Steve Blank Podcast
Summary: Steve Blank, eight-time entrepreneur and now a business school professor at Stanford, Columbia and Berkeley, shares his hard-won wisdom as he pioneers entrepreneurship as a management science, combining Customer Development, Business Model Design and Agile Development. The conclusion? Startups are simply not small versions of large companies! Startups are actually temporary organizations designed to search for a scalable and repeatable business model.
Last week I got an email last week from a New York VC asking for advice about building a house in the California Coastal Zone. For six and a half years I served as a public official on the California Coastal Commission. The call reminded me that it’s been a year since I resigned, and it’s time to tell a few stories of what I learned as a Coastal Commissioner. Each and every month I learned that not everything was how it seemed.
Farming for Developers: Coastal Commission Stories – Lesson 1
In the last five years I’ve been at Commencement Day at universities around the world – a few times to receive awards and three times as the commencement speaker. But attending both my daughters’ college graduations this year helped me to see how things look from the other side of the podium.
Three Things I Learned on Commencement Day
D.R. Widder is the Vice President of Innovation and holds the Steve Blank Innovation Chair at Philadelphia University. He’s helping city government in Philadelphia become more innovative by applying Lean startup methods and Philadelphia University’s innovation curriculum. I asked him to share an update on his work on teaching lean techniques to local governments. Subscribe at http://j.mp/1iyL7tW.
Our Stanford and Berkeley Lean LaunchPad classes are over for this year, and as usual we learned as much from teaching the teams as the teams did from us. Here are a few of the Lessons Learned from these two classes.
Innovating Municipal Government Culture
For decades large companies have gone shopping in Silicon Valley for startups. Lately the pressure of continuous disruption has forced them to step up the pace. More often than not the results of these acquisitions are disappointing. What can companies learn from others’ failed efforts to integrate startups into large companies? The answer - there are two types of integration strategies, and they depend on where the startup is in its lifecycle.
Corporate Acquisitions of Startups: Why Do They Fail?
New Lessons Learned from Berkeley & Stanford Lean LaunchPad Classes
ESADE Business School Commencement Speech
About a month ago I had one of the strangest phones call of my life. “Steve my name is Donald xx, and I’m the head of external affairs of the CIA’s venture capital firm and we’d like you to keynote our conference.” CIA?
With insight into our customers, the first part of our strategy was to understand what kind of positioning problem we had. Was SuperMac attempting to introduce radically new products and create a new market? No, not really.
After my first month we knew a lot, we knew more about our customers than anyone in the company. In this one month we had learned more about desktop publishing on the Mac than any one of our competitors. Now the question was what to do with it. First I need to make sure what we really learned was information we could base a company strategy on.
A week before I started I got inkling of really how deep I was in. While I was waiting in the lobby to pick up my offer letter, the head of marketing communications (who was to be one of my direct reports) came up to me as I held my just signed employment agreement. She said, “Oh I’m glad you’re coming, and I wanted to grab you before you started because we need to resolve the company’s biggest marketing problem.” I was impressed; this was something so important that she couldn’t wait for my first day. Was she going to propose a coherent communications strategy? An in-depth reseller survey? Or offer some real insights into our customers? No. “We need to decide immediately between which version of the new logo to use.” Ignoring my dropping jaw, she pointed out the key differences in the Pantone colors between what appeared to me o be the two indistinguishable alternatives.