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The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company Hardcover – March 1, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company + Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers + The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Price for all three: $65.22

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: K & S Ranch; 1 edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984999302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984999309
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most valuable book on entrepreneurship in the past 25 years!"
Tim Huntley, An Entrepreneurial Life

"To avoid infant/instant mortality of your venture and boost success chances, this book is a 'must-have' and must practice.'"
-- Alexander Osterwalder, author, "Business Model Generation"


"... a seminal text in the new experiential and inquiry-based methods of entrepreneurship education."
-- Patrick Vlaskovits, co-author, "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development"


"the best $40 investment you make in your startup."
-- EdSurge


"... The book has material for every type of entrepreneur ..."
-- XConomy


"Brilliantly Simple 2-step Process for Success in Products and Services!"
-- Kimberly Wiefling, author, entrepreneur


“A ‘bible’ for entrepreneurs who owe it to themselves and their investors to read … and re-read.”
-- Founder

“A must-have for all aspiring, first-time and seasoned entrepreneurs.”
-- Ben Mappen, founder


“truly a blueprint on how to build a Silicon Valley style scalable startup.”
-- Founder


“By taking this book BEFORE you spin up, founders can save thousands of dollars and man hours in mistakes.”
Scott Hoffman, author, speaker, small business advocate


“ (Blank is) one of the smartest and most commonsense thinkers I know on starting a company and harnessing creativity for start-ups.”
-- Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

"The Startup Owner's Manual is ... going to be a game changer."
-- India Business Blog


"Many, including myself, consider the 'Four Steps to the Epiphany' to be the bible of entrepreneurship. ... The Startup Owner’s Manual is a definitive manual for building successful new companies – for entrepreneurs in startups and large companies."
— Conrad Egusa, Brownstein & Egusa

"The process outlined in The Startup Owner’s Manual will prevent the waste, mistakes, and failures that come from launching too soon or too expensively- perhaps exactly what’s needed."
Kia Davis, Wamda.com

About the Author

About Steve Blank
Steve Blank is a driving force in innovation, helping to radically reshape how startups are built and how entrepreneurship is taught. His new Startup Owner's Manual is his latest addition for entrepreneurial practitioners. Steve created the Customer Development methodology that spawned the Lean Startup movement. He teaches entrepreneurship at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley and Columbia. His blog, steveblank.com, is "must" reading among entrepreneurs. In 2011, Steve created the Lean LaunchPad, a hands-on class using Customer Development to train students as well as elite teams of scientists and engineers selected and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Steve arrived in Silicon Valley in 1978, as boom times began, joining his first of eight startups. After 21 years the results were two deep craters, several "base hits," one massive "dot-com bubble" home run, and immense experiential learning that resulted his first break-through book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany.
 
About Bob Dorf
Bob Dorf is a serial entrepreneur, founding his first success at age 22 and, since then, six more--"two homeruns, two base hits, and three great tax losses," as he puts it. He's advised and/or invested in a score more startups since. Dorf is often called the "midwife of Customer Development," having critiqued early drafts of The Four Steps to the Epiphany; he and Steve have been friends and colleagues ever since. Entrepreneurial from his teens, Bob received his last W-2 almost 40 years ago, when he quit his editor's job at New York's WINS Radio to launch his first successful startup. When he's not running K&S Ranch Consulting with Steve, Dorf teaches "Introduction to Venturing," on Customer Development and getting startups right, as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a must read by entrepreneurs!
Bret
This is where The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company comes into the equation.
Pete
Very excited to receive this book, very informative and very easy to follow.
Olivia Szymanski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on September 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The kindle version of this is NOT the same as The Startup Owner's Manual! Instead you get the Startup Owner's Strategy Guide, which is a very condensed version. I bought this for a class and was super frustrated to find that it wasn't the same as the original hardcover book. I am going to try to get a refund because it's not what was advertised to me. Ugh.
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190 of 209 people found the following review helpful By Uffe Thomsen on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have no doubt that this book is written by really cool people, who actually know what they are taking about.

Running a small startup myself, I however would never find time to actually read a book this size - let alone filling out the 42 different checklist at the end. This book suffers, from what we in Europe would call what could be translated to the "American texbook disease". You guys are paid per word when you write stuf, and that shows.

