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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 »

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 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 »

Getting Lean in Education — By Getting Out of the Classroom

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

This week the National Science Foundation goes Lean on education by providing $1.2 million to educators who want to bring their classroom innovations to a wider audience. ——– The I-Corps programstarted when the U.S. National Science Foundation adopted my Lean LaunchPad class. Their goal was to train University scientists and researchers to use Lean Startup methods (business model design, … 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 »

Seminal Entrepreneurship and Innovation Skills CAN IN FACT BE LEARNED

Ikhlaq Sidhu, chief scientist, Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership | April 22, 2014

Posted by Ikhlaq Sidhu, April 22nd, 2014   You may already be aware that the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (BMofE, see link on our CET website – https://cet.berkeley.edu/curriculum/) is a unique teaching model for developing the entrepreneurial mindset, in addition to teaching tactics and providing infrastructure for the new venture process. One of the big questions in the … Continue reading »

How to be Smarter than Your Investors — Continuous Customer Discovery

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | February 19, 2014

Teams that build continuous customer discovery into their DNA will become smarter than their investors, and build more successful companies. — Awhile back I blogged about Ashwin, one of my ex-students wanted to raise a seed round to build Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) with a Hyper-spectral camera and fly it over farm fields collecting hyper-spectral images. These images, when … Continue reading »

Sometimes it Pays to Be a Jerk

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

That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made William Shakespeare Henry V | Act 4, Scene 3 The concepts in my Lean LaunchPad curriculum can be taught in a variety of classes–as an introduction to entrepreneurship all the way to a graduate level “capstone class.” I recently learned being tough … Continue reading »

Time for Founders School

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 29, 2014

Having a film crew in your living room for two days is something you want to put on your bucket list. With a ~$2 billion endowment the Kauffman Foundation is the largest non-profit focused on entrepreneurship in the world. Giving away $80 million to every year (~$25 million to entrepreneurial causes) makes Kauffman the dominant player in the entrepreneurship space. … Continue reading »

How to integrate social-emotional learning into Common Core

Vicki Zakrzewski, education director, Greater Good Science Center | January 22, 2014

Do the Common Core State Standards undermine social-emotional learning? Many educators think so. In a recent Ed Week op-ed, an elementary principal argued that teachers were too busy teaching Common Core to address the social-emotional development of their students. I’ve heard the same argument from many teachers. This is troubling given that researchers strongly suggest that the learning … Continue reading »

We’ve seen the future of translational medicine and it’s disruptive

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | December 17, 2013

A team of 110 researchers and clinicians, in therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health in 25 teams at UCSF, has just shown us the future of translational medicine.  It’s Lean, it’s fast, it works and it’s unlike anything else ever done. It’s going to get research from the lab to the bedside cheaper and faster. Welcome … Continue reading »

It’s time to play Moneyball: The investment readinesslevel

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

Investors sitting through Incubator or Accelerator demo days have three metrics to judge fledgling startups – 1) great looking product demos, 2) compelling PowerPoint slides, and 3) a world-class team. We think we can do better. We now have the tools, technology and data to take incubators and accelerators to the next level. Teams can … Continue reading »

Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences – Revenue Streams

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 18, 2013

We’re teaching a Lean LaunchPad class for Life Sciences and Health Care (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health) at UCSF with a team of veteran venture capitalists. The class has talked to 2,056 customers to date. Part 1:  issues in the therapeutics drug discovery pipeline Part 2:  medical devices and digital health Part 3: described what we’re going to … Continue reading »

Well, they ‘should’ be our customers

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 13, 2013

When scientists and engineers who’ve been working in the lab for years try to commercialize their technology, they often get trapped by their own beliefs  – including who the customers are, what features are important, pricing etc. One the key tenets of the Lean LaunchPad class is that every week each team gets out of … Continue reading »

A New Way to Look at Competitors

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 11, 2013

Every startup I see invariably puts up a competitive analysis slide that plots performance on a X/Y graph with their company in the top right. The slide is a holdover from when existing companies launched products into crowded markets. Most of the time this graph is inappropriate for startups or existing companies creating new markets. Here’s … Continue reading »

This will save us years — Lean LaunchPad for Life Science

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 14, 2013

We’re deep into week 2 of teaching a Lean LaunchPad class for Life Sciences and Health Care (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health) this October at UCSF with a team of veteran venture capitalists. Part 1 of this post described the issues in the drug discovery. Part 2 covered medical devices and digital health. Part 3  described what we’re going … Continue reading »

The Air Force Academy gets lean

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 17, 2013

I can always tell when one of my students has been in the military. They’re focused, they’re world-wise past their years, and they don’t break a sweat in the fast pace and chaotic nature of the class and entrepreneurship. Todd Branchflower took my Lean LaunchPad class having been entrepreneurial enough to convince the Air Force send him … Continue reading »