When The Boardroom is Bits – Keynote by Steve Blank

It’s 3:10PM on Monday and Steve Blank just got on the stage to talk about “When the Boardroom is Bits.”


Ten things we learned in the last year:

  1. Business Schools turned 300 years of business experience into an MBA
  2. Startups are smaller versions of large companies (not true!)
  3. Companies execute business models (wrong – startups search for a business model)
  4. A startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a scalable and repeatable business model
  5. Startups needs their own tools
  6. Customer development process – process to search
  7. Business model canvas – the scorecard we will use to tell us what pieces of the business model we need to be searching for
  8. Agile development is how we build startups
  9. Startups that pivot 1 or 2 times raise 2.5x more money, have 3.6 better user growth, 52% less likely to scale prematurely vs. startups that pivot more than two times or don’t pivot at all. Startups with helpful mentors raise 7x more money and 3.5x more user growth.
  10. We’ve cracked the code in teaching entrepreneurship (things like YCombinator) – not teaching people how to write a business plan, instead teaching the essentials of how to run a startup.

Everything you learned in business school is toxic when it comes to running startups, all that large corporate strategy, etc. is great if you’re going to work for P&G, not good if you’re working for a startup.

So what’s next?

  • Experienced advice matters to a startup
  • Board Guidance – can learn a lot from board members and their networks

What’s wrong with a board meeting?

  • Time between meetings
  • No standards
  • An old process that’s been done the same way forever

Steve suggestions that we get rid of the boardroom, do it with bits, over the net!

  • Focus on what’s important
  • it’s about the search for the business model
  • Advice/Guidance about metrics around the search
  • What are the Business model hypotheses?
  • What are the most important hypotheses to test now?
  • Progress of validating hypotheses

Reinvent the board meeting as continuous information access, founders and management team invest 1 hour per week

  • Use a structured blog
  • unstructured data
  • Formal business model canvas
  • Real-time advisers/board feedback

Introducing Lean Launch Lab


Lean Launch Lab is a great way to update board members on what you’re doing with your startup and easily allow them to track your progress and follow-along.

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton