Steve Blank

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.

We Needed a Bigger Room – The Lean Educators Summit

Steve Blank

It’s a bit bittersweet. We used to be able to fit all the Lean Educators in my living room and have space left over. No longer. Turns out we needed a bigger room for the Dec 4th-5th Lean Educators Summit.

Lean 156

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.

Lean 341

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Innovation at Speed – when you have 2 million employees

Steve Blank

Success no longer goes to the country that develops a new fighting technology first, but rather to the one that better integrates it and adapts its way of fighting… Our response will be to prioritize speed of delivery, continuous adaptation, and frequent modular upgrades.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 220

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

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.

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

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 228

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.

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 314

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 314

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.”

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 290

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 290

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.”.

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.

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 341

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.

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 331

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.

The Lean LaunchPad Class: It’s the same, but different

Steve Blank

It’s the same, but different. We just finished the 8 th annual Lean LaunchPad class at Stanford. The team presentations are at the end of this post. It’s hard to imagine, but only a decade ago, the capstone entrepreneurship class in most universities was how to write – or pitch- a business plan. As a serial entrepreneur turned educator, this didn’t make sense to me. In my experience, I saw that most business plans don’t survive first contact with customers.

Lean 150

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