So please Blank & Dorf - next time look to your friend Osterwalder (Businews Model Generation) to se how you can make deep insights easy acessible. I have have no doubt that you're brilliant people, but either you haven't done the Customer Development yourself this time - or startup owners are just not the intended customer.

If you could write something quickly accessible (i.e. shorter), i would be happy to pay the same amount - or even more for such a book. - Just to give you some customer feedback :-)

Best Regards (and I mean it)

Uffe Thorup Thomsen
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59 of 64 people found the following review helpful By James J. Hornthal on June 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Having started 8 business and invested in over 50 more, I wish I had this resource a long long time ago. It is an entrepreneur's job to manage the risks of their enterprise, and to allocate resources where they are most needed. Before The Startup Owner's Manual, most of us were left to our own devices, randomness, and serendipity. The near-death experiences of most successes have been glorified with the buzz word "pivot". But what does that really mean, and can you expect to learn when, why and how to iterate successfully? The answer is yes; the recipe calls for equal parts of the business model canvas and customer development, with a healthy dose of constant agile development and customer interactions. Combining the right ingredients in the right order is a process, and how to best navigate that process is revealed in this invaluable guide book for anyone who wants to figure out if their great idea can become a great business. It also gives angel and venture investors an edge in evaluating proposals, looking to see if the team has gotten out of the building enough to know their target market, can articulate a compelling value proposition, and know how to get, keep and grow customers.
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79 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Knowledge Sponge on June 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was tempted by this from an excerpt I saw on the web. Sadly, it follows the usual pattern of business books: an interesting idea that could be explained in a couple of pages, expanded by means of much repitition and many almost identical anecdotes, to fill a complete book. The idea is sound enough: don't build a plan and then execute it slavishly, thereby ending up with a product nobody wants. Instead, find yourself some customers early on, continuously get their feedback, and be prepared to reinvent your product and company, possibly several times. There, I just saved you the purchase price. All the examples are drawn from Web 2.0 type businesses, and the title should really be "The Web Service Startup Owners Manual". Web-delivered services, such as social networking, lend themselves very well to continuous revision - there is no deployed software to update, and changes are cheap and easy. This of course is why such companies are so fashionable amongst VCs. The concept is much harder to apply to a traditional software or infrastructure company, and pretty well impossible with hardware or silicon.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By James Britt on December 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Misleading product information for Kindle version. If you buy the Kindle version you do not get the book shown. You get a different (albeit related) book, "The Startup Owner's Manual Strategy Guide".

I feel sort of bad leaving such a low-star rating but people looking for the Kindle version need to something to alert them.
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51 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Whippet on December 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Blank's book contains nothing that will be news to seasoned startup entrepreneurs and VCs. It's not up to the hype.

The book is aimed at startups that eventually will seek VC cash. It expects a startup to have a board of directors, and sneers at so-called "lifestyle" businesses. Blank disparages businesspeople in what I take to be a crass play for popularity among his geek audience.

Overall I cannot recommend it as a primary text, although it's fine to read in accompaniment.

My credentials: successful VC and software company founder.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jonah on April 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first qualm I have with the book is simply its formatting. The book is fairly short but appears in the Amazon description as a very large text because it is essentially repeated. There is one subset of the book for web or app startups and another version for physical channel startups. There is very little difference between the two, so most of those two versions are redundant. Its not expected that a person reads both sections, from what I understand. But the formatting isn't really mentioned anywhere in the start of the book or even the kindle index. So it comes as a surprise when you're about 50% through the book and it ends, in effect.

The second thing that makes me lower my rating is simply that the information isn't very original. Steve Blank's book on the four steps to Epiphany set the groundwork for the concepts, but more importantly the "lean startup" methodology is espoused by Eric Reis' book of the same name which was published in September 2011. The book "Running Lean" came out the same week as this book (early March 2013) but goes in to MUCH more depth on how to execute the lean startup methodology in practice.

So, in summary, its decent material but strangely organized. And my suggestion is to read Eric Reis' "Lean Startup" for the concept, and then "Running Lean" for specific execution guidance.
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