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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 »

What I Learned by Flipping the MOOC

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | February 11, 2014

Two of the hot topics in education in the last few years have been Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) and the flipped classroom. I’ve been experimenting with both of them. What I’ve learned (besides being able to use the word “pedagogy” in a sentence) is 1) assigning students lectures as homework doesn’t guarantee the students will … 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 »

Engineering a Regional Tech Cluster — Part 3 of Bigger in Bend

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

Dino Vendetti a VC at Bay Partners, moved up to Bend, Oregon on a mission to engineer Bend into a regional technology cluster.  Over the years Dino and I brainstormed about how Lean entrepreneurship would affect regional development. I visited Bend last year and caught up with his progress. Today with every city, state, country … Continue reading »

Early-stage Regional Venture Funds–Part 2 of 3 of Bigger in Bend

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 22, 2014

Dino Vendetti a VC at Bay Partners, moved up to Bend, Oregon on a mission to engineer Bend into a regional technology cluster.  Over the years Dino and I brainstormed about how Lean entrepreneurship would affect regional development. I visited Bend last year and caught up with his progress. Today with every city, state and … Continue reading »

Do Pivots Matter?

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 14, 2014

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
’ Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven In late 2013 Cowboy Ventures did an analysis of U.S.-based tech companies started in the last 10 years, now valued at $1 billion. They found 39 of these companies.  They called them the “Unicorn Club.” … Continue reading »

Lessons Learned in Medical Devices

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | December 20, 2013

This post is part of our series on the National Science Foundation I-Corps Lean LaunchPad class in Life Science and Health Care at UCSF. Doctors, researchers and Principal Investigators in this class got out of the lab and hospital talked to 2,355 customers, tested 947 hypotheses and invalidated 423 of them.  The class had 1,145 engagements with instructors … Continue reading »

Lessons learned in digital health

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | December 19, 2013

This post is part of our series on the National Science Foundation I-Corps Lean LaunchPad class in Life Science and Health Care at UCSF. Part 1:  issues in the therapeutics drug discovery pipeline Part 2:  medical devices and digital health Part 3: described what we’re going to do about it. Part 4: This Will Save us Years – Customer Discovery in Medical … 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 »

How Do You Want to Spend the Next 4 Years of Your Life?

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | December 10, 2013

As our Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences class winds down, a good number of the 26 teams are trying to figure out whether they should go forward to turn their class project into a business. Given that we’ve been emphasizing Evidence-based entrepreneurship and the Investment Readiness Level, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when someone asked, “After … 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 »

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 »

Lean goes better with Coke – the future of corporate innovation

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 7, 2013

In 2012 I got together with Alexander Osterwalder, Henry Chesbrough and Andre Marquis to think about the Lean and the future of corporate innovation. We had some radical thoughts how companies were going to have change to remain competitive in the 21st century in a blog post. What we didn’t envision was that one creative corporate VP would take that post and build a … Continue reading »

300 Teams in 2 Years

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 28, 2013

This is the start of the third year teaching teams of scientists (professors and their graduate students) in the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps). This month we’ve crossed ~300 teams in the first two years through the program. I-Corps is the  accelerator that helps scientists bridge the commercialization gap between their research in their labs and wide-scale commercial … 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 »

How is your ambiguity tolerance? Invitation to join our research

Ikhlaq Sidhu, Chief Scientist and Founding Director, Sutardja Center | October 7, 2013

I’ve just returned from Madrid, teaching in the final week of our inaugural Global Engineering Leadership Program.  This program extends the content I designed for the Silicon Valley Professional Program, with an Asian and European perspective on technology firm leadership. While the program covers a variety of new and interesting topics, including Positive Psychology, What … 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 »