Steve Blank: Rethinking the Lean Startup (And What Comes Next)

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In 2013, Steve Blank, Stanford Professor and one of three co-founders of the Lean Startup Movement, wrote a front-cover article for Harvard Business Review entitled, “Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything.” It was a call to action for large companies to embrace the lean startup methodology of innovation. But after spending the past seven years working with large companies, Blank now believes his initial thesis was wrong. Large companies are not bigger versions of startups anymore so than startups are smaller versions of large companies. Applying lean startup methods in large companies creates “innovation theater” and not real innovation. Blank joins the podcast to talk about his next big idea for business: the Innovation Doctrine. He describes the fundamental changes large organizations need to make to their thinking, leadership, and structure to innovate faster than competitors and the perpetual disruption happening around them.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • The core differences between startups and big companies
  • The origins of the Customer Development Method and a brief overview of the Lean Startup Movement
  • The key aspects of the Innovation Doctrine and how it aligns with current business methodologies
  • Why companies need rule books to draw innovation from the “frozen middle”
  • Why a dysfunctional upbringing can be an asset for entrepreneurs or anyone operating in a chaotic environment
  • Life and work lessons Steve learned from serving in the Vietnam War