Steve Blank Fireside Chat at AlleyNYC

Tonight I had the opportunity to sneak into a sold-out event at AlleyNYC , organized by Startup Grind.

The guest of the evening was the one and only Steve Blank, the godfather of “Customer Development” & author of Four Steps to the Epiphany as well as The Startup Owners Manual.

In most startup circles he`s regarded as the catalyst to all the lean startup methodology in recent years.

My main reason for attending the event was that I`ve previously read The Startup Owners Manual after co-founding & successfully selling my own mini startup.

I enjoyed the book in the way one buys a thousand-page PHP5 Bible reference manual, to know every aspect of the language there is to know, rather than follow a simple & clear path of execution.

The book is more of a reference manual, rather than a direct guide on “how to”. Either way, I highly recommend reading it for most people that already are familiar with the concept of customer development but want into more detail about other aspects of business model generations etc.

What I most enjoyed about tonights event, was that it was truly organized as a fireside chat, where instead of mainly pitching the benefits of applying the methodology described in the books, Mr. Blank dived into a couple of funny/interesting personal stories instead.

It ranged from a brief overview of his career ( a 0.5 avg in uni at one point!) to working as a contractor for the top 3 letter U.S agencies & getting in trouble with them due to his natural curiosity.

Even though the event was filled with a lot of good stories & advice for future entrepreneurs, one thing I got away from it is the way the incubator/accelerator landscape will most definitely change in the near future.

I recently had the opportunity of participating in the summer batch of DreamIt Ventures Accelerator program in New York. So at least from my experience, I can asses from the inside out the value add, as well as the cost/benefit ratio from participating in a similar program.

Now as Steve puts it, the Lean Startup methodology & other components that are applicable are readily available for those that have an inner drive for entrepreneurship.

I`m a big believer in the Lean Startup methodology when applied correctly & see a great future for courses/training programs like The Lean Launchpad or Lean Startup Machine being an affordable alternative to accelerator programs (~20k for ~5% equity).

Because more than anything else in the startup world, you want to prove your business model before taking money from strangers.