Two Giant Steps Forward For Entrepreneurs

While entrepreneurship is in the news fairly regularly, I seldom make news myself.  Today, however there are two important updates for entrepreneurs everywhere.  Let me be brief…

The “Startup Owner’s Manual” goes On Press Tuesday 2/14
Two years in the making and literally ten years in development, I’m proud to announce that my new book, The Startup Owners Manual, goes onto the printing press next Tuesday.  This 608-page work is, as its subtitle says, “the step-by-step guide for building a great company.”  It’s the result of a decade of me learning from 1,000’s of entrepreneurs, corporate partners, students and scientists the best practices of what wins in startups. I’ve spent the last two years cramming knowledge into this new book.

In brief, the The Startup Owners Manual is far more detailed and more readable than Four Steps to the Epiphany, (most of the sentences are even finished!).  In fact, you could say that all that remains from my last book are the four steps of Customer Development.  Briefly, the new book:

  • Integrates Alexander Osterwalders “Business Model Canvas” as the front-end and “scorecard” for the customer discovery process.
  • Provides separate paths and advice for web/mobile products versus physical products
  • Offers a ton of detail and great tips on how to get, keep, and grow customers, recognizing that this happens very differently between web and physical channels.
  • and finally it teaches a “new math” for startups: “metrics that matter.”
While MBA’s have had a stack of texts to help them “execute” a business model, this book joins the growing library of books for practitioners for the “search” for the business model.

The Lean LaunchPad Online Class
My online Lean LaunchPad class has created a lot of buzz this week. As you may have heard, I was deep into the production of the lectures when I realized I was producing the wrong class.  The online class was originally based on my book The Four Steps to the Epiphany.

Only when I held the draft of my latest book, The Startup Owners Manual, in my hands, did it dawn on me that my online students deserved all the latest best practices of entrepreneurship and Customer Development. Not the stuff I taught a decade ago, but all that I’ve learned teaching the Lean LaunchPad in front of students at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and the National Science Foundation in the last year.  And I particularly wanted to incorporate everything I’ve spent two years integrating into The Startup Owners Manual into the class.

So apologies to all of you who were expecting the class this month.  I hope to get the updated version online in the next 60 days.  I’ll keep you updated on this blog as we record our lectures.

In the meantime, if you want to prepare for the class…or get a jump on your startup competition, you can start reading the “recommended text” for the online class right now by ordering my new book.  It is recommended—not required—reading for the free online course, and I believe it will be immensely helpful to the startup community at large.

Lessons Learned

  • Startups search for business models, exisitng companies execute them
  • There are tons of texts about execution, but a paucity of practical ones for founders on how to search
  • The Startup Owners Manual is the definitive reference book for founders, investors and everyone interested in startups
  • The Lean Launchpad on-line class will be based on the new book

88 Responses

  1. Any chance an ebook version is in the works?

  2. Looking forward to the “book”, but when will the Kindle version be available?

    • I had the same thought. Was going to preorder, but will wait until there’s an ebook version.

  3. Good work Steve! I’m looking forward to reading it and am glad to hear you wove the business model canvas work into the book.

  4. Dear Steve,
    Will it be available as an e-book?

  5. Can’t wait to read the book!

  6. Awesome!

    Will there be an ebook version?

    Many of us are quickly transitioning away from physical books to ebooks (particularly the Kindle). I have many friends who no longer buy physical books.

    Or do you feel that as a reference book, this should be bought and read in physical form for faster skimming?

  7. Hey Steve,

    Good to know The Startup Owners Manual, goes onto the printing press next week. And thanks for the update about Lean Launchpad class. I was wondering why it hasn’t begun up till now! I’m looking forward to watch the lectures soon. Good luck with your book.

  8. Steve,

    Great news. I’d been wondering why the “Feb 2012” start time didn’t seem to be happening.

    Two comments:

    a) If I ordered that book from, it would cost the same again in postage to get it here to the UK (~$73 in total, plus possible import duty). Any chance you could make it available as an ebook?

    b) The book isn’t showing up under any searches for your name or the book’s title in Amazon US or UK at all? should it be appearing there yet?


