In business schools, are we teaching management or entrepreneurial skills?

This is a fascinating discussion by Steve Blank about the way he shifted his thinking about teaching entrepreneurial skills at business schools and the use of experiential approaches.

After a few years of trial and error in front of a lot of students, I realized that the replacement for the case method was not better cases written for startups and that the replacement for business plans was not how to write better business plans and pitch decks. (I did both!). Instead, we needed a new management stack for company creation.

He places his approach to entrepreneurial teaching in the contextof a much broader set of approaches:


The Lean Launchpad is deliberately a Flipped Classroom approach where students are made responsible for designing and executing their own learning path:

Inside the classroom, we deliberately trade off lecture time for student/teaching team interaction. The class is run using a “flipped classroom.” Instead of lecturing about the basics during class time, we assign the core lectures, recorded as video clips, as homework.

The result is a different learning approach that brings new approaches to the way students work, think, and solve problems.

This is now the basis for the courses on entrepreneurship at Stanford.

While the Lean LaunchPad/I-Corps curriculum was a revolutionary break with the past, it’s not the end. In the last decade enumerable variants have emerged. The class we teach at Stanford has continued to evolve. Better versions from others will appear. And one day another revolutionary break will take us to the next level.