Steve Blank on Lean Startup inside big companies


Great conversation with Steve Blank on applying lean startup principles inside corporates. Short but insightful if you’re working in the domain of corporate entrepreneurship or innovation. Key insights:

  • Allocation of resources between horizon 1 (60-70%), horizon 2 (10-20), horizon 3 (5-10%)
  • Need company wide training program to support the ‘entrenched middle’: horizon 1 executors who don’t know how to
  • Incentive program needs to change to support horizon 3 innovations by current business models executors
  • Get HR involved to embed innovation in KPI’s, job descriptions and incentives
  • Incumbents are incentivized to execute on the short term, startups are incentivized to succeed at the long term
  • Data does not equal customers, in most business it is still required to see the human reaction
  • Great CEO’s do get out of the building and connect to customers
  • Metrics: have you identified hypothesis, validated customer segments, for each customer segment a articulated value proposition. Reference to Investment Readiness Level.
  • BMC ‘customer relationship’ box changes over time. On day one you have no customer, but you get, keep and grow them (acquisition and activation). Later you support and service them.
  • BMC ‘key partners’ box: they’re a partner if you share revenue with them in the beginning. Otherwise they are customers in the beginning. Box changes meaning over time.


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