    • Rachel,

      For now, because we’re only in the limited first printing, the book is only available at

      It will be widely available from multiple sources in the 2nd half of the year.


      • Steve,

        Thanks for that, Im signed up to the lean startup online class as well so this might help me along a bit!

        I’ll order the book tonight and look forward to my valentine days surprise from you… the book that is.

  9. WIll this ship to the UK from this order form Steven? And would there be any chance of a signed copy 🙂

    Definitely interested in this, I love the original and this sounds a great revision.

    • Michael,

      Yes we ship to the UK. See here For a signed copy, bring your copy to any talk I give on either side of the pond. Sorry!

      Thanks for your kind words.



      • Hi Steve,

        Shipping to UK is almost same as the book again! $72 in total, I’ll hold off till the eBook or shipping via Amazon direct gets better, international shipping is way too expensive sometimes.

    • Free shipping is available if you order the book from here.

      • Now that is a thing of beauty to a scots man, free shipping! Thanks for the link Steve, Preordered and awaiting delivery!

      • Thank you!!! I was about to write saying that shipping via amazon to Australia is about the same price as the book so the link came pretty handy!! in the process of buying now.

  10. Sounds amazing. Any chance of a Kindle edition?

  11. Please tell us there will be some Kindle or e-edition version that will be lighter than that big heavy hardback!

  12. Will there be a PDF version available?

  13. I’m sure this book will be the new bible of Start-ups. Are we going to have an e-version of this book?

  14. The book sounds great and just what is needed for the men and women working on a startup. We are looking for a textbook for our networking site to use with all types of startups, from mom and pop operations, new product development and manufacturing, to advanced Internet concepts. I believe the lessons taught for the high-tech and high-growth startups can be applied to all types of startups for the benefit of the entrepreneurs and the investors. The more successful startups we create, the greater growth we will see in jobs and the economy, which is good for all Americans.

  15. Dear Steve,

    I’m a regular reader of your blog, but it’s the first time I see a mention of the online class. Did I miss something? Where exactly is it going to be available?

    And I’m definitely joining everyone’s request for an e-book.


  16. Hey Steve!

    Is there any way we could get this as an ebook?

    The mail here in Brazil is terrible and I’ve lost many a book from Amazon. My iPad Kindle app saved the day as I no longer have to worry about receiving what I order.



  17. Lots of great questions whether an e-book edition of The Startup Owners Manual will be available.

    The short answer for the long term is we hope so.

    The short answer for the short term is no.

    I am going to be focusing my next efforts next on:
    1) getting the Lean LaunchPad on-line class up and running.
    2) scaling the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps from 21 teams in 2011 to running at 200 teams/year the end of 2012.
    3) developing and teaching a corporate entrepreneurship class at Columbia this spring.


  18. Talked to Steve back in nov/dec, and he said at the time that this book would be available for Kindle.

  19. Goes on press 2/14 – isn’t that Valentine’s Day?

  20. For those of you outside of the U.S. I just added a free shipping option if you order from here.


  21. This is awesome! I just placed my pre-order. Four Steps was a tough read in some places so I’m glad to hear about the improved editing. 😉

    Thanks for taking the time to update the lean launchpad class to reflect the most recent knowledge and learning. I’m looking forward to it.

  22. Hi,

    I’m working on something that’s… well, maybe not a “startup” in the Silicon Valley sense, but to make a long story short, we do Kindle conversions and formatting, and I’d be happy to take this on for free if you want to get in touch:

    I really don’t suppose money is the issue, but whatever it is, we’d be happy to help as much as possible.

    Why? Beyond the obvious value of getting to read the book, buying paper books from abroad (I live in Italy) is expensive, slow, and leaves me with more stuff to drag up and down stairs every time I move. Which is part of what got me into the eBook business in the first place…

    • @steveblank I’d be very happy if you could reply “yes” to this kind offer and contact David, because I know he’s great in what he does (and I’m not in any way involved with his business), moreover I could bet that it would take less time for him to craft a perfect ebook than for Book Depository and carbon-powered shipping services to reach my home in the south of Italy if I order it now.
      And I’m saying that as a happy customer of several books from Book Depository.

