The Startup Owner’s Manual – Steve Blank

24 July 2018
The Startup Owner's Manual Book Cover The Startup Owner's Manual
Steve Blank, Steven Gary Blank, Bob Dorf,
Business & Economics
K & S Ranch

Offers step-by-step instructions on building successful, scalable, profitable startups, discussing the customer-development process, determining product-market fit, and the nine most common mistakes made.


The Startup Owners Manual is a wonderfully inspiring and informative book on how to start your entrepreneurial career and new business. It doesn’t cover the logistical or administrative tasks but it does focus on the most important aspect of how to achieve customer adoption and retention. In their terms, how to discover customers and how to validate them. How to build a customer base and how to build a company, as illustrated below. While every aspect of establishing a business is important, such as legal, finance, resources etc. if you don’t have a path to customers you don’t have a business.

The book is split into 3 Manuals:

  • The Startup Owner’s Manual Strategy Guide
  • The Startup Owner’s Manual for Web/Mobile Channel Startups
  • The Startup Owner’s Manual for Physical Channel Startups

“A startup is a temporary organisation in search of a scalable, repeatable, profitable business model.” 

What differentiates startups from established companies is defined better here than I have seen it anywhere else. To understand and live this definition is so important for new companies and it requires a special breed of people that hunger and flourish in uncertainty.

This is an agile world where our goal is to build a Minimum Viable Product. The business and product in those early days go through the same experiences and are almost synonymous. The concept of Minimum and Viable are so difficult to balance but that is the secret.

Throughout the book, there are great formatting and visual techniques used to highlight major points. Graphics help emphasise key processes and examples are used to underpin an explanation. The step by step guide appeals to our process minds and helps us realise that while there is a lot of uncertainty there at least is an approach.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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