How to build a startup is a solved problem

Steve Blank (entrepreneur, author, teacher) gave a talk yesterday at American Express 1 Steve said something along the lines of:

In the past five years, we’ve developed a repeatable process for building startups

That’s a big idea. I’m cynical about declarative statements like that. But what if he’s right? What if making a startup
is like following a recipe to bake a cake? That can’t be right. It’s not that simple.

Building a startup is not like following a recipe to bake a cake.

It’s more like understanding the chemistry in baking 2 . The baker knows why yeast makes bread rise. They know what happens when you add water to the dough, or egg whites to a cake.

Understanding the fundamentals of baking allows a baker to be faced with a situation of uncertainty and
know what to do. This knowledge affords the baker the ability to invent new baked awesomeness from underlying principles.

Maybe that’s what Steve is saying we now know about startups.


  1. Thanks @helloericho and @ga for the hookup 
  2. If you want to learn about the chemistry of baking, or cooking in
    general, check out Cooking for Geeks