Steve Blank is a driving force in innovation, helping to radically reshape how startups are built and how entrepreneurship is taught. His new Startup Owner's Manual is his latest addition for entrepreneurial practitioners. Steve created the Customer Development methodology that spawned the Lean Startup movement. He teaches entrepreneurship at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley and Columbia. His blog, steveblank.com, is "must" reading among entrepreneurs. In 2011, Steve created the Lean LaunchPad, a hands-on class using Customer Development to train students as well as elite teams of scientists and engineers selected and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Steve arrived in Silicon Valley in 1978, as boom times began, joining his first of eight startups. After 21 years the results were two deep craters, several "base hits," one massive "dot-com bubble" home run, and immense experiential learning that resulted his first break-through book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany.
Bob Dorf is a serial entrepreneur, founding his first success at age 22 and, since then, six more--"two homeruns, two base hits, and three great tax losses," as he puts it. He's advised and/or invested in a score more startups since. Dorf is often called the "midwife of Customer Development," having critiqued early drafts of The Four Steps to the Epiphany; he and Steve have been friends and colleagues ever since. Entrepreneurial from his teens, Bob received his last W-2 almost 40 years ago, when he quit his editor's job at New York's WINS Radio to launch his first successful startup. When he's not running K&S Ranch Consulting with Steve, Dorf teaches "Introduction to Venturing," on Customer Development and getting startups right, as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School.