The Entrepreneurial Development Process as used here describes the way that creative entrepreneurs develop new products, processes, and business directions. Most business leaders are familiar with a business development process that is linear, predictable, and manageable, as represented below:
However, the Entrepreneurial Development Process is really something very different, as we have attempted to represent here:
There are many references and tools available to help people navigate the traditional business development process. However, tools for the entrepreneurial development process are only emerging as it becomes more understood. Since it is not a linear process, the best tools are really frameworks that guide one’s thinking without setting any direction.
Probably the best tool is the Business Model Canvas developed by Alexander Osterwald and his colleagues. The Canvas captures all the key aspects of a business model while in development, and essentially helps one keep all of them and their interactions at front of mind. We have included a version on standard paper here.
We have found that the “business” language of the Canvas is not familiar to most students. Thus, we have developed a different version with more student-friendly language we call the adVENTURE Canvas. We utilize this when we want to help students with innovation activities that are not directly related to business so learning the business terms is not valuable.
For times when students are working on business-related activities, we have also included some of the more traditional business-related tools.
Some other resources one might want to consider are:
- Business Model Generation, by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, John Wiley 2010.
This is a great book that talks about the Business Model Canvas and gives numerous examples of how it is used.
- “Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything,” by Steve Blank, Harvard Business Review, May 2013, p. 64.
This is perhaps the best overview of the new understanding of the entrepreneurial development process, called the “lean start-up process” here. Written by Steve Blank, a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has devoted his knowledge and experience over the last several years to teach the entrepreneurial development process.
This is Steve Blank’s blog. He often has interesting things to say about entrepreneurship and innovation, and he has been generous in sharing the course outlines and slides from his entrepreneurship courses at Stanford.
- The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries, Crown Business 2011.
This is another good description of the Lean Startup process (entrepreneurial development process) by an entrepreneur who reflects on his first startup company.
- Startup Weekend, by Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen, and Frank Nouyrigat, John Wiley 2012.
This book describes Startup Weekend, a popular program where people develop a business over a weekend.
- The Startup Owner’s Manual, by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf, K and S Ranch 2012
This is a comprehensive book that breaks down the customer development aspect of entrepreneurial development in great detail. This will probably be appreciated by those who prefer a more structured process, but one must recognize that the success of the entrepreneurial development process depends upon being flexible and responsive to changing dynamics.