100+ Inspirational Steve Blank Quotes [2022] American Entrepreneur & Educator

100+ Inspirational Steve Blank Quotes [2022] American Entrepreneur & Educator

Steve Blank is an American Business Entrepreneur, Educator, Speaker, Author, and Lecturer.

Steve Blank's Lean Launchpad entrepreneurship methodology class has become the standard for commercialization for all federal research and has trained 1,900 teams and launched 1,000+ startups.

Blank's Hacking for Defense class has been adopted by the United States Department of Defense.

We've put together an incredible collection of Steve Blank quotes to read.

Here they are:


List of Inspiring Steve Blank Quotes

“Along the journey we commonly forget its goal.” - Steve Blank

“Attempting to impose precise order on how a project in a department is accomplished stifles creativity and leads to a formalistic approach to business problems.” - Steve Blank

“Being a great entrepreneur means finding the path through the fog, confusion, and myriad of choices.” - Steve Blank

“Customer Development is damn hard work. You can’t fake it. You can’t just do the slides or “do” the process in a weekend. It’s a full-time, full-body-contact sport.” - Steve Blank

“Facts live outside the building, where future customers live and work.” - Steve Blank

“Half-life of a startup VP of Sales is about nine months.” - Steve Blank

“Imagine you were able to help customers justify the ROI for your product. That would be pretty powerful, wouldn’t it?” - Steve Blank

“In a startup, no facts exist inside the building, only opinions.” - Steve Blank

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.” - Steve Blank

“trying to micromanage employees slows decisions and kills individual initiative. Attempting to impose precise order on how a project in a department is accomplished stifles creativity and leads to a formalistic approach to business problems.” - Steve Blank

“Market type influences everything a company does.” - Steve Blank

“Design Experiments and Test to Validate Your Hypotheses.” - Steve Blank

“Develop a Reference Story.” - Steve Blank

“A startup is not a smaller version of a large company. A startup is a temporary organization in search of a scalable, repeatable, profitable business model.” - Steve Blank

“All new companies and new products begin with an almost mythological vision—a hope of what could be, with a goal few others can see.” - Steve Blank

“In short, in big companies, the product spec is market-driven; in startups, the marketing is product-driven.” - Steve Blank

“One of the mistakes entrepreneurs make in this step is confusing motion with action.” - Steve Blank

“Positioning your product against the slew of existing competitors is accomplished by adroitly picking the correct product features where you are better.” - Steve Blank

“Reduce startup infant mortality by making everything you do less wasteful and more cash-efficient.” - Steve Blank

“Remember, the goal of customer discovery is to refine a business model enough to test it on a larger scale in the next step, customer validation.” - Steve Blank

“No Business Plan Survives First Contact with Customers So Use a Business Model Canvas.” - Steve Blank

“Startups demand execs who are comfortable with uncertainty, chaos, and change—with presentations and offers changing daily.” - Steve Blank

“Technology is adopted in phases by distinct groups: technology enthusiasts, visionaries, pragmatists, conservatives, and skeptics.” - Steve Blank

“The first customer ship date does not mean the company understands its customers or how to market or sell to them.” - Steve Blank

“In the early stages of a startup, focusing on “execution” will put you out of business. Instead, you need a “learning and discovery” process so you can get the company to the point where you know what to execute.” - Steve Blank

“Winners throw out the traditional product management and introduction processes they learned at existing companies.” - Steve Blank

“There Are No Facts Inside Your Building, So Get Outside.” - Steve Blank

“Intellect without a will is worthless, will without intellect is dangerous.” - Steve Blank

“The best introduction to a prospect is through a peer.” - Steve Blank

“In a startup, the founders define the product vision and then use customer discovery to find customers and a market for that vision.” - Steve Blank

“The goal at this stage is not U/I perfection. It is to test a problem. It could be done with a sock-puppet if the test were set up correctly.” - Steve Blank

“one approach to defining the minimum features set is to ask, “What is the smallest or least complicated problem the customer will pay us to solve?” - Steve Blank