  23. I would like to know whether the lean launchpad class is available for FREE via net? I mean, will the lecture presentations be available online and if so, where?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • Ndungu,
      Yes, the Lean LaunchPad class will be available for free.

      As to where, check back to this blog and when we know we’ll make a big announcement.


  24. It is good that you’ve incorporated your recent teaching and experience in this new book. I look forwarding to reading it.

  25. Hello Steve–

    I live full time as a nomad, I literally have all my possessions in a backpack. Been living this way for four years while doing our startup– its a lot cheaper to live outside the USA which means lower burn rate, and a better understanding of our international customers.

    I don’t have a kindle, and will not be getting one.

    I’ll buy and read the first book you release for the iBooks platform.

    I think there are probably many thousands more people that will read your books if you make kindle and iBooks versions— plus Apple just made it really easy with iBooks Author. You should be able to import your book, and have a college student or someone lay it out for you.

    Doing an ebook version will be much more effective at reaching your audience, I believe.

    Best wishes.

  26. I find it interesting that Steve, who conceptualized Customer Development, isn’t releasing an ebook version. I’ve gone as far as scan in some parts of 4 steps (i.e. solving my own problem) just so I can have a digital copy. I also regularly search torrent sites in the hope that someone has scanned in your entire book. I have 3 copies of 4 Steps but I’ll gladly buy another if I could find a digital copy somewhere.

  27. Reblogged this on Vcjha's Blog and commented:
    I am happier now..:)

  28. I am eagerly anticipating the new book which I’ve ordered.

    How do I sign up for the online class? Since I am teaching Lean Startup Classes on my own in Atlanta, I would be thrilled to learn exactly what is going on behind the slides you’ve been generous to post.

  29. Congarts Steve.

    Will buy and read this, once done with Four Steps….
    And looking forward for the online session of Lean Launchpad.

    Best Wishes,

  30. Hey Steve,

    Huge fan of your work. Unfortunately the site : says they ship worldwide but upon purchase I promptly got:

    “We can’t ship to that country Unfortunately we are currently unable to ship to the country you have have selected.”

    Is there anyway someone can ‘onward’ forward it to me (Kenya)? my workaround for this issue is usually ‘e-books’ which is not available for your book for now.


  31. Getting it directly from you is $39.95, but from Book Depository it is $29.96.

    Why the price discrepancy?

  32. Can we please just have an ebook?

  33. Can we please just have an ebook. In face charge me $50 (or $60) for the ebook.

    I really want to read your book. I DON”T want to be stuck with a paper book. Steve, do your bit for the environment, please.

  34. Steve, congratulations on the new book and thanks for the arranging a free international shipping option.

  35. Who did the artwork on the cover? Was it repurposed from an existing automobile owner’s manual? The exploded view of an engine is an interesting metaphor for the complexity and rich interaction set of the various elements of a startup.

  36. May I pirate the book if I promise to buy *two* from my first earnings?

  37. Looking forward to this latest and greatest in entrepreneurial cookbooks. I’m almost done with the first edition, so I guess I’d better step it up! 🙂

    BTW, I am all for *paper* books. Yes, paper, that stuff you can use to turn a page, earmark, doodle on and highlight and finally display on a prominent shelf so all your friends can know how smart you are 😉

  38. Waiting for it to show up on Amazon to pre-order.

    • Scott,
      We’ll get Amazon up in another month or so.

      This was an offer to anyone who needed early access and want to get a head-start.


      • Will B&N deliver as soon as ordering from your site or the Book Depository would, or is it on the same schedule as Amazon?

        • Michael,
          B&N and Book Depository order books from Ingram, who orders books directly from us.

          In contrast, the orders from our site go directly to our printing plant where it gets shipped directly to you.

