I-Corps @ NIH – Pivoting the Curriculum

We’ve pivoted our Lean LaunchPad / I-Corps curriculum. We’re changing the order in which we teach the business model canvas and customer development to better-fit therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices. — Over the last three years the Lean LaunchPad class has started to replace the last century’s “how to write a business plan” classes as […]

Pivot – Firing the Plan Not the People. 2 Minutes to See Why.

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Do Pivots Matter?

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
’ Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven In late 2013 Cowboy Ventures did an analysis of U.S.-based tech companies started in the last 10 years, now valued at $1 billion. They found 39 of these companies.  They […]

Vision versus Hallucination – Founders and Pivots

A founder’s skill is knowing how to recognize new patterns and to pivot on a dime. At times the pattern is noise, and the vision turns out to be a hallucination. Knowing how to sort between vision and  hallucination can avoid chaos inside your startup. ——— Yuri, one of my ex students started a big-data analytics company […]

Panic at the Pivot – Aligning Incentives By Burning the Boats

It’s a paradox, but early sales success in a startup can kill its chances of becoming a large successful company. The cause is often sales and marketing execs who’ve become too comfortable with an initial sales model and panic at the first sign of a Pivot. As a result they block new iterations of the […]

Consultants Don’t Pivot, Founders Do

Consultants can help startups leverage their limited resources.  But startups can shoot themselves in the foot when founders use consultants at the wrong time or in the wrong way.  Here’s why. Your Process Doesn’t Work A friend of mine asked me to chat with a startup he’d invested in.  “They’re deep into Customer Development,” he […]

Why Startups are Agile and Opportunistic – Pivoting the Business Model

Startups are the search to find order in chaos. Steve Blank At a board meeting last week I watched as the young startup CEO delivered bad news. “Our current plan isn’t working. We can’t scale the company. Each sale requires us to handhold the customer and takes way too long to close.  But I think […]

Rising out of the Crisis: Where to Find New Markets and Customers

The pandemic has upended the business models of most startups and existing companies. As the economy reopens companies are finding that customers may have disappeared or that their spending behavior has changed. Suppliers are going out of business or requiring cash-up-front terms. Accounts receivables are stretching way out. Revenue models and forecasts are no longer […]

Seven Steps to Small Business Recovery

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche The world is a different place than it was 90 days ago. Countries traded saving lives by shutting down most of their economy. Tens of millions who had jobs are now unemployed worrying about their future. Business owners large and small are struggling to find their […]

Hacking 4 Recovery

We’re holding a series of 5-day online classes at Stanford where teams will learn how to develop new business models for an economy that’s getting back to work and on the road to recovery.   Sign up at http://h4r.stanford.edu The post-pandemic world will be a very different place. The Covid-19 virus has upended traditional ways of doing […]