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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 »

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 »

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 »

Why real learning is outside the building, not demo day

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 5, 2013

Over the last three years our Lean LaunchPad / NSF Innovation Corps classes have been teaching hundreds of entrepreneurial teams a year how to build their startups by getting out of the building and testing their hypotheses behind their business model.  While our teams have mentors, socialize a lot and give great demos, the goal of our class final presentations is … Continue reading »

How to get meetings with people too busy to see you

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 26, 2013

Asking, “Can I have coffee with you to pick your brain?” is probably the worst possible way to get a meeting with someone with a busy schedule.  Here’s a better approach. —— Jason, an entrepreneur I’ve known for over a decade, came out to the ranch today. He was celebrating selling his company and just … Continue reading »

Reinventing life science startups – evidence-based entrepreneurship

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

What if we could increase productivity and stave the capital flight by helping Life Sciences startups build their companies more efficiently? We’re going to test this hypothesis by 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 … Continue reading »

Reinventing life science startups – medical devices and digital health

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

What if we could increase productivity and stave the capital flight by helping Life Sciences startups build their companies more efficiently? We’re going to test this hypothesis by teaching a Lean LaunchPad class for Life Sciences and Healthcare (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health) this October at UCSF with a team of veteran venture capitalists. In this three … Continue reading »

How Kevin O’Connor and FindTheBest got lean

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 5, 2013

When we started E.piphany there was an equally scrappy startup called DoubleClick (later acquired by Google for $3.1 billon). Other the years Kevin O’Connor, former CEO and founder of DoubleClick and I got to know each other.  It’s been fun watching a 20th Century entrepreneur learn new tricks as he builds his next startup, FindTheBest using Lean Methodology.  Here’s Kevin’s story to date. … Continue reading »

An MVP is not a cheaper product. It’s about smart learning

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 22, 2013

A minimum viable product (MVP) is not always a smaller/cheaper version of your final product. Defining the goal for a MVP can save you tons of time, money and grief. Drones over the heartland I ran into a small startup at Stanford who wants to fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) with a Hyper-spectral camera over farm fields … Continue reading »

Don’t give away your board seats

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 9, 2013

I had group of ex-students out to the ranch who were puzzling over a dilemma – they’ve been working hard on their startup, were close to finding product/market fit and had been approached by Oren, a potential angel investor. Oren had been investing since he left Google four years ago and was insisting on not … Continue reading »

The Lean LaunchPad Educators Class

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

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come — Victor Hugo The Lean LaunchPad entrepreneurship curriculum has caught fire. This week 100 educators from around the world will come to Stanford to learn how to teach it. —– Life is full of unintended consequences. Ten years ago I started thinking about why … Continue reading »

Fund raising is a means, not an end

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

“Not all that glitters is gold.” — William Shakespeare For many entrepreneurs “raising money” has replaced “building a sustainable business” as their goal.  That’s a big mistake. When you take money from investors their business model becomes yours. ———– One of my ex students came out to the ranch to give me an update on … Continue reading »

Who’s doing the learning?

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | June 3, 2013

In a startup, instead of paying consultants to tell you what they learned, you want to pay them to teach you how to learn. Roominate, one of my favorite Lean LaunchPad teams, came out to the ranch last week for a strategy session. Alice and Bettina had taken an idea they had tested in the class – building toys for young girls to have fun … Continue reading »

Failure and redemption

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | February 26, 2013

“What’s gone and what’s past help Should be past grief.” — William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale We give abundant advice to founders about how to make startups succeed yet we offer few models about dealing with failure. So here’s mine.  In my experience, living through failure has 6 stages: Stage 1: Shock and Surprise Stage … Continue reading »

Crazy enough to change the world

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

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow … Continue reading »

Entrepreneurs Experience — do it and learn it

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

In 2012, in partnership with Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley and NCIIA, Jerry Engel and I first offered the Lean LaunchPad Educators Class. The class was designed to teach educators (and the adjunct entrepreneurs that support them) the Lean LaunchPad approach (Business Model Design, Customer Development and Agile Engineering) for teaching entrepreneurship. In addition the class offers a suggested “Lean Entrepreneurship” curriculum and the details … Continue reading »