          The B&N and Book Depository shipments are indirect.

          hope this helps,

          • That *does* help, thanks. What kind of delay (ballpark is fine) do you think we should we expect if we order from B&N or Book Depository?

          • Michael,

            Great question, but unfortunately until the Ingram>Book Depository pipeline fills I have no visibility on their process. I’ll post delivery times as soon as we find them out.


    • Hi Scott, Amazon says they will make books available within 4 to 6 weeks after they are set up by Ingram. My book, Launch America! Reviving the American Dream took only 2 weeks to get processed and put up on Amazon once I listed it with Ingram through Lightning Source. E book is coming so I will let you know how long that process takes. Steve’s book must have a lot of links and that can take some time to process and set up. You can follow the daily progress of how long and what it takes to convert to the ebook on the Forum for Authors and Publishers.

  39. 1. Will it be possible to attend a paid version of The Lean LaunchPad Online Class with opportunities to ask you (and not someone else) questions?

    2. If not, do you offer paid private lessons over Skype? A great way to improve your book and get paid at the same time. Also, you would know you are talking a customer that sees the product as a must have.

    3. If none of the above, is it possible to apply for any course you give anywhere without the need to enroll for other classes as well?

  40. Steve, heads up: the initial link for the book leads to an “account suspended” error message.

    • Thanks, the good news is that the number of orders exceeded our server capacity.
      Should be fixed now.


      • Yes, that’s one of those “quality problems” you actually enjoy fixing.

        Looking forward to the book, both for my own startups and my students’.

  41. Why is “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” so hard to read?…

    Probably because it wasn’t intended as a book–it was just Steve Blank’s course notes: > After I retired, I began teaching Customer Development, a theory of how to reduce early stage risk in entrepreneurial ventures. The first time I taught the class…

  42. Steve, I’m curious as to what platform are you planning to use to offer your Lean LaunchPad Online Class? Have you decided on one yet?

  43. […] Free enrollment in Seattle’s Stanford Lean Startup class meetings this spring. This will include the book it’s based on: Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank. […]

  44. Already order my copy. Free shipping is always welcome :).

  45. I should have been more patient :/ Just got an email saying my order has shipped!

  46. […] the Lean Launchpad Class and […]

  47. My copy of the Startup Owners Manual arrived yesterday!!! Enthralling read and I’m so excited to make my dent in the world. Thanks Steve for this wonderful guidebook.

  48. Steve,

    I’m a huge fan and am eagerly waiting for my copy of the Startup Owner’s Manual.

    I have a quick question: You say MBA students have good books on how to execute a business model. Can you share a couple of these, as I’m interested in this as well.

    thank you

  49. Hello Steve, i’ve ordered the book and i can’t wait for reading. The last week Amazon confirmed its shipping. Best regards from Colombia

  50. Hello, Steve,
    My partner James Cook (Brigadier General Army Reserves) and I have solutions for creating resilience in returning veterans and commiting large numbers of environmental warriors to environmental missions in
    US and globally. Look forward to future dialogue!
    All the best to you,
    Vera McCaughan

  51. Hi Steve,
    Im new to your work but its changing the way i approach business.

    Im very interested in your latest book but dissapointed about the lack of ebook (Kindle specifically but anything is good).

    You have had free offers above to create the ebook version. Im sure you typed the book on a computer rather than quill and ink. Any update on timing?


  52. […] Chapter 1 of Steve Blank’s The Startup Owner’s Manual, he describes “The 9 Deadly Sins of the New Product Introduction Model.” In startup marketing, […]

  53. Hi Steve, the European community is dreaming to get “The Startup Bible” on ebook. Is there any recent update on this topic? Thank you/Merci/Gracias!

  54. […] In one of my previous posts, I told you about my conspiranoic thoughts on Steve Blank’s free online course on coursera. There was plenty of visitors UFO-watching with me in that comment. Thank you for listening. First I have to retract my hypotesis, since Steve Blank himself spoke up and taught us about his latest works. […]

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