The idea is, at the very beginning of a company, you’re trying to answer two very general questions. One is Is the problem I think customers have…actually shared by anyone other than me? The next is trying to understand whether the class of solution you’re building solves the problem you’ve validated.”
Who is Steve Blank and why should we care?
Excellent question! The answer is, Steve Blank is the pioneer of an innovation methodology we use in the startup world to save a ton of resources–mainly time and money. The methodology is called the lean approach and the idea has existed for a long time but Steve Blank uniquely applied it to a specific stage of business creation.
One of Steve Blank’s students, Eric Ries, went on the write the influential startup book The Lean Startup, which we recommend every entrepreneur read.
Lessons for KeyStart applicants
KeyStart applicants should consider these principles as they answer the question about how they would spend $5000 on their business. According to lean methodology (and most investors), it is better to spend a little bit of money ($5000) validating an idea with real customers, than it is to burn through 10x or 100x that much to build a product no one needs.