10 Step Lessons

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Open Government

Aneesh Chopra was the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States. He built the foundation of open government and innovation in America. In this lesson, he shows you how data, innovation, and technology can be employed to fix some of the largest civic issues that we face today and how to create a better public/private interface.

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Disruption for Social Good

Renee Kaplan is Chief Strategy Officer at the Skoll Foundation, a leading organization investing in and celebrating social entrepreneurship. In the lesson, Kaplan shows you how to identify issues that are ripe for disruption and guides you through the fundamentals of social venture funding.

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Designing Your Experience

Design expert and serial founder Jeff Veen shares his thoughts on team building, culture cultivation, design comprehension, acquisition, and all things startup.

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Conscious Leadership

Diana Chapman is the co-founder of the Conscious Leadership Group and a coach who has advised over 700 CEOs and leaders from Genetech to Asana. In this lesson, she shares an original and transformational framework for leadership that will make you more innovative, more playful, more disruptive, and more effective.

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Founder Framework

Manu Kumar is an entrepreneur-turned-investor who has led several companies to multi-million dollar acquisitions. Kumar imparts his wisdom on leadership, ideas, and execution. Find out how to become a passionate company builder.

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Content Marketing

Learn how to get more eyes on your site through expert content marketing with this lesson from Neil Patel. The Wall Street Journal named Neil as one of the top influencers on the web, and Forbes listed him as one of the top 10 online marketers. He has built two successful SaaS businesses and helped companies like TechCrunch, Amazon, and HP double their traffic and rake in more revenue. Let him show you the steps to fill the top of your funnel and then some.

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Cruel Empathy

Incorporating experience from Apple, Google, Twitter, Dropbox, and three failed startups, Kim Malone Scott does not tell but rather shows how to actually create a culture of feedback and manage your team for success.

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Productive Meetings

Dave Kashen is an entrepreneur, startup investor and advisor, and leadership coach. His newest startup, MeetingHero, is used by thousands of high performing companies including Box, Toyota, and Zendesk. Did you know that meetings are the number one factor in employee satisfaction? In this lesson, Dave guides you through the components of a good meeting, tells you when to call a meeting, and how to create conversations that really impact the future.

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Growth

The job of an entrepreneur is to grow the business — and Josh Elman tells us how.

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Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

Serial entrepreneur Alicia Liu followed the golden path to becoming a software developer—yet still felt like a fake, as do many women in tech due to underrepresentation in the industry. In this lesson, she shares her experience with impostor syndrome, how she overcame it, and how you can too.

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Startup IP

Navigating the complicated world of intellectual property can be confusing and costly. Find out how to protect your most valuable asset: your ideas. Learn how to file a patent, what kind of material can be copyrighted, and how to find a lawyer that aligns with your interests. Jack Russo is an IP law pioneer whose 35-year track record in Silicon Valley demonstrates the utmost commitment to the vision of entrepreneurs.

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Product Growth

Growth is a community around the replicable strategies and tactics that increase product adoption. Learn from growth expert Gustaf Alströmer how to implement growth strategies for your product.

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Incorporating Your Venture

The tactical, creative, and exhilarating part of building your startup rests on one fundamental thing: the legal structuring of your business. When and how you incorporate, your ability to share equity, and managing your board of directors are paramount to startup success. Let startup counsel Augie Rakow guide you through incorporating your business.

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Scaling User Growth

In the world of growth hacking, acquisition is frequently championed over retention. Find out how to get hockey stick growth with users that actually stick around, how to find the metric that is most important for measuring your company, and why you should try emerging channels for explosive traffic. Maud Pasturaud is a growth expert whose resume includes running growth at anonymous social networking app Secret, international growth at Gilt Groupe, and user acquisition at Jetsetter.

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Trademarks

Naming your startup is tough. You need something that sounds nice, is easy to market, and fits with your mission. Do not put any more time or money into your brand identity until you have watched this lesson. Learn how to create strong trademarks that are strategic and protectable. Former Trademark Examining Attorney at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and former Copyright Examiner at the U.S. Copyright Office, Ed Timberlake works with startups and small businesses to better understand their branding.

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Creating Customer Personae

At the heart of every startup there is a customer, a problem, and a solution. But do you really know who your customers are? Where do they spend their time? What do they really need? Julie Hamwood walks you through the process of creating a customer profile so you can understand your target market better and focus your product while mitigating your risk.

