Steve Blank on Silicon Valley, AI and the Future of Innovation


My Guest this week is Steve Blank. We spoke about the emergence of Silicon Valley, the future of innovation, Artificial intelligence and Lean Startup methodology.

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Steve Blank spent 21 years in 8 high technology companies. His last company E,piphany was started in his living room. Steve’s other startups include two semiconductor companies, Zilog and MIPS Computers, a workstation company Convergent Technologies, a consulting stint for Pixar, a supercomputer firm, Ardent, a computer peripheral supplier, SuperMac, a military intelligence systems supplier, ESL and a video game company, Rocket Science Games.

In 2001 Steve moved from being an entrepreneur to teaching entrepreneurship.
He teaches at at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford’s MS&E department and the Columbia University/Berkeley Joint Executive MBA program.

Steve is the author of the Four Steps to the Epiphany, Holding a Cat by the Tail and The Startup Owner’s Manual.

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  1. Thank you for this discussion! It’s really inspiring to hear about how Silicon Valley started, and how Stanford became a giant incubator.

    I wonder what you see as the next evolutionary step in entrepreneurship and creating startups? My bet is on going from single startup production to mass-production of innovative companies. The big challenge in the traditional startup building way is that every time you want to create a new company, you need to build a new team, look for funding etc etc. This might work well in the Valley, but in most parts of the world the needed resources (talent, capital, ideas) are too scarce.

    But the approach that Idealab pioneered, and that is now taking off everywhere is a good answer to these problems. In a so called startup studio you use your centralized team to create multiple startups in parallel – using Lean Startup and other best practices. And this approach is improving the efficiency of the build process, and mitigates the impact of failure.

    I was fortunate enough to research this topic in the last few years. And after interviewing dozen of the most successful startup studio examples we created a book to highlight the stories and best practices, with the goal to make this approach more transparent. Please have a look at the Startup Studio Playbook, and discover how the startup studio approach can benefit you:


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