Great Advice from Steve Blank..

I will not be adding another non failure from Stanford GSB today.  All my very successful friends from GSB are now asking so I think I have a blog a day for about 60 days.

Instead I wanted to call out a great quote from Steve Blank.  Steve has not only done it once but he has now done it multiple times.  He creates great companies.
It comes from a discussion about a board meeting where a VC finally stands up to the rest of the board to support a new rethink by the CEO.  This is something every founding CEO should listen to and something I should have done better at Spoke.

“If you do what we tell you to do and fail, we’ll fire you. And if you do what you think is right and you fail, we may also fire you. But at least you’d be executing your plan not ours. Go with your gut and do what you think the market is telling you.  That’s why we invested in you.”  He turned to the other VC’s and added, “That’s why we write the checks and entrepreneurs run the company.”


Steve has a great blog and you should all take the time to review it.  Thank God he is teaching at Stanford to avoid more Stanford failures :)

About Ben T. Smith, IV

Founder of, investor in and advisor to technology and media companies
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