Steve Blank on the future of entrepreneurship

The 'father of modern entrepreneurship' discussed business models, customer alignment and what AI might mean for entrepreneurship.

Steve Blank, entrepreneur, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford and senior fellow for entrepreneurship at Columbia University, visited Oxford Saïd’s Entrepreneurship Centre on 9 June 2023 for the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Oxford Seed Fund. The student-led fund has invested in 24 of the University of Oxford’s most promising start-ups.

With his lean startup methodology, Blank changed how startups are built, how entrepreneurship is taught and how science is commercialised. At this event, interviewed by Michael Tefula, Oxford Saïd alumnus, startup operator and angel investor, Blank talked about four myth-busting ideas that, taken on board, will influence the future of entrepreneurship over the next ten years.

He elaborated on the ideas behind the lean startup methodology, demonstrated how easy it is to become an ex-CEO if you don’t get the product or market fit right and argued that big data and artificial intelligence (AI) could be a boon for entrepreneurs in understanding exactly what customers want.