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What's Next! with Tiffani Bova

Mar 28, 2024

Welcome to the What's Next! Podcast with Tiffani Bova. 


This week, I’m reflecting on a great conversation with Steve Blank, a career entrepreneur and academic. 


Steve is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur in eight startups over two decades with four IPOs, and currently, he is an academic teaching at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, and NYU. Steve is also the author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, which is credited with launching the Lean Startup Movement and the best-selling book The Startup Owner's Manual. Steve has been named to Thinkers50 top management thinkers, and recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of 12 Masters of Innovation. He is also a senior fellow for Entrepreneurship at Columbia University.  


THIS EPISODE IS PERFECT FOR… startups or those who want to be more innovative.  


TODAY’S MAIN MESSAGE… Steve begins our conversation by reminding us what a startup truly is: a temporary organization designed to search for and find a repeatable and scalable business model or repeatable and scalable sales model.  


Many times, startups are pressured to act like big companies, and established companies are encouraged to think like a startup. But the two are very different and deserve to be treated as such. Those caught between those two is what Steve calls “the frozen middle.” 


IF YOU WANT TO BE MORE AGILE IN YOUR COMPANY… step back and start by determining if you are an entrepreneur or an innovator. An innovator is the idea person who needs help with the physical work or with the business process. Whereas an entrepreneur is someone who knows how to make things happen. Steve opines that it is rare to have both skills.  


IF YOU’RE AN ENTREPRENEUR… get comfortable with chaos and uncertainty. You have to be tenacious and resilient. Steve declares that if you’re an entrepreneur who is succeeding, you’re beating all the odds.  


WHAT I LOVE MOST… Steve’s insight around the frozen middle got me thinking about different mental models, business models, and metrics, and how complacency can leave you stranded in a no man’s land of little differentiated value.   


Running time: 41:25


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