Venture Capital Changes and Business Education with Steve Blank
Coronavirus has sent shockwaves through every sector, and venture capital has not been left unscathed. Today’s guest, Steve Blank, is here to unpack some of these changes along with several other topics, including business education, and the US supply chain’s entanglement with China. Steve is a Silicon Valley veteran, serial startup founder, and Professor of Entrepreneur-ship at Stanford. He is also, along with Eric Ries, the creator of the influential Lean Startup Movement. In this episode, we look at the state of venture capital. Steve draws our attention to what he calls the elongation of going public and how this limits the number of players in the tech space, the evolution of founders’ powers, and how angel investing has come to be what it is to-day.
We also touch on the capacity of startup formation in the years to come. Steve implores us to rethink the current landscape and imagine what it would be like if small businesses were in-centivized in the same way big corporations are. A conversation with Steve would not be com-plete without touching on the “Lean” methodology. After giving us a quick refresher of what it en-tails, he discusses the influence it’s had on businesses. We round the show off with a look at the East Coast versus West Coast approaches to teaching business and the pain points of the US technology supply chain in light of mounting tensions with China. To hear more, tune in today!
Key Points From This Episode:
- An overview of the state of venture capital and some of the major changes over the past decade.
- The advantages and drawbacks of companies staying private for longer.
- There wasn’t always liquidity for founders or VCs; they had to wait until a company went public or was bought out.
- How dual-class stock has changed the balance of power for founders.
- How angel investing has become increasingly professionalized since the ‘70s.
- The phenomenon of experienced tech execs getting recirculated within the system.
- Developments Steve noticed around the maturation of innovation clusters in China.
- Steve’s take on whether there are capped number of founders.
- A thought experiment where there are disincentives for companies growing larger.
- The contrasting level of support for big and small businesses in the US.
- Singapore and Israel’s prolific innovation capabilities and ability.
- The philosophy behind the Lean Startup movement
- How the Lean methodology has come in and out of fashion with startups over time.
- The often-conflicting business models and values between founders and investors.
- Why government regulation can be useful in leveling the playing field in tech.
- Steve’s views on education and his opinion on the relevancy of MBAs.
- The consequences of a trade war and the US-China supply chain.
- Steve’s blog post about the ‘Chip War’ and some key takeaways from it.