Steve Blank

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Steve Blank, 2012

Steve Blank (born 1953) is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and academician who developed the Customer Development methodology that launched the Lean Startup movement. He authored The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Startup Owner’s Manual to describe how to build a successful company.

Quotes[edit]

2010
  • Customers don't ask to see your business plan.
    • Steve Blank, Not All Who Wander Are Lost, K&S Ranch, 2010, p. 40.
  • While there is an occasional bad apple, the public market rewards companies with revenue growth and sustainable profits.
    • Steve Blank, Not All Who Wander Are Lost, K&S Ranch, 2010, p. 54.
2011
  • 80% of success in your career will come from just showing up. The world is run by those who show up…not those who wait to be asked.
2012
2013
  • Founders fit the definition of a composer: they see something no one else does. And to help them create it from nothing, they surround themselves with world-class performers.
  • In Silicon Valley, we have a special word for a failed entrepreneur – it’s called experienced.
    • University of Minnesota commencement speech, FounderLY. May 06, 2013.
  • A founder's skill is knowing how to recognize new patterns and to pivot on a dime. At times the pattern is noise, and the vision turns out to be a hallucination.

Interview with Steve Blank[edit]

Tablet Magazine "Tikkum Olam in Silicon Valley". May 06, 2013.

  • Great entrepreneurs are revolutionaries. They speak truth to power. They change the status quo. They rebel against what exists. If you want to see what country will create the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, see how they treat their dissidents.
  • The Silicon Valley entrepreneurial culture used to be limited to a few entrepreneurial clusters. Now the Internet has spread that culture everywhere.
  • There are several generations of Silicon Valley CEOs who "pay-it-forward." It’s an understood, underground thing you don’t talk about. You give back to younger founders and entrepreneurs without asking for anything. The goal is to pass on what we learned to make our startup ecosystem better.
  • The #1 change in Silicon Valley is information density. If you think about it, 30 years ago the only way you got info was during one-on-one meetings. You knew very little and the world knew very little. We just know a lot more now.
  • The Silicon Valley culture is "I can win and you can win" - it isn't a sum-zero game.
2014
2015
2016
  • Most of us will wake up 28,762 days- and then one day - we won’t. That means you have about 21,000 days left - and about 14,000 of them for your career. So herein lies the urgency.
  • Mentorship is a two-way street. While I was learning from them [brilliant mentors] - and their years of experience and expertise - what I was giving back was equally important. I brought fresh insights and new perspectives to their thinking.
  • Progress and stability are mutually exclusive.
    • Steve Blank, Tweet at twitter.com/sgblank, 30 Oct. 2016, 10:41 PM

The Startup Owner’s Manual, 2012[edit]

Steve Blank and Bob Dorf. The Startup Owner’s Manual, K&S Ranch, 2012

  • A startup is not a smaller version of a large company.
    • p. xvii.
  • A startup is a temporary organization in search of a scalable, repeatable, profitable business model.
    • p. xvii.
  • On Day One, a startup is a faith-based enterprise.
    • p. 8
  • Relentless execution without knowing what to execute is a crime.
    • p. 11.
  • In a startup, founders define the product vision and then use customer discovery to find customers and a market for that vision.
    • p. 25.
  • If you're afraid to fail in a startup, you're destined to do so.
    • p. 33.
  • Market type influences everything a company does.
    • p. 39.
  • Startups demand comfort with chaos, uncertainty and change.
    • p. 44.
  • No business plan survives its first contact with customers.
    • p. 53.
  • Only because earlyvangelists are buying into your total vision will they spend money for an incomplete, buggy, barely functions first product.
    • p. 77.
  • The best startups discover a situation where customers have tried to build a solution themselves.
    • p. 86.
  • The answers are easy. Asking the right questions is hard.
    • p. 91.
  • Winners understand why customers buy.
    • p. 124.
  • Building your product is easy. The hard part is getting customers.
    • p. 147.

The Four Steps to the Epiphany, 2013[edit]

Steve Blank, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, K&S Ranch, 2013.

  • Customer Discovery is damn hard work. You can't fake it.
    • p. 50.
  • A startup is in reality a 'faith-based enterprise' on day one. To turn the vision into reality and the faith into facts (and a profitable company), a startup must test those guesses, or hypotheses, and find out which are correct.
    • p. 83
  • Money is the lifeblood of startups. You stay in business until you run out of it.
    • p. 297

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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