I recently stumbled upon a video of a conference that took place in San-Francisco titled Startup lessons learned. At first I thought that this is just another watered down video of people with big/self-help ideas such as, if you want to make it – get up and do it, plan for success, early bird catches the … you get it. What struck me most about this conference was that the presenters either built (and some even sold) successful startups. They didn’t get on stage to do their sales pitch presentation about their company but rather walked you through their real life successes and failures, and presented a clear roadmap of “how we got here”.

Though I never thought about them in these terms, three important concepts became clear to me – it felt like being introduced to a person that looked familiar but I never knew his name.

First concept was that startups need the ability to pivot fast if something doesn’t work according to “plan”.

Second was the process of customer development (as opposed to product development).

Third was that “Why accountants don’t run startups

The third concept was the keynote video by Steve Blank (Steven Gary Blank). Steve explains vividly and at great detail ideas about: being an entrepreneur, why having cash-flow and balance sheets is pointless for startups, what is the roll of most entrepreneurs in the cycle of the business, and many other interesting ideas packed into a 45 min presentation. I recently started reading his book titled – “Four Steps to the Epiphany” and at page 10 I can already tell you that this is a bible.

I found god. His name is Steve

P.S. The other videos there of entrepreneurs are also very helpful and I strongly recommend you watch them if you are serious about pivoting, customer development and building a successful startup.

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