A RETIRED EIGHT-TIME SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR, Steve’s insight that startups are not small versions of large companies is reshaping the way startups are built and how entrepreneurship is taught. His observation that large companies execute business models, but startups search for them, led him to realize that startups need their own tools, different than those used to manage existing companies.
Steve’s first tool for startups, the Customer Development methodology, spawned the Lean Startup movement. The fundamentals of Customer Development are detailed in Blank’s first book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany (2003), which together with his blog, steveblank.com, is considered required reading among entrepreneurs, investors and established companies throughout the world. His second book, The Startup Owner’s Manual, was published in March 2012. It is a step-by-step guide to building a successful company that incorporates the best practices, lessons and tips that have swept the startup world since The Four Steps was published.
Blank teaches Customer Development and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School and Columbia University, and his Customer Development process is taught at Universities throughout the world. In 2011, he developed the Lean LaunchPad, a hands-on class that integrates Business Model design and Customer Development into practice through fast-paced, real-world customer interaction and business model iteration. In 2011, the National Science Foundation adopted Blank’s class for its Innovation Corps (I-Corps), training teams of the nation’s top scientists and engineers, to take their ideas out of the university lab and into the commercial marketplace. The San Jose Mercury News listed him as one of the 10 Influencers in Silicon Valley.
Steve arrived in Silicon Valley in 1978, as boom times began. He joined his first of eight startups including two semiconductor companies, Zilog and MIPS Computers; Convergent Technologies; a consulting stint for Pixar; a supercomputer firm, Ardent; peripheral supplier, SuperMac; a military intelligence systems supplier, ESL; Rocket Science Games. Steve co-founded startup number eight, E.piphany, in 1996.
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