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Steve Blank
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Steve Blank has had a 33-year career as a successful businessman, conservationist and teacher. As a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Steve was part of or founded eight venture-backed companies. Four of his eight startup companies went public. After he retired, he started new careers in conservation, public service, and teaching.

After retiring, Steve moved from being an entrepreneur to teaching entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and graduate students at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University and the Columbia University/Berkeley Joint Executive MBA program. Steve wrote a book about building early stage companies called Four Steps to the Epiphany. The “Customer Development” model that he developed in his book is one of the core themes for his classes at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, Columbia University and the National Science Foundation. In March 2012, he published The Startup Owner's Manual, a step-by-step guide to building a successful company.

In 2010, he was awarded the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award at U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business. In 2009 Steve was awarded the Stanford University Undergraduate Teaching Award in the department of Management Science and Engineering. In 2007 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Steve to serve on the California Coastal Commission, the public body which regulates land use and public access on the California coast.

Entries by Steve Blank

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 36: Jim Semick and Peter Arvai

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2016 | 10:21 AM

Given all that I've seen in my career I don't sweat the small stuff.

We didn't talk about product; we didn't talk about organization or raising money. We talked about our values, we talked about our hopes and dreams for the world, and that helped us realize why we were...

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 35: Jessica Mah and Peggy Burke

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2016 | 2:27 PM

At 19 I thought that I would be able to work really hard on my startup, and then in a year we'd have break out success. We'd raise this money, users would just grow like crazy, and we'd have a huge company, and I'd be able to retire before I...
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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 34: Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2016 | 10:16 AM

Countries or people you meet sometimes don't like our policies on a given issue, but what they almost universally admire and aspire to is American entrepreneurship, innovation, education, science and technology, and volunteerism, philanthropy.

The State Department is working at the intersection of foreign policy and technology to keep Americans...

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Intel Disrupted: Why large companies find it difficult to innovate, and what they can do about it

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 12:16 PM

In the 21st century it's harder for large corporations to create disruptive breakthroughs. Disruptive innovations are coming from startups - Telsa for automobiles, Uber for taxis, Airbnb for hotel rentals, Netflix for video rentals and Facebook for media.

What's holding large companies...

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere: Show No. 33: David Comisford and Omar Zenhom

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2016 | 12:54 PM

A huge lesson is to raise money at the appropriate time. We didn't understand our value proposition. We didn't even have a fully baked-out product. We weren't ready. So we failed.

Every time I started a business it was because I saw them as good short-term financial opportunities. In hindsight...

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 32: Evangelos Simoudis and Ashok Srivastava

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2016 | 11:14 AM

Innovation outposts in Silicon Valley allow big companies to sense and respond to rapid changes in technology. Big data is changing how we view the world, and is the fuel for machine intelligence.

How to make corporate innovation work and drive success in startups were the topics of discussion with...

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Hacking for Defense @ Stanford - Lessons Learned Presentations

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2016 | 9:52 AM

We just held our tenth and final week of the Hacking for Defense class. Today the eight teams presented their Lessons Learned presentations.

We're a little stunned about how well the first prototype of this class went. Over half the student teams have decided to continue working on...

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 31: Congressmen Dan Lipinski and Seth Moulton

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2016 | 11:24 AM

Lean methodologies have changed the way science is commercialized in the U.S. Now they are changing how we protect the homeland and keep Americans safe and around the world.

How the U.S. government has embraced Lean methodologies to reinvigorate its innovation efforts was the focus of the latest episode of...

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Hacking for Defense @ Stanford - Weeks 8 and 9

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2016 | 6:31 PM

We just held our eighth and ninth weeks of the Hacking for Defense class. Now with over 917 interviews of beneficiaries (users, program managers, stakeholders, etc.), the teams spent the last two weeks learning what activities, resources and partners they would need to actually deliver their solution. And...

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NYU School of Engineering Commencement Speech 2016

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2016 | 8:47 AM

Thank you for the opportunity to address you on your graduation from this esteemed engineering school. I'm honored to help you celebrate this important milestone.

2016-05-24-1464093990-1233501-nyucommencementspeech.jpg

Your life is already full of milestones: Your first steps, your first kiss, passing a driving test, this...

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Hacking for Defense @ Stanford - Week 7

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2016 | 12:25 PM

We just held our seventh week of the Hacking for Defense class. Now with over 750 interviews of beneficiaries (users, program managers, stakeholders, etc.) almost all the teams are beginning to pivot from their original understanding of their sponsor's problem and their hypotheses about how to solve them....

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Hacking for Defense @ Stanford - Week 6

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 11:28 AM

We just held our sixth week of the Hacking for Defense class. Now with over 660 interviews of beneficiaries (users, program managers, stakeholders, etc.) the teams are getting deep into problem understanding and their minimal viable products are getting sophisticated enough to generate detailed customer feedback; we gave...

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 30: Guido Kovalskys and Doris Korda

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2016 | 12:50 PM

There was a time when having the information gave you the power. That's no longer the key. The problem isn't getting information or data; it's knowing what to do with it.

Founders will always encounter naysayers, shut out the voices and listen to the customers instead. It gets you to...

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Hacking for Defense @ Stanford - Week 5

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2016 | 12:28 PM

We just held our fifth week of the Hacking for Defense class. This week the teams passed the half way mark in the class. They've collectively talked to over 550 beneficiaries (users, program managers, stakeholders, etc.) Their focus for this week was to figure out how to get...

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 29: Ajay Kshatriya and Steven Cohn

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2016 | 1:01 PM

Entrepreneurs see opportunity where others see obstacles and why hubris is an entrepreneur's worst enemy, were two topics of discussion on my SiriusXM radio show, Entrepreneurs are Everywhere.

The show airs on SiriusXM Channel 111 (weekly Thursdays at 1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern). It follows the journeys...

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Hacking for Defense at Stanford - Week 4

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 1:18 PM

We just held our fourth week of the Hacking for Defense class. This week the teams turned the corner on understanding beneficiaries and finding product/market fit. The 8 teams spoke to 115 beneficiaries (users, program managers, etc.); we sent each team a critique of their mission model canvas;...

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Hacking for Defense (H4D) @ Stanford - Week 3

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 10:40 AM

We just held our third week of the Hacking for Defense class. This week the 8 teams spoke to 108 beneficiaries (users, program mangers, etc.), we held a Customer Discovery workshop, we started streaming the class live to DOD/IC sponsors and other educators, our advanced lecture was on...

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Entrepreneurs Are Everywhere Show No. 28: Magdalena Yesil and Michael Mondavi

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 11:38 AM

If I had spent less time on the business and more time with the family, we'd have been better off as a business and as a family.

Family must come first in a family business.

And if others don't get your startup idea, it won't matter how hard your team...

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Hacking for Defense (H4D) @ Stanford - Week 2

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 12:53 AM

We just held our second week of the Hacking for Defense class. This week the 8 teams spoke to 106 beneficiaries (users, program mangers, etc.), we held a DOD/IC 101 workshop, our advanced lecture was on the Value Proposition Canvas, and we watched as the students...

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Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 27: Brandon Bruce and Jack Sundell

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2016 | 11:31 AM

When your customers are grabbing your Minimal Viable Product out of your hands, it's time to launch the product.

The latest guests on Entrepreneurs are Everywhere explained why.

The radio show airs on SiriusXM Channel 111 (weekly Thursdays at 1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern). It follows the...

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