“Marketing is not about selling stuff anymore”

Jun 23 2011

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“Entrepreneurship is a way to find out whether you are a visionary or just hallucinating”

Jun 02 2010

Steve Blank

Steve Blank

He has been listed by the San José Mercury News as one of the 10 influencers in Silicon Valley. Steve Blank is a very active retired serial entrepreneur who is now teaching entrepreneurship at multiple universities. He is also the author of the Customer Development model for early stage companies, which is adopted by more and more startups. He has kindly answered HitBarcelona questions.

- 21 years and 8 high technology companies: what is the most important lesson you have learned?

A startup is a transitory organization which exists to search for a scalable, repeatable and profitable business model. And that you need to test your hypotheses about your business model against the reality of customers and market. To do so founders need to recognize that there are no facts inside your building so they need to get outside.

- Once you said: “If you think entrepreneurship is about the money, become a VC”. What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

Entrepreneurship is a way for founders to bring their passion, vision, energy and dedication to life and to find out whether they were a visionary or just hallucinating.

- Eric Ries and you are the leading proponents of the “lean startup”. Do you still think it is the best way for entrepreneurial ventures to reduce failures rates and boost innovation?

Startups are trying to solve for two simultaneous unknowns; what are customer needs and what are the minimum product features. Customer Development and the Lean Startup are one set of methodologies to approach those problems.

- The “Customer Development” model is one of the core themes in your classes. Do entrepreneurs pay attention to this process?

Founders who are doing their first startup will ignore Customer Development. Those who have started a company and failed tend to appreciate the model.

- You have done several talks on The Secret Story of Silicon Valley. Why did entrepreneurship blossom there?

The serendipitous intersection of Fred Terman, Stanford’s Dean of Engineering with deep ties to the U.S. military and intelligence agencies + the Cold War and the United States’ need for advanced technology for electronic intelligence,+ an extremely liberal view of how startups and academics should work together, combined with the rise of Venture (risk) Capital.

Electro Power Systems, winner Telecom Innovation Tournament

Oct 09 2009

Electro Power Systems (Italy), winner of the Telecom Innovation Tournament at Hit Barcelona 2009: “Premio Start up dell’anno PNICube“.

ElectroPS, design and manufacturing of hydrogen fuel cell systems for back-up power, already has a field proven product family of fuel cell systems for backup applications covering the range from 3 to 15 kVA. These products will be soon available with an innovative and modular on-site hydrogen generator to ensure the fast refilling of the vessels and thus changing the economy of back-up power.

“Electro Power Systems, azienda italiana operante nel settore dei sistemi a fuel cell a idrogeno per le applicazioni di backup energetico, è stata insignita del Premio “Start up dell’anno” da parte di PNICube, Associazione degli Incubatori e delle Business Plan Competition accademiche italiane.”


Apisphere, one geo-enabled mobility platform

Sep 28 2009

“Another interesting company I’ve seen is Apisphere. They are allowing their clients to add location twist to their applications and/or services.” Dusan Belic www.intomobile.com

intomobileApisphere, one geo-enabled mobility platform, was present at Hit Barcelona 2009 and participated in the Innovation Telecom Marketplace tournament. Apisphere has been also named to the annual FierceWireless ‘Fierce 15′ list, designating it as one of the top wireless companies of the year.


DeviceAnywhere: Mobile Application and Content Certification

Sep 25 2009


Mobile Content Awards 2009
10th September 2009, London, UK

Best Technology Innovation
Gold - Movidia for MA1110
Silver – dotMobi for Instant Mobilizer
Bronze – DeviceAnywhere for DeviceAnywhere Proof Center

DeviceAnywhere was one of the projects at the Telecom Innovation Marketplace, Hit Barcelona 2009.