“Pair Customer Development with Agile Development Customer Development is useless unless the product development organization can iterate the product with speed and agility.” - Steve Blank

“Failure is an Integral Part of the Search.” - Steve Blank

“Make Continuous Iterations and Pivots.” - Steve Blank

“The mix of Customer Development and Agile engineering dramatically increases the odds of new product and company success, while reducing the need for upfront cash and eliminating wasted time, energy, money, and effort.” - Steve Blank

“Ironically, startups were often crippled by the very methodology they traditionally used to build new products.” - Steve Blank

“Most startups lack a structured process for testing their business models’ hypotheses—markets, customers, channels, pricing and for turning those guesses into facts.” - Steve Blank

“Building your product is the easy part. The hard part is getting customers to find your app, site, or product. It’s a daunting, never-ending challenge to build customer relationships, quite literally, one customer at a time.” - Steve Blank

“If they agree with you about the problems, get them to explain why they think it is important to solve them.” - Steve Blank

“The issue is not being first to market, but understanding the type of market your company is going to enter.” - Steve Blank

“Most startups think only about the revenue they receive in their first sale to a customer, but smart companies think about the revenue they can get over the lifetime of the relationship they have with a customer. Measuring customer.” - Steve Blank

“Startups don’t fail because they lack a product; they fail because they lack customers and a proven financial model.” - Steve Blank

“Therefore, alpha and beta testing are Product Development functions that belong to engineering. They are about validating the product technically, not the market.” - Steve Blank

“Before any of the traditional functions of selling and marketing can happen, the company must prove a market could exist, verify someone would pay real dollars for the solutions the company envisions, and then go out and create the market.” - Steve Blank

“Remember, the goal of positioning is to control the public’s perception of a product or service as it relates to competitors’ alternatives.” - Steve Blank

“Time after time, only after first customer ship, do startups discover their early customers don’t scale into a mainstream market, the product doesn’t solve a high-value problem, or the cost of distribution is too high.” - Steve Blank

“There are two types of market re segmentation: as a segmented niche or as a low-cost provider.” - Steve Blank

“A customer reference is something you have to arm-twist to get; an evangelist is someone you can’t get off the phone.” - Steve Blank

“Not every piece of advice fits every situation you’ll encounter. And not every piece of advice will always work. That’s what entrepreneurs are for.” - Steve Blank

“In every company, a reason can be found not to do anything.” - Steve Blank

“By launch time, early evangelists need to be happy enough with your company and product to enthusiastically tell others about it.” - Steve Blank

“Relentless execution without knowing what to execute is a crime.” - Steve Blank

“Customer discovery is done by the founders.” - Steve Blank

“The ability to learn from missteps distinguishes a successful startup.” - Steve Blank

“Think of your first version of the business model canvas as the starting point showing the hypotheses that must be confirmed in face-to-face or online interaction with customers.” - Steve Blank

“running dozens if not hundreds of pass/fail tests—on your pitch, your features, your pricing.” - Steve Blank

“A pivot is a substantive change in one or more of the nine boxes of the business model canvas.” - Steve Blank

“In large companies, the mistakes just have additional zeros in them.” - Steve Blank

“Founders fail when they believe their visions are facts.” - Steve Blank

“different market types require dramatically different discovery, MVPs, and sales and marketing strategies.” - Steve Blank

“since most startups are not going after known markets, they don’t have a clue where their customers are.” - Steve Blank

“Build it and they will come, is not a strategy, it’s a prayer.” - Steve Blank

“startups go from failure to failure.” - Steve Blank

“Startups have been using tools appropriate for executing a known business. But startups are all about unknowns.” - Steve Blank

“To succeed, founders need to turn hypotheses or guesses into facts as soon as possible by getting out of the building, asking customers if the hypotheses were correct, and quickly changing those that were wrong.” - Steve Blank

“Winners also recognize their startup vision as a series of untested hypotheses in need of customer proof.” - Steve Blank

