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Podcast: My Interview With Steve Blank On Entrepreneurship, Minorities In Tech and Accelerators

Steve Blank

In November 2015 I had the chance to be interviewed by my friend and mentor Steve Blank as a guest on the Entrepreneurs are Everywhere radio show. The Entrepreneurs are Everywhere show airs weekly on SiriusXM Channel 111 (airing weekly Thursdays at 1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern.) Steve is the creator of the Lean Startup movement, author of Startup Owners Manual and Four Steps To The Epiphany.

The show follows the journeys of founders sharing their experiences of what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more. The program examines the DNA of entrepreneurs: what makes them tick, how they came up with their ideas; and explores the habits that make them successful, and the highs, lows that pushed them forward.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Wayne also spoke about working to increase the number of minorities in tech:

It’s not an easy problem to solve. It is not just one thing, -… it’s not just about (a lack of) people in the pipeline, its not just as a problem in terms of biases. Not just a problem in terms of access to technology. (It’s all of these.)

We don’t think about that in 2016, everybody doesn’t have a smartphone. Everybody doesn’t have hi-speed Internet. Everybody doesn’t have or is even aware of success stories such as Steve Blank or the process of launching a startup.  

Even though we have all this information online, not everybody is aware or have access to this, and (on top of this there) is lack of role models … especially for underrepresented entrepreneurs. And it’s a culture issue.  

…Look at the history of America and what has been the role models or the examples of a way out for a lot of underrepresented entrepreneurs minorities? It has been sports and entertainment, not tech.

I feel like now we’re beginning to see people focus a little bit more on tech, but it’s not just one thing. It’s all those pieces. …

…(Silicon Valley) is a network-based system — about who you know … who gets funded, how teams are forms, who gets hired in certain companies, how promotions (are determined) — that is all relationship-based.

Steve:  You think there is implicit rather than explicit bias?

Wayne: Yes.

Steve: That’s an interesting … It’s truly an ‘old boy’ network.

Wayne: Yes. 

Steve: Even though the old boys are not very old. 

Wayne: No.

The Entrepreneurs are Everywhere is recorded at the Stanford University studio.

You can listen to full the podcast here on SoundCloud.

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