Steve Blank serial entrepreneur, author of “Four Steps to the Epiphany,” and a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be speaking at TiE on Wednesday August 15, 2007. The event starts at 6pm and ends by 10pm, it will be held at the TiE Conference Center, in Suite 108 of 2903 Bunker Hill Lane, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Steve is an insightful and energetic speaker. His focus is on what he calls the “customer development” problem in startups, which is parallel to the product development problem, but much less well understood. Most engineering heavy startups focus primarily on technology and product development risks, ignoring that customer adoption, market size, and share of market are almost always the most significant risks a startup faces.
I am a huge fan of Steve and his book, and have blogged about him several times. He has the best methodology that I am aware of for startups who are in product definition and early market exploration. His techniques will also work for established firms launching new products. Tickets are $20 for members and $50 for non-members, cheap at twice the price as far as I am concerned. I hope to see you there.
- Twelve Books For Busy CEO: includes Blank’s Four Steps to Epiphany which outlines customer development.
- Sean Murphy SDForum Interview with Barbara Cass where I observed:
“What I tend to see are startup teams who have a firm grasp on technology and product development issues but are less clear on one or more of the key concepts for successful new product introduction. Bill Davidow’s “whole product” paradigm from his “Marketing High Technology” book is fundamental to understanding the different between selling an invention and marketing an innovation. Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” framework, best expressed in his “Inside the Tornado” book is the solid explanation of the evolution of technology markets. Clayton Christensen’s “sustaining vs. disruptive innovation” model in his “Innovator’s Dilemma” book is the best “anatomy lesson for a karate student,” explaining to startups how and where to attack an established firm. Steve Blank’s “Four Steps to the Epiphany” is filled with detailed checklists for how a startup team must distinguish between product development and customer development as they explore a new market.
- Getting Early Customer Feedback
- W. J. King’s “Unwritten Laws” Are Business Rules of Thumb.
Develop a “Let’s go see!” attitude Throughout your career people will approach you with all manner of real-life problems resulting from your work. A wonderfully effective response is to invite them to have a look with you–in other words, “Let’s go see!” It is seldom adequate to remain at one’s desk and speculate about causes and solutions and hope to sort it all out.
Steve Blank makes a similar point in “Four Steps to the Epiphany” when he says “there are no facts inside of the building, only opinions.” We often tell clients “You need to leave the BatCave (and not only talk to but listen to strangers!)
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