Conversation on Innovation with Steve Blank

Conversation on Innovation with Steve Blank

03.19.13Ron Ashkenas

'Lean startup' dynamics follow the same principles that Schaffer has used for more than 50 years with organizations of all sizes

Schaffer Consulting recently hosted a conversation on innovation with Steve Blank, entrepreneur, professor, and the father of the lean startup movement (The Startup Owner's Manual). Steve described how large, established organizations can leverage practices perfected in successful startups to innovate within their companies.

In the discussion moderated by Schaffer partner, Ron Ashkenas, Steve explained how:

  • Big companies mainly execute on known business models, while startup ventures search for currently unknown business models that are scalable and repeatable.
  • When innovating, failure is a pre-requisite for success. Expecting every new business venture to succeed - whether a startup or an established company venture - is magical thinking. You can raise the odds of success by engaging in a disciplined, agile search for the right business model.
  • No new business model survives its first contact with the customer. Instead, starting with a business model canvas that summarizes all the hypotheses underpinning how the business will deliver value and make money, will lead to greater success.

'Lean startup' dynamics follow the same principles that Schaffer has used for more than 50 years with organizations of all sizes. We have shown how even large companies can use these practices to deliver innovation in three dimensions: Product, Process, and Business Model. By testing new ideas in the real world – using low cost, minimally engineered versions of an idea to learn and adjust through numerous iterations of "failing fast and cheap" – companies can deliver dramatic results quickly. Then, to deliver on the ultimate goal of scalable, sustainable innovation, they can leverage big-company efficiencies and integrate these enhancements into business as usual.

Leave a Comment

COMMENTS
VIEW MORE COMMENTS