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Channels & Partners

The sales channel is how a company delivers its product or service to its customers. In this lesson, learn the economics of the two major channels: physical and virtual. You'll also learn the basics of identifying partnerships and how to create strategic alliances to bring your business to the next level. This lesson is part of our mini-series on how to build a startup by serial entrepreneur, 8x startup founder, and Customer Discovery creator, Steve Blank.

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Entrepreneurial Fitness

Like professional athletes, entrepreneurs are competing in the game of their lives. Former San Francisco 49er, Oakland Raider, and NFL cornerback turned tech angel investor, entrepreneur, and franchise owner, Shawntae Spencer illustrates how training for professional sports is the perfect mindset to train for startup success.

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Accelerating Early Product

Want your product to be more sticky, engaging, and viral? Learn how to apply game design elements to your startup to achieve the elusive product/market fit and for rapid product growth. Expert game designer, author, and entrepreneur, Amy Jo Kim gives you a framework for creating compelling products and shares the secret element behind startups that reach mass market appeal.

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Growth from User 0

Want to learn how to grow your startup? Early user acquisition is the make or break moment for every startup and going from 0 to 100,000 customers is the hardest part. Morgan Brown, growth expert and head of growth for GrowthHackers.com shares insider tricks on how to get the early traction you need.

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Cracking the Y Combinator Interview

Y Combinator is an innovative seed fund program for world-changing companies, graduating notable alumni like Dropbox, Reddit, Airbnb, and more. In this lesson, 2x YC alum Jason Freedman tells you exactly how to get in, from creating a stand-out application to acing your interview.

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Presentation Is Everything

The word "Presentation" can evoke feelings of dread for speakers and boredom for their audiences. Nancy Duarte, author and co-founder of Duarte Designs, teaches you how to give the perfect pitch. Learn to map your story, the importance of knowing your audience, and why introverts make the best presenters.

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Communication & Leadership

Learn to communicate effectively, lead with warmth and strength, and self-promote the right way with the delightful executive presence coach and good bragger Peggy Klaus.

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Kickstarter Campaigns

Monisha Perkash, CEO of LumoBack, teaches you how to run a successful kickstarter campaign.

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Decision Making & Happiness

VP of Growth at Kiip and Philosophy Enthusiast, Kevin Fishner, describes how to improve your decision making abilities in order to maximize your happiness.

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Customer Understanding

Understanding which customers make sense for your business is critical. The goal of listening to customers is not please every one of them rather to figure out which customer segment serve your needs in the short and long term. In this miniseries, serial entrepreneur, 8x startup founder, and Customer Discovery creator Steve Blank walks you through a step-by-step guide of how to build a startup.

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Social Media & Branding

Crystal Lee does business development for Google, and also happens to be Miss California and a Miss America runner up in 2014. She is a true branding expert, and shares how to formulate your strategy, develop your tone, and leverage social media to reach your personal and company goals.

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The Thiel Fellowship - Launching Your Project

Danielle Strachman, Program Director for The Thiel Fellowship, discusses the importance project-based learning, the logistics of the Fellowship, and ideal candidacy.

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Customer Development

Conceived by serial entrepreneur and 8x founder Steve Blank, the customer development process is an iterative circle that lets you discover if you are building something truly useful. Learn the four steps—customer discovery, customer validation, customer creation, and company building—and how to apply them to your idea as the second level in the customer discovery process.

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Revenue Relationships

Money. We know it is on your mind. In this lesson, learn how customer discovery is innately tied to revenue. You will find out the different ways in which your startup can to get, keep, and grow your customers and how this process points you toward the most suitable revenue model for your business. This is part of our mini-series on how to build a startup by serial entrepreneur, 8x startup founder, and Customer Discovery creator, Steve Blank.

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Networking for Success

Learn why helping others drives our success from Fortune’s best networker who epitomizes the Giver persona, Adam Rifkin.

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Building a Unicorn

Valued at over $1 billion, WordPress’s Automattic runs more than 20% of the internet and has realized the mythical startup unicorn status, all with a fraction of the workforce of Google & Facebook; Founder and CEO Matt Mullenweg shares how focusing on talent and breaking through geographic discrimination with a virtual workforce are integral to their success.

