; Technology, Innovation and Modern War : Keeping America’s Edge in an Era of Great Power Competition.

Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 2

Steve Blank

We just held our second session of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War.

Rising out of the Crisis: Where to Find New Markets and Customers

Steve Blank

The pandemic has upended the business models of most startups and existing companies. As the economy reopens companies are finding that customers may have disappeared or that their spending behavior has changed. Suppliers are going out of business or requiring cash-up-front terms. Accounts receivables are stretching way out. Revenue models and forecasts are no longer valid. In sum, whatever business model you had at the beginning of the year may be obsolete.

Seven Steps to Small Business Recovery

Steve Blank

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche. The world is a different place than it was 90 days ago. Countries traded saving lives by shutting down most of their economy. Tens of millions who had jobs are now unemployed worrying about their future. Business owners large and small are struggling to find their footing, wondering what will be the new normal when the recovery happens. For the majority of companies, the business models of the past will not return.

The Covid-19 virus is not politically correct

Steve Blank

The Covid-19 virus is not politically correct. It discriminates against the old and the unhealthy. The biggest risk factor in dying from the virus is age. If you’re 60 to 70 years old, you’re 30 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than if you’re under 40. And if you’re over 80, you’re 180 times more likely. It’s not that the young don’t get sick or die, but the odds are dramatically different.

Hacking 4 Recovery

Steve Blank

We’re holding a series of 5-day online classes at Stanford where teams will learn how to develop new business models for an economy that’s getting back to work and on the road to recovery. Sign up at [link]. The post-pandemic world will be a very different place. The Covid-19 virus has upended traditional ways of doing business, travel, education, entertainment, healthcare, etc. How do these institutions reconfigure and reinvent themselves? What new businesses and services will emerge?

What’s Missing From Zoom Reminds Us What It Means to Be Human

Steve Blank

Over the last month billions of people have been unwilling participants in the largest unintentional social experiment ever run – testing how video conferencing replaced face-to-face communication. While we’ve discovered that in many cases it can, more importantly we’ve discovered that, regardless of bandwidth and video resolution, these apps are missing the cues humans use when they communicate.

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In a Crisis – An Opportunity For A More Meaningful Life

Steve Blank

Sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, my coffees with current and ex-students (entrepreneurs, as well as employees early in their careers) have gone virtual. Pre-pandemic these coffees were usually about what startup to join or how to find product/market fit. Though in the last month, even through Zoom I could sense they were struggling with a much weightier problem. The common theme in these calls were that many of them were finding this crisis to be an existential wakeup call. “My

What Can A Startup Do in 5 days? Watch this

Steve Blank

With a terrific crew of instructors, TA’s, and mentors, we successfully concluded Session 1 of our Hacking 4 Recovery summer series – with 20 teams sharing their final presentations last night. Slides for these presentations are in this folder , and we will be editing and sharing videos of each presentation shortly. Alivia – Telemedicine service bringing healthcare to middle income people in Peru. AllAboard – Remote onboarding services to help organizations establish a sense of belonging.

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Customer Discovery In the Time Of the Covid-19 Virus

Steve Blank

With in-person classes canceled, we’re about to start our online versions of Hacking for Defense and Hacking for Oceans (and here ). The classes are built on the Lean Startup methodology: Customer Discovery, Agile Engineering and the Business/Mission Model Canvas. So how do our students get out of the building to talk to customers to do Customer Discovery when they can’t get out of the building? How do should startups do it? —-. Reminder: What’s the Point of Talking to Customers ?

How To Keep Your Company Alive – Observe, Orient, Decide and Act

Steve Blank

This article previously appeared in the Harvard Business Review. It’s been updated with new information about the U.S. Paycheck Protection program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. What cashflow-negative companies must do to survive. We’re in uncharted territory with the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s increasingly looking grim.

The Virus Survival Strategy For Your Startup

Steve Blank

“Winter is coming.”. This is the one blog post that I hope I’m completely wrong about. With the Covid-19 virus a worldwide pandemic, if you’re leading any startup or small business, you have to be asking yourself, “What’s Plan B? And what’s in my lifeboat?”. Here are a few thoughts about operating in uncertainty in a pandemic. Impact.

You’re Not Important to Me but I Want To Meet With You

Steve Blank

If you’re a busy startup founder, you’re likely delegating the task of scheduling key meetings about things you want/need to your admin. This is a mistake. That’s because the dialog you have in setting up the meeting is actually the first part of your meeting, not some clerical task. Treat it this way and you’re much more likely to achieve the objective you’re hoping to. Here’s why: A few weeks ago I got an email from a VC friend asking me to talk to a founder at one of his startups.

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Clayton Christensen

Steve Blank

Say not in grief he is no more – but live in thankfulness that he was. If you’re reading my blog, odds are you know who Clayton Christensen was. He passed away this week and it was a loss to us all. Everyone who writes about innovation stood on his shoulders. His insights transformed the language and the practice of innovation. Christensen changed the trajectory of my career and was the guide star for my work on innovation. I never got to say thank you. Eye Opening.

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Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 1 – Ash Carter

Steve Blank

We just had our first week of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War.

