“The Lean Approach Videos” by Steve Blank and Kauffman FoundersSchool

April 18, 2014

Kauffman FoundersSchool and Steve Blank’s Lean Approach video series on YouTube

  • The Lean Approach: Introduction, 1:06
  • The Lean Approach: The Lean Method, 5:22
    • 0:50: There are No Facts Inside Your Building — Get Outside
    • 1:28: Using the Business Model Canvas
    • 1:49: Use Customer Development to Test Your Hypotheses
    • 2:44: What is a Pivot?
    • 4:24: No Business Plan Survives First Contact with Customers
  • The Lean Approach: Getting Out of the Building: Customer Development, 5:45
    • 0:24: What is Customer Development?
    • 1:09: How Do You Start the Customer Development Process?
    • 1:36: Customer Discovery is a Series of Conversations
    • 2:05: The Founder and Customer Development
    • 3:16: Real World Example of Customer Development
  • The Lean Approach: Customer Development Data, 2:13
    • 0:31: Designing Experiments to Test Hypotheses
    • 0:48: Doing Customer Discovery Without Collecting Data is a Sin
    • 1:06: Insight is Key
    • 1:49: Why Accountants Don’t Run Startups
  • The Lean Approach: Minimum Viable Products, 5:53
    • 0:18: What is a Minimum Viable Product?
    • 0:38: What to Test, Why to Test and How to Test
    • 2:05: You’re Not Building a Product … You’re Getting Customer Feedback
    • 2:53: Use MVPs to Run Experiments
    • 4:15: Real World Example of an MVP
  • The Lean Approach: Customer Acquisition and Archetypes, 9:07
    • 0:47: Get, Keep and Grow Customers
    • 1:00: Create Customer Demand
    • 1:46: Customer Archetypes: Getting to Know Your Customers
    • 3:35: Matching Archetypes to Acquisition
    • 5:28: Growing Customers: The Lifetime Value
    • 7:35: The Biggest Mistake in Customer Acquisition

Blog posts by Steve Blank describing the videos.

Your Clever Password Tricks Aren’t Prot

April 15, 2014

Your Clever Password Tricks Aren’t Protecting You from Today’s Hackers by Lifehacker http://ow.ly/vJdm7

Branding Immersion for Engineers (It’s About People )

April 6, 2014

What the !@#$ is modern Branding?

Brand Thinking by @debbiemillman is very useful for Engineers. http://ow.ly/sra9u thx @brainpicker

I keep meaning to write up a deeper post on this book. I really like this book because it is a collection of interviews from Brand experts over a wide range of experiences and applications. It has modern guys; like Dan Pink, Seth Godin, and Malcolm Gladwell and business examples from guys at Starbucks, Nike, and Coca Cola.

The key insight for me is that Branding is about “People and Problems they have” —

Page 210. Bill Moggridge. It’s interesting that as so many things change around us, the evolution of technologies, social relationships, and so on simarly change very fast. But that basic principle of human centered design — “start with people” — you can rely on it.

R.I.P Bernard Daines. I’m so sad.

April 3, 2014

R.I.P Bernard Daines. I’m so sad. He was a courageous leader. He showed us where we needed to go. http://ow.ly/vp09Q

Thank You All — LLP Genomics 1Q 2014 –

March 14, 2014


I’d like to thank all the people that made this LLP workshop “happen”. It was demanding, practical, painful, fun and the best one I’ve participated in. The workshop touched over 150 people!

Genomics.Entrepreneurship @ UBC

First I’d like to thank Andrea Lloyd for letting me do my version of the Lean LaunchPad with her group Genomics.Entrepreneurship@UBC for a second time.

Also for being crazy enough to support a team from Calgary!

Thank You Andrea!


Second I’d like to thank Andy Talbot for supporting me in the classroom and growing e@UBC. He seamlessly filled in all my “gaps” (yet again).

Thank You Andy.

Also — Thank You to e@UBC staffers Sean Lumb & Serena Johnson and Sauder’s Paul Cubbon!

The Teams

Without you we’d have no workshop. Thanks for all the hard work! You did get out of the building for 109 interviews! Pretty good for small teams. Yay!

Thank You to Andira, FREDsense, Remterex, Singularis, and X-Ray.

I’m sure you’ve had enough of my words and requests. <smile>

I’d also like to single out David Lloyd (FREDsense) and Dana Lambert (Andira) for setting a new standard and exceeding my expectations. You two did great work!

The Mentors

A HUGE Thank You to Peter Payne, Doug Johnson, Jennifer Thompson, Rob Foxall, and Blair Simonite. Thanks for supporting the teams and all-around-”kicking-!@#”. I’d like to single out Rob for participating remotely in Calgary.

Family, Friends, & Supporters

There was a large group of friends and family who helped out when called upon.