“ready or not, departmental clocks are set irrevocably to first customer ship.” - Steve Blank

“Obviously, every startup or company wants to get a product to market and sell it, but that can’t be done until the company understands who it’s selling to and why they’ll buy.” - Steve Blank

“The first three steps of Customer Development can be accomplished with a staff that can fit in a phone booth.” - Steve Blank

“The job of the Customer Development team is to see whether there are customers and a market for that vision.” - Steve Blank

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” - Steve Blank

“Consider Lifetime Value: How much will the customer ultimately spend not just in the first sale but over the life of his or her relationship with the company?” - Steve Blank

“Money is the lifeblood of startups. You stay in business until you run out of it.” - Steve Blank

“A startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” - Steve Blank

“There are no facts inside the building so get the hell outside.” - Steve Blank

“In tougher times, when dollars are tighter, the next round of funding may never come.” - Steve Blank

“My advice was to start a policy of making reversible decisions before anyone left the meeting or the office. In a startup, it doesn’t matter if you’re 100 percent right 100 percent of the time.” - Steve Blank

“The greatest risk—and hence the greatest cause of failure in startups is not in the development of the new product but in the development of customers and markets.” - Steve Blank

“Using the Product Development Waterfall diagram for Customer Development activities is like using a clock to tell the temperature. They both measure something, but not the thing you wanted.” - Steve Blank

“The first product in a startup, your initial purpose in meeting customers is not to gather feature requests so you can change the product; it is to find customers for the product you are already building.” - Steve Blank

“The goal of Customer Development is not to avoid spending money but to preserve cash while searching for the repeatable and scalable business model. Once found, then spend like there’s no tomorrow.” - Steve Blank

“Very few marketers or advertisers will be interested in small audiences, even if the product or site is destined for huge audiences down the road.” - Steve Blank

“What’s the difference between positioning the product and positioning the company?” - Steve Blank

“A business model describes how your company creates, delivers and captures value.” - Steve Blank

“Greatest risk is not the development of the new product, but the development of customers and markets.” - Steve Blank

“Unless you have tested the assumptions in your business model first, outside the building, your business plan is just creative writing.” - Steve Blank

“When you’re gone would you rather have your gravestone say, ‘He never missed a meeting.’ Or one that said, ‘He was a great father.” - Steve Blank

“Essentials of how to do a startup do not include writing a business plan.” - Steve Blank

“One of the mistakes we’ll make because we’re human beings is to believe that your vision is a fact. That’s the natural optimism of human beings.” - Steve Blank

“Business plans are the tool existing companies use for execution. They are the wrong tool to search for a business model.” - Steve Blank

“For students to understand what the future of journalism is going to be, they’re going to have to invent it. It’s a big idea. We don’t know what journalism is going to look like in the next three years, let alone the next 10 years.” - Steve Blank

“The company that consistently makes and implements decisions rapidly gains a tremendous, often decisive, competitive advantage.” - Steve Blank

“The processes used to organize and implement the search for the business model are Customer Development and Agile Development.” - Steve Blank

“Turn those hypotheses into facts by getting out of the building and testing them in front of customers.” - Steve Blank

“Ultimately, only one answer matters: can we generate enough revenue, profits and growth to make this business worth our time and energy?” - Steve Blank

“Understanding what an advertiser is willing to pay to reach your startup’s audience is vital to the business model.” - Steve Blank

“People lie on the web. And if you’re depending only on web data, you’ll never know it. Correlate response you get online with ground truth.” - Steve Blank

“Customer Development is the process to organize the search for the business model.” - Steve Blank

“Products developed by founders who get out in front of customers early and often.” - Steve Blank

“Customer Development recognizes a startup is a temporary organization built to search for the answers to what makes a repeatable and scalable business model. Customer Development is the process to organize that search.” - Steve Blank

“The Customer Development model consists of four well-defined steps: Customer Discovery, Customer Validation, Customer Creation, and Company Building.” - Steve Blank

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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