Steve Blank Hypotheses
• Entrepreneurs and Investors are generally executing on guesses
• Startups aren’t small versions of large organizations
• They are about learning/discovery, not execution
• Need to surface hypotheses/assumptions and test against facts
• However, the Facts Live Outside of the Building
Built To Learn
John Boyd’s Insight
• Observe, Orient, Decide, Act LEARN BUILD
• Depends on accurate external data
• Speed through the loop beats quality of
Leaning/Iteration vs Execution
The Search for a The Growth of a
Product / Market Fit
“Do whatever is required to get to product/market ﬁt. Including:
changing out people,
rewriting your product,
moving into a different market,
telling customers no when you don’t want to,
telling customers yes when you don’t want to,
raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital
—whatever is required.”
— Marc Andreessen
Where are you?
• What do successful startups have in common?
• They started out as digital cash for PDAs, but evolved into online
payments for eBay.
• They started building BASIC interpreters, but evolved into the
world's largest operating systems monopoly.
• They were shocked to discover their online games company was
actually a photo-sharing site.
• Pivot: change directions but stay grounded in what we’ve learned.