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[Book Excerpt] Earlyvangelists: The Most Important Customers of All

[Book Excerpt] Earlyvangelists: The Most Important Customers of All

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part excerpt from the book The Startup Owner’s Manual, a step-by-step how-to guide for entrepreneurs. In this excerpt, authors Steve Blank and Bob Dorf continue to explain the Customer Discovery Philosophy (see Part One, “Is Your Startup a Valid Vision or Just a Hallucination?”).
Customer discovery…

[Excerpt] Is Your Startup a Valid Vision or Just a Hallucination?

[Excerpt] Is Your Startup a Valid Vision or Just a Hallucination?

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part excerpt from the book The Startup Owner’s Manual, a step-by-step, how-to guide for entrepreneurs. In this excerpt, authors Steve Blank and Bob Dorf explain the Customer Discovery Philosophy.
A startup begins with the vision of its founders: a vision of a new product or service that solves a…

Art of Entrepreneurship: Who to Listen to and Why

Art of Entrepreneurship: Who to Listen to and Why

The art of entrepreneurship and the science of customer development is not just getting out of the building and listening to prospective customers. It’s understanding who to listen to and why.

I got a call from Satish, one of my ex-students last week. He got my attention when he said, “following your customer development stuff is making my company…

The Movie Industry Can’t Innovate – the Result is SOPA

The Movie Industry Can’t Innovate – the Result is SOPA

This year the movie industry made $30 billion (a third of it in the U.S.) from box-office revenue. But the total movie industry revenue was $87 billion. Where did the other $57 billion come from?

From sources that the studios at one time claimed would put them out of business: Pay-per view TV, cable and satellite channels, video rentals, DVD…

The Helsinki Spring

The Helsinki Spring

I spent the month of September lecturing, and interacting with (literally) thousands of entrepreneurs in two emerging startup markets, Finland and Russia. This is the first of two posts about Finland and entrepreneurship.

I was invited to Finland as part of Stanford’s Engineering Technology Venture Program partnership with Aalto University…

The Pay-It-Forward Culture: Silicon Valley’s Practical Generosity

The Pay-It-Forward Culture: Silicon Valley’s Practical Generosity

Foreign visitors to Silicon Valley continually mention how willing we are to help, network and connect strangers. We take it so for granted we never even to bother to talk about it. It’s the “Pay-It-Forward” culture.

We’re All in This Together – The Chips are Down

In 1962 Walker’s Wagon Wheel Bar/Restaurant in Mountain View became the lunch…

The Direction of Success: The Startup Genome Compass

The Direction of Success: The Startup Genome Compass

What makes startups succeed or fail? More than 90% of startups fail, due primarily to self-destruction rather than competition. For the less than 10% of startups that do succeed, most encounter several near-death experiences along the way. Simply put, while we now have some good theory, we just are not very good at creating startups […]

The $10 Million Photo and Other VC Stories

The $10 Million Photo and Other VC Stories

When we were trying to raise money for E.piphany, my last startup, I was negotiating with a venture capital firm called Infinity Capital. They really wanted to invest, but it was the beginning of the bubble, and I wanted (what was then) an absurd valuation. All we had were six slides, and I wanted a $10 million post-money valuation. But it was my…

Reinventing the Startup Board Meeting: Part 2

Reinventing the Startup Board Meeting: Part 2

Startups now understand what they should be doing in their early formative days is search for a business model. The process they use to guide that search is “Customer Development”; and to track their progress startups now have a scorecard to document their week-by-week changes – the business model canvas.
Yet even with all these tools, early…

What’s Wrong With Today’s Board Meetings: Part 1

What’s Wrong With Today’s Board Meetings: Part 1

As customer and agile development reinvent the startup, it’s time to ask why startup board governance has not kept up with the pace of innovation. Board meetings that guide startups haven’t changed since the early 1900’s. It’s time.

Reinventing the board meeting may offer venture-backed startups a more efficient, productive way to direct and…