The April issue of Harvard Business Review features a must-read article from Steve Blank on the acclaimed Lean Startup Methodology being deployed widely in the technology venture development circles. This is an especially exciting development for two reasons:
1) While HBR has published widely on management issues faced by large and established companies, it hasn’t been known for its relevance to the startup world (until now), and
2) It casts a much-needed spotlight on a disciplined process that has received a lot of attention, namely for its proven results in minimizing wasted development investment prior to vetting the business model.
At the heart of this technique is the rigorous, and oft times brutally honest, customer development process in validating, refining and finding the customer value proposition and associated business model that makes the most economic sense. National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance has been managing the scale up of the National Science Foundation’s use of this methodology as it relates to its I-Corp research grant recipients. In addition, NCIIA and Epicenter (National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation) are about to hold a third workshop for University faculty to learn directly from Steve Blank, who teaches University venture teams at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University, Columbia University, Caltech and the Joint Berkeley/Columbia Executive MBA program. The workshop, called, Lean LaunchPad Educators, will be held from June 18 – 20 in the Bay Area. There’s one slated for the East Coast in late September as well. These tend to sell out, so make your favorite faculty person aware. There may be opportunities for Student Ambassadors to attend future versions of this workshop. If you’re a Student Ambassador interested in this opportunity, let me know.
Read Steve’s blog post and access the HBR article here.