Inspirational Quotes by Steve Blank

By | September 22, 2016

Learning how to keep track of inventory and cash flow and creating an income statement and a balance sheet are great skills to learn for managing existing businesses.

Steve Blank

At 19, I joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Steve Blank

Out of electronics school, my first assignment was to a fighter base in Florida. My roommate, Glen, would become my best friend in Florida and Thailand as we were sent to different air bases in Southeast Asia.

Steve Blank

Innovation in an existing company is not just the sum of great technology, key acquisitions, or smart people. Corporate innovation needs a culture that matches and supports it.

Steve Blank

The art of entrepreneurship and the science of Customer Development is not just getting out of the building and listening to prospective customers. It’s understanding who to listen to and why.

Steve Blank

Great entrepreneurial DNA is comprised of leadership, technological vision, frugality, and the desire to succeed.

Steve Blank

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.

Steve Blank

Visionary CEOs are not ‘just’ great at assuring world-class execution of a tested and successful business model: they are also world-class innovators.

Steve Blank

Schools reward their students for a combination of intelligence, perseverance, and hard work – in the classroom and on the playing fields. But these metrics don’t help kids understand that great grades are not a pass for a great life.

Steve Blank

On Day One, a start-up is a faith-based initiative built on guesses.

Steve Blank

Most people appear to live an unexamined life, cruising through the years without much reflection about what it means, and/or taking what life hands them and believing it’s all predestined.

Steve Blank

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.

Steve Blank

Startups are companies that are still in the process of searching for a business model. Ventures that are further along and executing their business models are no longer startups; they are early-stage companies.

Steve Blank

The business model is both the starting point and the scorecard for Customer Development progress.

Steve Blank

You can get a good handle on a company’s culture before you even get inside the building. For example, when companies say, ‘We value our employees’ but have reserved parking spots, a private cafeteria, and over-the-top offices for the executives, that tells you more than any PR spin.

Steve Blank

Customer discovery is the process of translating a founder’s vision for the company into hypotheses about each component of the business model and creating a set of experiments to test each hypothesis.

Steve Blank

Products are sold because they solve a problem or fill a need. Understanding problems and needs involves understanding customers and what makes them tick.

Steve Blank

Not all startups are alike. One of the key ways they differ is in the relationship between a startup’s new product and its market.

Steve Blank

With clear definitions and a taxonomy that illustrates their relationships, the Inventure Cycle defines the pathway from inspiration to implementation. This framework captures the skills, attitudes, and actions that are necessary to foster innovation and to bring breakthrough ideas to the world.

Steve Blank

In winning companies, everybody pulls in the same direction.

Steve Blank

Failure will happen. It’s a normal part of the startup process.

Steve Blank

Startups have finite time and resources to find product/market fit before they run out of money. Therefore startups trade off certainty for speed, adopting ‘good enough decision making’ and iterating and pivoting as they fail, learn, and discover their business model.

Steve Blank

Visionary CEOs don’t need someone else to demo the company’s key products for them. They deeply understand products, and they have their own coherent and consistent vision of where the industry/business models and customers are today, and where they need to take the company.

Steve Blank

Commencement Day has a sobering finality in that it’s the end of the prescribed path.

Steve Blank

Very often, if a founder is waiting around for someone else to tell him what to do, the company is near death.

Steve Blank

The stock market clearly values companies that can deliver disruptive innovation.

Steve Blank

First and deadliest of all is a founder’s unwavering belief that he or she understands who the customers will be, what they need, and how to sell it to them.

Steve Blank

The stock market clearly values companies that can deliver disruptive innovation.

Steve Blank

When your product solves a problem that costs customers sleep, revenue, or profits, things are definitely looking up.

Steve Blank

Market type influences everything a company does. Strategy and tactics for one market type seldom work for another.

Steve Blank

Market type determines the startup’s customer feedback and acquisition activities and spending. It changes customer needs, adoption rates, product features, and positioning as well as its launch strategies, channels and activities.

Steve Blank

In a web/mobile startup, coding is not an outsourced activity. It’s an integral part of the company’s DNA.

Steve Blank

Everyone on the founding team ought to invest the time in a coding bootcamp.

Steve Blank

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.

Steve Blank

As an entrepreneur, my problem was that I had too many ideas.

Steve Blank

My imagination ran 24/7, and to me, every problem was a challenge to solve and new product to create. It wasn’t until I started teaching that I realized that not everyone’s head worked the same way.

Steve Blank

Once you establish what activities your company needs to do, the next question is, ‘How do these activities get accomplished?’ i.e. what resources do I need to make the activities happen?

Steve Blank

We now understand the distinction between startups – who search for a business model – versus existing companies – that execute a business plan.

Steve Blank

Entrepreneurial education in grades K-12, if it exists at all, still focuses on teaching potential entrepreneurs small business entrepreneurship – the equivalent of ‘how to run a lemonade stand.’

Steve Blank

I have to think my success in the VC business was due in no small part to seeing Larry Ellison in action back in the day.

Steve Blank

Value Proposition Design is a ‘must have’ for anyone creating a new venture. It captures the core issues around understanding and finding customer problems and designing and validating potential solutions.

Steve Blank

The Value Proposition Canvas functions like a plug-in to the Business Model Canvas and zooms into the value proposition and customer segment to describe the interactions between customers and product more explicitly and in more detail.

Steve Blank

There’s nothing wrong with a business that supports you and perhaps an extended family. But if you want to build a scalable startup, you need to be asking how you can you get enough customers/users/payers to build a business that can grow revenues past several $100M/year.

Steve Blank

Creating a vertically oriented regional ecosystem is a pretty amazing accomplishment for any country or industry.

Steve Blank

What’s been missing from regions outside of Silicon Valley is a ‘playbook.’ In American football, a playbook contains a sports team’s strategies and plays. It struck me that every region needs its own industry playbook on how to compete globally.

Steve Blank

Each industry in a region should develop a playbook that expands and details the strategy and tactics of how to build a scalable startup.

Steve Blank

Unlike many other startup processes, Customer Development is deep, detailed, and rigorous.

Steve Blank

For Customer Development to succeed, everyone on the team – from investor or parent company to engineers, marketers and founders – needs to understand and agree that the Customer Development process is different to its core.

Steve Blank

Customer Development changes almost every aspect of startup behavior, performance, metrics, and, as often as not, success potential.

Steve Blank

Only by moving away from the comforts of your conference room to truly engage with and listen to your customers can you learn in depth about their problems, produce features to solve those problems, and learn what drives customers to recommend, approve, and purchase products.

Steve Blank

Any dispassionate observer would recognize that on Day One, a start-up has no customers, and unless the founder is a true domain expert, he or she can only guess about the customer, problem, and business model.

Steve Blank

Founders, presuming they know their customers, assume they know all the features customers need.

Steve Blank

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.