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Stress Resilience

With every reason to fail, entrepreneurs need an unfair advantage. CEO & Founder Paul Campbell informs us about the biological impact of stress, the need to exercise our brains, and the opportunity for daily practices. Understanding the role of stress and managing it accordingly can be a game-changing competitive edge for your team, give you the extra stamina to succeed, and play a critical role in the outcome of your business.

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App Prototyping

How to best prototype an app - the resources needed, an analysis of higher vs. lower fidelity products, and how to most efficiently get customer feedback.

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Customer Discovery Primer

In this multi-lesson series, serial entrepreneur, 8x startup founder, and Customer Discovery creator Steve Blank walks you through a step-by-step guide of how to build a startup. In this first installment, we learn the origin of startups, why they are not smaller versions of larger companies, and new tools uniquely designed for startup creation.

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Fundraising Series Seed

Jenny Lefcourt has raised more than $100 million during her career as a founder and advisor to numerous successful startups. She now uses her expertise as an investor with Freestyle Capital. Let her guide you through the seed fundraising process, from perfecting your pitch to the dynamics of convertible notes.

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How to Get Press

PR is key to promoting your business and communicating with your customers. Startup founders Ari Dykovsky and Catalin Voss teach you how to identify appealing stories and how to create fruitful relationships with journalists. Learn why they skip the press release and other tricks of savvy startup public relations.

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Picking Winners

Veteran investor and founder of Streamlined Ventures, Ullas Naik explains how investors really evaluate a company. This lesson is for entrepreneurs looking to nail their pitch or for people who want to establish themselves as an angel investors. Find out how the startup and enterprise landscape has changed over the past few years, learn which character traits will maximize success, and see how the startup ecosystem can work in your favor.

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Entrepreneur Turned Angel Investor

Josh Felser is a seasoned entrepreneur who cofounded Freestyle Capital after his companies were acquired by AOL and Sony. He gives a peek into Freestyle’s culture, shares why diversity matters, and tells us how to manage investor relationships after the check is signed.

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Finding Customers

Reduce startup risk and build things people really want by interviewing customers. Learn how to find the right people to talk to, ask good questions, and make this critical process part of your everyday mindset. Expert Cindy Alvarez literally wrote the book on Lean Customer Development and is Director of User Experience at Yammer.

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Consumer Growth

Jim Scheinman has worked as builder, advisor, and investor to consumer internet and mobile technology startups for more than 15 years. Get actual, practical growth hacking strategies, as well as tips on structuring your team to maximize growth. Learn how to focus, test, and iterate product features to reach your target user numbers and find out why language market fit is the key to going viral.

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Design & Prototyping

Master the ins and outs of design and prototyping with Devika Patel and Natalie Griffen of Design for America and Stanford. They will talk you through effective methods for brainstorming, finding resources, tracking down mentors, and pivoting your ideas. Learn why your words matter and how to get real feedback from your clients and customers.

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Selling Your Vision

Melissa Bernstein quit her corporate job to start a toy company that has since grown to millions of dollars in revenue and over 650 employees. Learn how she went from selling door-to-door to a premium toy brand. Find out why founders should execute sales (even if you are not the salesman type) and why listening is your best secret sales weapon.

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Idea Execution

Thiel Fellow and Remedy co-founder Noor Siddiqui guides you through early idea execution. The decisions you make at the beginning of your startup journey are the key to success down the road. Learn how to attract early hires to your cause and how to deal with failure and feeling lost. Plus, get a peek into the most famous program for college dropouts.

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Hooked

With Nir Eyal

Entrepreneur and author Nir Eyal guides you through the "Hook Model," a four step process that companies can use to influence customer behavior. As screens are shrinking and the digital landscape becomes more and more crowded, user habits are the new key to startup success. Learn the components of a good hook, why you should ask your customer to do some hard work, and how to reach the holy grail of habit forming products.

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Marketing Your Startup

Alice Lankester is a senior level executive marketer and Silicon Valley veteran whose innovative marketing work has touched startups and tech companies from Friend2Friend to Photobucket to Apple. Do not miss her advice for startups in the beginning stages of their marketing. Learn why you need a business mantra, how to phase your go-to-market strategy, and build awareness of your brand.

