steve blank

steve blank bw

Secret History of Silicon Valley

Uploaded on Dec 3, 2008

[Recorded: November 20, 2008]

Today, Silicon Valley is known around the world as a fount of technology innovation and development fueled by private venture capital and peopled by fabled entrepreneurs. But it wasn’t always so. Unbeknownst to even seasoned inhabitants, today’s Silicon Valley had its start in government secrecy and wartime urgency.

In this lecture, renowned serial entrepreneur Steve Blank presents how the roots of Silicon Valley sprang not from the later development of the silicon semiconductor but instead from the earlier technology duel over the skies of Germany and secret efforts around (and over) the Soviet Union. World War II, the Cold War and one Stanford professor set the stage for the creation and explosive growth of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. The world was forever changed when the Defense Department, CIA and the National Security Agency acted like today’s venture capitalists funding this first wave of entrepreneurship. Steve Blank shows how these groundbreaking early advances lead up to the high-octane, venture capital fueled Silicon Valley we know today.

1939 – ww2

1940 – german overruns europe

1941 – invasion of soviet union

dec 1941 – pearl harbor – german declares war on us, now at war with germans and japanese

only way t

1042-1944 –

warn and detect, target and aim, destroy

21 min – strategic issue to drop those rates

31 – spook entrepreneurship

ww2 – let’s put profs in universities to work in place

at 32 min:

‘Let’s enlist universities directly in the war effort.’

and he starts listing moneys spent… fund universities directly:

steve blank slide

stanford gets 30,000.

steve blank slide 2

now stanford first time full partner with military in govt r&d

36 min – stanford becomes a center of excellence to understand what’s going on behind this country – understand this electronic war


find/follow Steve:

link twitter

Steve Blank (born 1953) is a Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur and academician who is based in Pescadero, California.

Blank is recognized for developing the Customer Development methodology, which launched the Lean Startup movement. Blank is also the co-founder of E.piphany.

Blank has spent over thirty years within the high technology industry. He has founded or worked within eight startup companies, four of which have gone public.

Blank’s Google Tech talk, The Secret History of Silicon Valley, offers a widely regarded insider’s perspective on the emerging Silicon Valley’s start-up innovation. Blank has published three books: The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost and The Startup Owner’s Manual.

Blank teaches and writes about Customer Development and is a consulting associate professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford. He currently lectures at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, Columbia University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He is creating a version of Lean Launchpad for Life Sciences and Healthcare, debuting at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) October 2013.

his site:

steve blank site


intro’d to Steve


George Siemens (@gsiemens)
9/7/13 8:26 PM
Contrary to the narrative of silicon valley as a capitalist empire, it was founded through big gov’t…


Eric Ries, Dan Robles


and then.. there he is at bif 9

bifspeak logo



steve blank (@sgblank)

3/3/15 7:00 AM
Blowing up the Business Plan at U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School

The international teams watch the lectures online, get out of the building, present to us each week via WebEx and get the same brand of relentless and direct feedback their U.C. Berkeley peers got in Steve’s class. For example, our Intel Technology To Market Accelerator took 22 teams from 11 countries across 15 time zones, from northern Russia to southern Chile and from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. (Chicago) through the Lean LaunchPad process. Clearly, lean works globally.

And we’ve been part of the U.S. effort to use the Lean LaunchPad to accelerate commercialization for the country’s best research spinouts from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. We do this by running classes for the NSF Innovation Corps and The I-Corps at the NIH. And the same lean techniques work just as well in the corporate innovation programs we run such as the Intel Make It Wearable Challenge.

At BerkeleyHaas we are sharing what we are learning (see below). By embracing lean, you can be assured you will be giving your students essential innovation skills they will use for the rest of their lives. You will see great startups focused on solving real customer problems emerge as well. This is an exciting journey and we are all right at the start.

what if we aren’t customers..?

  • Early-stage investors don’t read business plans
  • We are in the middle of a shift in entrepreneurship education from teaching the waterfall model of startup development (enshrined in business plans) to teaching the lean startup model
  • The Lean LaunchPad process works across a wide range of domains – from science and engineering to healthcare, energy, government, the social sector and for corporate innovation
  • Customer Development works outside Silicon Valley. In fact, it works globally
  • The Lean LaunchPad is a business process that teaches entrepreneurs and innovators to make business-focused, evidence-based decisions under conditions of chaos and uncertainty. It’s a big idea

might actual blowing it up.. be questioning money as well..?