“With DeviceAnywhere Proof Center, application and other mobile content developers and creators can certify their work, ultimately ensuring end-user’s satisfaction — the idea is that all content/apps which reach user is safe and reliable.” Dusan Belic www.intomobile.com


HitBarcelona Green Fire instant mobile power

Sep 23 2009

GreenFire Techonologies, EMEA Tournament Nominee, provides SMART solutions to rapidly power up any mobile, handheld, battery operated device with clean power through its highly innovative and proprietary technology.

“Jitu Batra, CEO of GreenFire Technologies was the first nominee in the “Product enabling a greener world” category to present to the panel.” mobileinnovation2009.wordpress.com


“Green Fire technologies is a company that tries to help the environment by making mobile phones faster to charge using electricity or solar power.” Bena Roberts www.gomonews.com


Imaging solutions at TeleCom Marketplace, Hit Barcelona 2009

Sep 17 2009

“AcCells enables NFC-like payments with any mobile phone! There are no doubts that NFC promises new opportunities for the whole ecosystem” Dusan Belic www.intomobile.com


“Scalado offers imaging solutions for mobiles. They pride themselves with imaging solutions that make mobile phones better handle large photos”. Dusan Belic www.intomobile.com


Open source platforms and open networks for mobiles

Ago 17 2009

Android Marketplace To Overtake Apple’s App Store?

Florian Seiche, vice president of HTC Europe, spoke to smartphone.biz-news ahead of his keynote address at the HiT Barcelona World Innovation Summit.

He talks about the potential for Android’s Market app store and the opportunities that open source platforms offer as the mobile internet “explodes”.  http://smartphone.biz-news.com


Can Mobile Operators’ New Openness Change Lose-Lose to Win-Win?

HiT Barcelona: World Innovation Summit in Barcelona discusses the need for open networks in order to engage with the growing community of application developers. http://smartphone.biz-news.com/news/2009/06/11/0006


Open Networks and Openness: hot topic Hit Barcelona 2009

Ago 14 2009

“Paul Strzelecki found an article he wrote a few years ago highlighting how “open” was vital and operators had been missing the boat for some time. This set the tone and one by one each panellists explained his or her position on the GSMA’s openAPI initiative”. www.gomonews.com

gomonews“I was in and out of HIT Barcelona and Mobile 2.0 last week but in the final hour I finally managed to pin down someone I have known in the mobile industry for a while now Paul Strzelecki. I had a couple of reader questions to put to him about Neo Media from our readers.” www.gomonews.com


Panel Discussion: The New Embedded Mobile Economy

Jun 18 2009

“Future needs to be shaped, not predicted”

Mike Richter, from IconMobile

  • Invention based on integration of three perspectives: it has to be viable, you need technology, and your invention must be something new.
  • What do average people need?: They need to know where the car is, if there is gas, what music will you hear.
  • The mobile device  notifies you of all of this.
  • M2M User Experience.
  • Domains: health, in house, in car.
  • This is a new era: technology is an enabler, not a driver.

Anuraj Gambhir, Head of innovation & Strategy of Ericsson India

3G is here and now

  • Worldwide 3g has enabled a wide portfolio of services to be offered using the internet.
  • The telecom industry is redefining itself: globalization markets, social networks, etc.
  • Trends: power of internet, power of consumer, power of technology,power of devices.
  • Enjoying digital life: working, learning, leisure, entertainment.
  • What are end-users looking for? Flexibility.
  • Seamless connectivity amongst mobiles devices, gadgets, home appliances..

Technology meets enjoyment

  • Connected/smart home: different parts of your house fully connected and enabled.
  • The connected car: gps, motor, microphone, ads, head display.. outside the car: traffic telematics.
  • Rising adoption of newer task-driven wireless-enabled devices.

Media evolution

  • Media 1.0 learn involvement.
  • Media 2.0 move involvement.
  • Media 3.0 true interaction.


  • 3 billion new users, more connected devices, more service poviders, more content and applications, more interactivity.
  • Ericcson’s CEO says 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

“True innovation is when what yo think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” M.Gandhi

Extract by Josep Oriol Ayats