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Early Stage PR

Julie Crabill founded Inner Circle Labs, the PR firm behind newsworthy early stage startups in Silicon Valley. This is your chance to get the inside scoop from a true PR pro. Learn how to form good relationships with the reporters, how to DIY PR at the early stages of your business, and how to align press coverage with your business goals.

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She Works

Rachel Braun Scherl was dubbed the first ‘vagipreneur’ after she raised $21 million to start a female sexual health company. She shares essential advice on fundraising, ‘having it all,’ and creating a good PR strategy for your business. Find out how to work with grit and intensity, and how to develop your voice for thought leadership.

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Sales Market Fit

Whitney Sales has been at the helm of some of the nation's fastest growing tech companies and developed her own sales framework to help founders and startups figure out how to tackle early and long term selling. Learn how to achieve “Sales Market Fit,” why 90% of your job is selling, and how your sales method should inform product development.

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Creatively Entrepreneurial

Carl Nordgren helped found two pioneer cellular telephone companies, two marketing services firms, a semiconductor company, a software venture, and a new business incubator. He conceived the creatively entrepreneurial mindset, which he shares with students and innovators globally. In this lesson, he teaches you how to cultivate the mindset, increase your creative capacity, and see the world like a seasoned entrepreneur.

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Double Bottom Line

Learn how to define success as a social entrepreneur, how to nurture relationships with donors, and what the real meaning of philanthropy is from impact expert Pamela Hawley, CEO and founder of UniversalGiving.org and recipient of the Jefferson Award, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for public service.

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Mastering Presence

In an industry where workaholism and burnout are reaching epidemic levels while the speed of technology and innovation continues to accelerate, there needs to be a new way that we all ‘show up’ for work. Learn how to manage emotions, become present, and create effective change with Diana Chapman, coach and cofounder of the Conscious leadership group.

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Zero to IPO

Building the next unicorn is not the only way to achieve startup success. Learn what it takes to bring a startup from zero to IPO through steam power and determination. Find out the difference between a pivot and a turnaround and how to bring a company back from certain death. George Northup has built four companies to successful acquisition or IPO with over 2 billion dollars in revenue.

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Data-Driven Decisions

Big data. Data-driven. A/B testing. Optimization. These terms are often repeated in Silicon Valley, but what do they really mean for your company today? Mike Greenfield, the first data scientist for both PayPal and LinkedIn, shows you how to incorporate data-driven decision-making into your startup. Find out how to track meaningful metrics, how to optimize your content and communication, and build for growth.

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Product Leaders

Learn how great product managers lead their teams on decision making, delighting customers, and measuring key metrics with Adam Nash.

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Team & Culture

People are everything, especially in startups. Dave Kashen shares how to set the DNA for your company culture from Day #1 and best practices for building the best team.

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Design Research

Erika Hall shares the importance of research in your design process and articulates the vision for her approach.

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Demand Horizon

Inventor and search expert Gerry Campbell illustrates how search is the objective expression of user demand, can be a direct line to customer feedback, and should be explored before building anything.

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Business Model Canvas

Even with a great product and groundbreaking technology, companies with great business models win every time. Alexander Osterwalder, creator of the business model canvas, shows how to proactively innovate on your business model.

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Managing Design Innovation

Matthew Beebe is a human-centered design expert who created the Innovation Worksheets while at legendary design consulting firm IDEO. In the lesson, he leads you through the brainstorming process and shows you how to find the best solution for whatever problem you are passionate about. Learn how to conduct a brilliant brainstorming session, how to ask the right questions, and why good execution is just a series of good ideas.

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Sales Funnel Optimization

A proper sales funnel is the key to gaining users and pricing your product. Hiten Shah explains how you can create one and why every business needs one.

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Intro to Hacking

Appreciate the role of hacking for programmers and non-programmers, both in startups and corporations, through this introductory guide to hacking.

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BoD Management

Venture capitalist, VenRock partner, and veteran Board of Director (BoD) expert Brian Ascher shares best practices for managing your board not only for governance and compliance but also as a strategic asset for startup success.

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Agile Development

Well-functioning agile teams transform the whole way that the business operates. Learn best practices for implementing agile development in your company from veteran practitioner Ian McFarland and set a great framework from which your team can build.