Our latest subscriber conference call featured serial entrepreneur, teacher, and author Steve Blank, who discussed how the lean startup methodology can be deployed effectively within large organizations, and took listener questions.
Below is a short excerpt discussing the unfortunate situation many companies confront after investing millions in R&D and new product development — in Blank’s words, “We built stuff and no one cared when we launched the product.”Complete audio and a transcript of the half-hour call can be found here.
Steve Blank: [My] phrase is, “There are no facts inside the building, so get the hell out.” What it refers to is, not that you don’t have smart people in your company, and not that you might not be inventing some great technology in the labs, but the people you’re selling to are not inside your building, nor are your competitors, nor the economic climate, et cetera.
The default, typically, is, “Well, that’s what our salespeople do, or that’s what product management does.” That’s, in fact, the antithesis of what building a startup is.
We’ve put together teams that actually take invented technology and get out and try to find customers and markets as a team early on. They’re talking to 10 to 16 customers a week. By the time this eight-week process is over, they’ve talked to over a hundred customers.