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What environmentalists get wrong about e-waste in West Africa

Jenna Burrell, associate professor, School of Information | September 1, 2016

Beginning in 2009, Ghana’s computer import industry went almost instantly from totally invisible, to worldwide infamy. The work of two photojournalists — Pieter Hugo and Kevin McElvaney — played a key role in this newfound visibility. Their imagery of e-waste and its young victims such as cable burners covered in dirt and soot in an area of Ghana’s capital … Continue reading »

What founders need to know: You score funding for a liquidity event – start looking

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 24, 2016

There are many reasons to found a startup. There are many reasons to work at a startup. But there’s only one reason your company got funded. Liquidity. ——- The good news To most founders a startup is not a job, but a calling. But startups require money upfront for product development and later to scale. … Continue reading »

Innovation outposts and the evolution of corporate R&D

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | December 22, 2015

I first met Evangelos Simoudis when he ran IBM’s Business Intelligence Solutions Division and then as CEO of his first startup Customer Analytics. Evangelos has spent the last 15 years as a Venture Capitalist, first at Apax Partners and later at Trident Capital. During the last three years he’s worked with over 100 companies, many … Continue reading »

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 »

Three challenges: Taking entrepreneurship & innovation education beyond the classroom

Jerome Engel, founding executive director, Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, and adjunct professor, emeritus, Haas School of Business | July 29, 2015

We have made great progress in creating an entrepreneurship and innovation economy – and the university has been a major contributor — but now it is time to do more. In a keynote last week to the 12th Annual European Entrepreneurship Colloquium I focused on three challenges/opportunities for immediate action; reinvigorating innovation strategies of major … Continue reading »

How we changed the way the U.S. government commercializes science: Errol Arkilic — Part 1 of Episode 6 on Sirius XM Channel 111

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 20, 2015

My guests on Bay Area Ventures on Wharton Business Radio on Sirius XM Channel 111 were: Errol Arkilic, former program director for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps), now founder of M34 Capital Steve Weinstein, CEO of MovieLabs Venk Shukla, president TiE Silicon Valley and general partner, Monta Vista Capital In my interview … Continue reading »

Blowing up the Business Plan at U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 3, 2015

During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, science and engineering at both Stanford and U.C. Berkeley were heavily funded to develop Cold War weapon systems. Stanford’s focus was Electronic Intelligence and those advanced microwave components and systems were useful in a variety of weapons systems. Starting in the 1950’s, Stanford’s engineering department became “outward … Continue reading »

It’s About Women Running Startups

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 22, 2015

Just before the holidays I had coffee with Anne, an ex MBA student running a fairly large product group at a search engine company, now out trying to raise money for her own startup. She had an interesting insight: existing content/media companies were having the same problem as hardware companies that rarely made the leap … Continue reading »

Why Corporate Skunk Works Need to Die

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 12, 2014

In the 20th century, corporate skunk works® were used to develop disruptive innovation separate from the rest of the company. They were the hallmark of innovative corporations. By the middle of the 21st century the only companies with skunk works will be the ones that have failed to master continuous innovation. Skunk works will be the signposts of … Continue reading »

Born Global or Die Local – Building a Regional Startup Playbook

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 3, 2014

Entrepreneurship is everywhere, but everywhere isn’t a level playing field. What’s the playbook for your region or country to make it so? ———- Scalable startups are on a trajectory for a billion dollar market cap. They grow into companies that define an industry and create jobs.  Not all start ups want to go in that … Continue reading »

The Business Model Canvas Gets Even Better – Value Proposition Design

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 24, 2014

Product/Market fit now has its own book. Alexander Osterwalder wrote it. Buy it. — The Lean Startup process builds new ventures more efficiently. It has three parts: a business model canvas to frame hypotheses, customer development to get out of the building to test those hypotheses and agile engineering to build minimum viable products. This week … Continue reading »

Watching My Students Grow

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 6, 2014

“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” Galileo Galilei One of the great things about teaching is that while some students pass by like mist in the night others remain connected forever. I get to watch them grow into their careers and cheer them on. — Its … Continue reading »

The Woodstock of K-12 education

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 23, 2014

Describing something as the “Woodstock of…” has taken to mean a one-of-a-kind historic gathering. It happened recently when a group of educators came to the ranch to learn how to teach Lean entrepreneurship to K-12 students. — We Can Do Better than Teaching Students How to Run a Lemonade Stand Over the last few years it’s become … Continue reading »

How to Find the Right Co-Founders

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 16, 2014

How do you figure out what’s the right mix of skills for the co-founders of your startup? Surprisingly if you’ve filled out the business model canvas you already know who you need. ——- I was having breakfast with Radhika, an ex-grad student of mine who wanted to share her Customer Discovery progress for her consumer hardware startup. She started … Continue reading »

How To Think Like an Entrepreneur: The Inventure Cycle

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 9, 2014

The Lean Startup is a process for turning ideas into commercial ventures. Its premise is that startups begin with a series of untested hypotheses. They succeed by getting out of the building, testing those hypotheses and learning by iterating and refining minimal viable products in front of potential customers. That’s all well and good if you already have an … Continue reading »

Why Founders Should Know How to Code

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 3, 2014

“By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist.” — Book of Five Rings A startup is not just about the idea, it’s about testing and then implementing the idea. A founding team without these skills is likely dead on arrival. —- I was driving home from the BIO conference in San Diego last month and … Continue reading »

The Path of Our Lives

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 8, 2014

“Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not?” Robert Kennedy/George Bernard Shaw I got a call that reminded me that most people live their life as if it’s predestined – but some live theirs fighting to change it. At 19 I joined the Air … Continue reading »

Innovating Municipal Government Culture

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | April 28, 2014

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. —- This February Philadelphia University and … Continue reading »