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Hacking a corporate culture: Stories, heroes and rituals in startups and companies

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 10, 2015

I’ve spent this year working with corporations and government agencies that are adopting and adapting Lean Methodologies. I’ve summarized my learnings in this blog post, and here, here and here and here and put it together in the presentation here. One of the interesting innovation challenges I’ve encountered centers on a company’s culture. While startups … Continue reading »

Getting to ‘Yes’ for Corporate Innovation

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 17, 2015

I’ve been working with Roberto, the Chief Innovation Officer of a diversified company I’ll call Sprocket Industries. I hadn’t heard from Roberto in awhile and when we caught up, it was clear his initial optimism had faded. I listened as Roberto listed the obstacles to the new innovation program at Sprocket, “We’ve created innovation teams … Continue reading »

Why Internal Ventures are Different from External Startups

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 26, 2014

Henry Chesbrough is known as the father of Open Innovation and wrote  the book that defined the practice. Henry is the Faculty Director of the  Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, at U.C. Berkeley in the Haas Business School.  Henry and I teach a corporate innovation class together. His thoughts follow: Thanks to Steve for the opportunity to … Continue reading »

Why Companies are not Startups

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 5, 2014

In the last few years we’ve recognized that a startup is not a smaller version of a large company. We’re now learning that companies are not larger versions of startups. There’s been lots written about how companies need to be more innovative, but very little on what stops them from doing so. Companies looking to … Continue reading »

When product features disappear – Amazon, Apple, Tesla and the troubled future for 21st century consumers

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 21, 2013

One of the great innovations of the 21st century are products that are cloud-connected and update and improve automatically. For software, gone are the days of having to buy a new version of physical media (disks or CD’s.) For hardware it’s the magical ability to have a product get better over time as new features are automatically added. … Continue reading »

Strangling Innovation: Tesla versus ‘Rent Seekers’

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | June 25, 2013

The greatest number of jobs is created when startups create a new market – one where the product or service never existed before or is radically more convenient. Yet this is where startups will run into anti-innovation opponents they may not expect. These opponents have their own name –  “rent seekers” – the landlords of the status-quo. … Continue reading »

Startup communities: Building regional clusters

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 8, 2012

How to build regional entrepreneurial communities has just gotten it’s first “here’s how to do it” book. Brad Feld’s new book Startup Communities joins the two other “must reads,” (Regional Advantage and Startup Nation) and one “must view” (The Secret History of Silicon Valley) for anyone trying to understand the components of a regional cluster. There’s probably no one more qualified … Continue reading »

Why innovation dies

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | May 2, 2012

Faced with disruptive innovation, you can be sure any possibility for innovation dies when a company forms a committee for an “overarching strategy.” — I was reminded how innovation dies when the email below arrived in my inbox. It was well written, thoughtful and had a clearly articulated sense of purpose. You may have seen … Continue reading »

Why the movie industry can’t innovate and the result is SOPA

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 8, 2012

This year the movie industry made $30 billion (1/3 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 sales, online subscriptions … Continue reading »

How the iPhone got tail fins — Part 2 of 2

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 20, 2011

Read part 1 of this post for background. By the early 1920’s General Motors realized that Ford, which was now selling theModel T for $290, had an unbeatable monopoly on low-cost automobile manufacturing. Other manufacturers had experimented with selling cars based on an image and brand. (The most notable was an ad by the Jordan Car company.) But … Continue reading »

How the iPhone got tail fins — Part 1 of 2

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 18, 2011

It was the most advanced consumer product of the century. The industry started with its innovators located in different cities over a wide region. But within 20 years it would be concentrated in a single entrepreneurial startup cluster. At first it was a craft business, then it was driven by relentless technology innovation and then … Continue reading »

It’s not how big it is — it’s how well it performs: The startup genome compass

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 30, 2011

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 … Continue reading »