Steve Blank is probably most well known for this picture about embracing change:
Customer Development

Observations about Silicon Valley:

  • $500K is the new $5M
  • Seed Funds are providing entrepreneurial education
  • Customer Development / Lean Startup adoption:  We are all collectively getting smarter at a scary rate.

99.7% of all companies are <500 employees and employ half of the people in the country. In contrast, a scalable startup is designed to grow big and it typically needs risk capital.  (Note: venture capital was originally called “adventure capital.”)

Your job as an entrepreneur is to search for a scalable and repeatable business model.  Then build a business around it.  Founders depart before the company grows to a large business:

  1. Search
  2. Build
  3. Grow

No business plan survives contact with customers.

Startups search and pivot.  Small and large companies execute.

Startups should focus on:

  • metrics, not accounting.
  • customer validation, not sales.
  • customer development, not product management.
  • agile development, not engineering.

Lean startups use agile and customer development to find profits.  (A high percentage of company founders come from dysfunctional families, but that’s another topic.)

Why Accountants Don't Run Startups
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