Thank You to Andrew Stuart of Isowater, Jim Farmilo of Isowater, Harman Bajwa of Ismoip, Tom Dorazio of Superna Life Sciences, Nancy Lin and Julia Zu of Sunberry Fitness, Eric Adams, Geof Auchinleck, Scott Phillips of Starfish and more for taking calls with the teams and/or being available for calls that didn’t materialize.

g.e@UBC Staffers

  • Thank You Bahar Salehpour for the video.
  • Thank You Katie Verigin for the interview questions.
  • Thank You Jamie Hall for “sneaking in” and making yourself useful/invisible with the IT and your ongoing support.


I hope that I didn’t miss anyone.

How To Develop Your “Business Model Canvas” Plan-of-Record (PoR)

March 3, 2014

Positioning your product, and work, with respect to time for your customers is extremely important. I like teams to have a single slide “Plan-of-Record” (PoR) which illustrates the “whole product” over an 18 month period. The concept is to capture all the “deliverables” implied by your Business Model Canvas, especially the “Customer Relationships” section. The PoR can be used as a “Roadmap” by noting items you’ve committed to, items you’re are planning to do next, and items you are exploring. The audience for this slide is primarily your customers. They drive it, you review it with them, and edit it accordingly. It is also used for review with your team and investors to illustrate what you need to do based on customer feedback. You are not looking for your teams, or investors, feedback; you are looking for their commitment to support this work. You are “firmly” telling them what needs to be done based on what you’ve learned from your market.

Plan-of-Record (PoR) Details

  • bottom most row — your “product” — the obvious stuff.

  • upper layers – all the stuff you need to “get, keep, and grow” your business. These are signficant deliverables which may require resources equal to, or exceeding your R&D. They may even include R&D. Remember when I showed that SG&A is more than 2x R&D. So be careful with your resources and stick to “sketches” and “rough” drafts of these items for now. We need to determine what “Customer Relationship” items work and which ones don’t for your current work.

  • Upper Layers Ideas

    • selling materials – user manuals, technical whitepapers, financial whitepapers, usage scenarios, thank you notes, etc
    • technical materials – stuff you need to connect your product to an existing product, how do you prove your product works with other products in a system?
    • Hypotheses for these items are derived from your Customer Segments, Value Proposition, Day in the Life of the Customer (today) & (tomorrow) work. The Value Proposition Designer and Lean Canvas are very useful for drilling down into these areas.

Reference List Of Possible “Customer Relationship” Deliverables

Capturing Time & Road-mapping

  • focus on next 18 months.
  • color coding for “roadmap” effect – “green” = committed, “yellow” = planned, “grey” = exploring.
  • the items we are “really” exploring right now are the “upper layer” communication materials. Your product (MVP) is NOT the most important item.

Example — Internet Semiconductor Product

  • it doesn’t have very good color coding. — it is all green because it’s all “committed”.
  • bottom row — “the chip” — has three phases (alpha, beta, production). It’s in blue to separate it from the “Customer Relationship” deliverables.
  • the chip fits into a system – there are three documents describing this system — 1. a system brief (block diagrams), 2. full design, 3. tested design.
  • the chip and system require software – there are versions in time
  • the software is delivered via a partner so I show it in another color.
  • the chip and system fit into a bigger system which requires compliance to industry standards – three documents – test plan document, test plan .ppt, test plan results.
  • Standards – discussion of standards used and possibly discussion of work our team has been being doing within the standards group.
  • financials and credibility documents.

PoR Graphic

Examples for Teams in our Cohort

Team 1

  • product roadmap- lab demo (green – committed), portable demo ( yellow-planned), portable product gov’t (grey-exploratory), portable product oil (grey-exploratory)
  • System – your usage scenarios and/or markets. How does it all fit together?
  • Application Documents – test plan design, test plan, test results
  • Standards – Which standards are you testing to? Which standards can you participate in? Talk like you’re an expert.
  • Value & ROI – materials for VP and CEOs.

Team 2

  • product – what you have now (green), planned ( yellow ), exploring (grey)
  • system – how does your pipeline fit into a “microbes”, “cancer”, etc.
  • application documents / testmonials – details of how your product works for a specific segment like “microbes” or “cancer”
  • Standards – Are there standards bodies or interest groups? How do you participate?
  • Value & ROI?

Team 3

  • product roadmap?
  • system fit?
  • application documents?
  • Standards? Interest Groups?
  • Financial?

Team 4

  • product roadmap ( You have high level flow … where are you in it? what have you committed to? What are you planning? exploring? )
  • system fit? ( Your Patch Sketch)
  • application documents? ( Is there a part of the patch sketch that needs detail? )
  • Standards? Interest Groups? ( who are they? can you participate? should you?)
  • Financial?

Team 5

  • product roadmap?
  • system fit?
  • application documents?
  • Standards?
  • Financial?

Steve Blank’s Life Science LLP – Medical Devices, Therapeutics, Diagnostics, and Digital Health

January 31, 2014

Steve Blank ran a Reinventing Life Sciences Lean LaunchPad in the Fall of 2013. Here are all the blog posts associated with it.

Introduction — Reinventing Life Science Startups

During Workshop — Lessons Learned — LLP for Life Science

Wrap Up — Lesson’s Learned


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