Why The Government is Isn’t a Bigger Version of a Startup

Steve Blank

This article previously appeared in War On The Rocks. There was a time when much of U.S. academia was engaged in weapon systems research for the Defense Department and intelligence community. Some of the best and brightest wanted to work for defense contractors or corporate research and development labs. And the best startups spun out of Stanford were building components for weapon systems.

Why Companies and Government Do “Innovation Theater” Instead of Actual Innovation

Steve Blank

This article previously appeared in the Harvard Business Review. The type of disruption most companies and government agencies are facing is a once-in-every-few-centuries event. Disruption today is more than just changes in technology, or channel, or competitors – it’s all of them, all at once. And these forces are completely reshaping both commerce and defense.

Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2020 Lesson Learned Presentations

Steve Blank

We just finished our 5th annual Hacking for Defense class at Stanford. What a year. At the end of the quarter each of the eight teams give a final “Lessons Learned” presentation. Unlike traditional demo days or Shark Tanks which are, “here’s how smart I am, please give me money,” a Lessons Learned presentation tells the teams’ stories of a 10-week journey of hard-won learning and discovery.

How to Convince Investors You’re the Future not the Past

Steve Blank

This article previously appeared in VentureBeat. I just had a coffee with Mei and Bill, two passionate students who are on fire about their new startup idea. It’s past the “napkin-sketch” stage with a rough minimum viable product and about 100 users. I thought they had a great insight about an application space others had previously tried to crack. But they needed to convince investors that they are Facebook not Friendster.

The Evolution of Entrepreneurial Education and Corporate Innovation

Steve Blank

I was interviewed by Philip Bouchard , Executive Director of TrustedPeer Entrepreneurship Advisory , about how entrepreneurship education has changed, mission-driven entrepreneurship, and what we’ve learned about corporate innovation. Worth a read. Interview highlights: How is the way that universities teach entrepreneurship evolving? Lean LaunchPad class developed for Stanford. Innovation and entrepreneurship will become the liberal arts of the 21st century.

How to Stop Playing “Target Market Roulette”: A new addition to the Lean toolset

Steve Blank

Modern entrepreneurship began at the turn of this century with the observation that startups aren’t smaller versions of large companies – large companies at their core execute known business models, while startups search for scalable business models.

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Educators Summit: Lessons from Teaching in the Pandemic

Steve Blank

SAVE THE DATE for the Lean Innovation Educators Summit : Lessons from Teaching in the Pandemic. July 24, 10-noon Pacific, 1-3pm Eastern, 6-8pm London. As educators the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all.

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Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 3 – Anja Manuel

Steve Blank

We just held our third session of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War. Joe Felter , Raj Shah and I designed a class to examine the new military systems, operational concepts and doctrines that will emerge from 21st century technologies – Space, Cyber, AI & Machine Learning and Autonomy. Today’s topic was Sourcing, Acquiring and Deploying Technology for Modern War. Catch up with the class by reading our summaries of Class 1 here and Class 2 here.

Startup Stock Options – Why A Good Deal Has Gone Bad

Steve Blank

A version of this article first appeared in the Harvard Business Review. VC’s have just changed the ~50-year old social contract with startup employees. In doing so they may have removed one of the key incentives that made startups different from working in a large company. For most startup employee’s startup stock options are now a bad deal. Here’s why. Why Startups Offer Stock Options.

U.C. Santa Cruz Commencement Speech – 2019

Steve Blank

I was honored to give the commencement speech at the University of California Santa Cruz, right down the road from the ranch. Rather than my usual talks about innovation and entrepreneurship I shared a few lessons learned after serving seven years as a public official on the California Coastal Commission. I told four stories about the conflict between money and power versus the common good. I was invited to give the talk by Professor Sue Carter, now the provost of the college.

Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 2 – Max Boot

Steve Blank

We just held our second session of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War. Given the tech-centricity of Stanford and Silicon Valley, Joe Felter , Raj Shah and I designed a class to examine the new military systems, operational concepts and doctrines that will emerge from 21st century technologies – Space, Cyber, AI & Machine Learning and Autonomy. Catch up with the class by reading our summary of Class 1 – here.

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. However, in the 21 st century the Three Horizons model has a fatal flaw that could put companies out of business and government agencies behind their adversaries.

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Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2019

Steve Blank

We just finished our 4th annual Hacking for Defense class at Stanford. At the end of each class we have each team give a Lessons Learned presentation. Unlike traditional demo days or Shark Tanks which are “here’s how smart I am, please give me money,” a Lessons Learned presentation tells a story of a journey of hard-won learning and discovery.

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.

Don’t Get Left Behind As Your Company Grows

Steve Blank

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 blogged about this earlier here and got the chance to talk about the topic at the Startup Grind conference. Below is a video of the talk.

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. The Fixer is 1/3 rd autobiography, 1/3 rd case studies, and 1/3 rd a “how-to” manual. Regulatory Hacking is closer to a “step-by-step” textbook with case studies. Here’s why you need to read them.

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. At times everything you need is on the screen with a glance. At other times you have to page through menus and poke at the screen while driving.

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.

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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.

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. Stanford eCorner captured a few minutes of what I’ve been thinking in the video below. If you can’t see the video click here. Family/Career/Culture

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.

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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. federal science agencies and in the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community. But it is only recently that we realized why some programs succeed and others are failing.