Bob Dorf (Startup Owner's Manual)

Jul 30, 2013, 10:30 PM – Jul 31, 2013, 1:30 AM

In-person event

About this event

Bob Dorf - 7-time entrepreneur and co-author with Steve Blank of the Startup Owner's Manual     Co-hosted by the Creative Destruction Lab, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Bob  Dorf  is  likely  the  second  most  knowledgeable  Customer  Development  expert  on  the  planet,  second  only  to  his  business  partner,  co-author  and  friend  of  20  years,  Steve  Blank,  who  developed  the  methodology  after  retiring  from  his  eighth  startup,  E.piphany,  when  it  achieved  a  market  cap  of  $8-­billion.    Dorf  helped  Steve  Blank  deploy  and  test  the  Customer  Development  process  when  E.piphany  opened  its  doors  with  five  employees  in  1996. Dorf  later  critiqued  the  earliest  versions  of  Steve’s  Four  Steps  to  the  Epiphany mercilessly  along  the  way,  and  they’ve  been  friends  and  colleagues  ever  since. In  March,  2012,  along  with  Steve  Blank,  Bob  published  The  Startup  Owner’s  Manual:  The  Step-­‐by-­‐Step  Guide  for  Building  a  Great  Company,  two  years  in  nearly-­‐fulltime  research  and  development.  The  608-­‐page,  painstakingly  detailed  guide  is  the  most  comprehensive,  rigorous  step-­‐-­‐-­‐by-­‐-­‐-­‐step  roadmap  that  is  guiding  startup  founders  throughout  the  world.  The  Owner’s  Manual  builds  on  Blank’s  groundbreaking  Four  Steps,  with  parallel  Customer  Development  pathways  for  companies  in  the  web  and  mobile  channels,  as  well  as traditional  physical  goods  and  enterprise  software  startups;  it  also  includes  in-­‐depth  web  marketing  tutorials. Bob  Dorf  travels  the  world,  helping  startups,  foreign  governments,  and  major  corporations  learn  how  to  effectively  deploy  Customer  Development  process  through  intensive  8-­‐-­‐-­‐10  week  Lean  LaunchPad  sessions,  as  workshops  and  hands-­‐on  consulting  that  he  conducts  repeatedly  in  Russia,  Latin  America,  and  the  US.    He  teaches  the  Lean  LaunchPad  program  at  Columbia  Business  School,  where  he  is  an  Adjunct  Professor  of  Entrepreneurship,  and  has  led  training  sessions  at  Tech  de  Monterrey,  Mexico,  Skolkovo  Business  School  in  Moscow,  Moscow  State  University  and  many  other  Universities.  Bob’s  deep    experience  consulting  to  Fortune  500  companies  and  service,  retail,  and  web  businesses  balances  Steve’s VC  and  software-­centric  experience.  He’s  counseled  dozens  of  nonprofits  pro  bono  as  well. Entrepreneurial  from  the  age  of  12,  Bob  received  his  last  W-­2  almost  40  years  ago,  when  he  left  a  great  news  editor’s  job  at  WINS  Radio  in  New  York  to  launch  his  first  major startup.  Since  then,  he  has  personally  founded  seven  companies,  including—as  he  puts  it—“two  homeruns,  two  base  hits,  and  three  solid  tax  losses.”  His  24  personal  investments  included  7  IPO’s,  six  colossal  failures,  and, -as  he  puts  it -“everything  imaginable  in  between.”    His  founded  his  first  startup,  later  named    Dorf+Stanton  Communications,  in  his  living  room  at  age  22.  It  grew  from  a  staff  of  two—Bob  and  a  St.  Bernard—to  more  than  150,  when  Bob  sold  it  in  1989. Bob  co-­‐founded  Marketing 1to1  (later  Peppers&Rogers  Group)  in  1993,  growing  it  to  400+  people. The  March  1999  Fortune  magazine  raved  about  The  One  to  One  Fieldbook  he  co-­authored,  saying, "if  your  company  is  launching  a  customer-­‐focused  strategy…it  sets  the  agenda."  As  founding  CEO,  Dorf  spearheaded  major  strategic  customer  programs  at  a  veritable  “who’s  who”  of  companies  including  3M,  Bertelsmann,  Ford,  HP,  Jaguar,  NCR,  Oracle,  and  Schwab.  Bob  has  published  dozens  of  articles  including  an  in-­‐depth  Harvard  Business  Review  CRM  treatise.  Dorf  lives  in  Stamford  with  his  wife  Fran,  a  therapist  and  thrice-­published  novelist.  An  avid  bicyclist  and  skier,  Bob’s  proudest  startup  by  far  is  daughter  Rachel,  a  psychologist  who  recently  made  him  a  grandpa.

Check out what happened


  • Bob Dorf

    Startup Owner's Manual



July 30 – 31, 2013
10:30 PM – 1:30 AM UTC


Networking and Food
Fireside Chat


  • Sharn Bassi

    Startup Grind

    Chapter Director

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