Every year I head to the East coast for vacation. We live in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street and an arm of the ocean in the backyard. While they own tech, smartphones and computers, most of my neighbors can’t tell you about the latest trends in AI, Bitcoin or Facebook. In contrast, Silicon Valley is an innovation cluster, a monoculture of sorts, with a churning sea of new tech ideas, sailed by entrepreneurs who each passionately believe they’re the next Facebook or Google, with their sails driven by the hurricane winds of investor capital.
The seas are calm here. Most years out here I spend my time reading. This year has been a bit more interesting. One of the things I did was to speak to the startup community in Providence Rhode Island at Brown University.
It’s worth a listen.
7:54: How we used to build startups
11:40: How the Lean Startup began
13:34: Why startups are not smaller versions of large companies
14:06: The three pillars of Lean
20:10: Customer Development is an art
26:42: How we changed the way science is commercialized in the U.S.
29:14: What’s a pivot?
37:34: Customer Discovery isn’t just a bunch of random conversations
39:03: Mistakes that blow a customer meeting
42:45: How you know you’ve talked to enough customers
48:51: Why corporations are mostly doing innovation theater
54:59: Tesla started in my living room
57:28: It takes two: Why world-class startups have both a great innovator and a great entrepreneur
1:04:05: Failure sucks
1:08:43: Avoiding the startup deathtrap
1:13:22: Talk to the crazy people
1:16:05: How you know when you stop being a startup