Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products That Win
Steve Blank's new book (5th edition) is worth a read for anyone in any organization—startup or not! Eminently useful, a fast read, with a detailed contextual bibliography, plus two appendices that can be used as hands-on workbooks—to start applying your new knowledge.
Blank introduces a new idea: Customer Discovery. Thought you knew about your customers? Think again. Then validate! The book walks you through all the steps of Customer Discovery, from getting buy-in through verification of your hypotheses.
There's more, though. Blank elucidates the four steps to the epiphany: Customer Discovery, Customer Validation, Customer Creation, and Company Building. And we learn that not all startups are alike. OK, maybe most of us were on to that.
Blank explains how understanding market types will define whether you know where to move next in the fast-changing world of business. Are you bringing a new product to an existing market? To a new market? It makes a vital difference to all choices along the startup road map.
Four Steps to the Epiphany is based on real-life experience over a successful career that includes eight startups. Blank credits many interesting people, including "his best student" Eric Reis, who wrote The Lean Startup.
Want to learn more but don't want to read the book? Check out the website: Steve Blank
San Mateo County Library (including branches in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay) now offers eReaders for checkout at all 12 library locations countywide. In an effort to expand digital collections, an initial 65 tablets have been added as part of the library’s In Luck collection. As with other In Luck items, the eReaders are available first-come, first-served for a three-week checkout. Nook HD eReaders are preloaded with selected best sellers and come with a carrying case, charger, and instructions.
Rapid growth in eBooks has created an even greater demand for digital content at public libraries. San Mateo County Library is pleased to help bridge the digital divide by providing these devices to those users who could not otherwise afford this technology. Upcoming expansions of this program will include additional eReaders with titles for children and teens.
San Mateo County Library (including Coastside branches in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay) now offers streaming video to its library cardholders. Video collections include:
IndieFlix, online streaming of award-winning independent films, shorts, and documentaries from around the world, with unlimited access to thousands of streaming film-festival hits, including the best of Sundance, Cannes, and Tribeca.
Criterion Collection, more than 200 acclaimed films from Gus Van Sant, Guillermo del Toro, Federico Fellini, John Ford, Jean-Luc Godard, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, Francois Truffaut, and Orson Welles.
PBS Video Collection, hundreds of great PBS documentaries and series, including films of Ken Burns, Great Performances, and Frontline.
World NewsreelsOnline (1929-1966), full runs of newsreels (short documentary films) in their original form, including nine newsreel series from the United States, Japan, France, and the Netherlands, bringing history to life.
No special setup or software required—all you need is a San Mateo County Library Card, broadband Internet connection, and a device to instantly stream video. For information and instructions, visit your local San Mateo County Library branch or click this link
I sure hope you check out the e-book on iTunes and iBooks (free sample available). It includes illuminating stories, pictures, and videos on Yosemite's native people, soldiers, artists, climbers, promoters, and protectors. For me, it's been a wonderfully intense work of love and discovery. Twenty percent of all proceeds from the e-book go to support Yosemite Conservancy's restoration and education projects in the park.
Through years of educational activities by the Pacifica Beach Coalition, Pacificans have a pretty solid understanding of the problems inherent in plastic. From plastic fouling our beaches to killing sea turtles and creating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, we know more than most that plastic has a downside.
But after doing many beach cleanups, we all inevitably start asking the same question: How do we stop this insanity before it happens? An important piece of the answer is found in Beth Terry’s excellent book Plastic Free—How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.
Yes, we already live in a community that has banned takeout Styrofoam and plastic bags at the checkout counter. Many of us have moved past the ridiculous bottled-water fad, but we still see the damaging effects of our throw-away society every time we walk on the beach. We want to do more, but what does the next step look like?
In 2007 Beth Terry had an epiphany after seeing photos of a dead albatross chick on Midway Island, its stomach filled with “small pieces of plastic that had no business being out there in the middle of nowhere. Pieces of plastic like those that I myself used every day.”
At that moment she realized that she was part of the problem: “But what could I do? I knew that while I couldn’t personally go out and clean up the gyre, I could start with myself.” So she undertook the daunting task of living her life, as much as possible, without plastic. She started a blog, now called MyPlasticFreeLife.com, and began sharing what she learned. Eventually it evolved into her book.
Plastic Free is essential reading for those inspired by Charles Moore, discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or Annie Leonard, author of The Story of Stuff. As Beth puts it, “There are so many books and movies these day alerting people to the environmental problems we face, but few offering real, practical solutions. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a lot of them!”
And that she does. From food to cleaning products to beauty care, Beth has already spent seven years figuring out what might work—or not. With a lighthearted and often humorous style that cuts through our natural defensiveness, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. “I didn’t write this book to tell anyone what to do,” she says, “but as an invitation to join me in this journey of personal discovery.”
And lest we assume her discovery was a smooth path to change, Beth bares her darkest hour: “One night, around 2 AM, I found myself at the 24 hour Longs Drugstore down the street, frenetically pacing up and down the aisles…desperate to find something not made out of plastic.” Anyone who has been to a drugstore lately can imagine the absurdity of Beth's predicament. It’s exactly how an albatross might feel.
Plastic Free is available at Florey’s Book Co., 2120 Palmetto, Sharp Park, Pacifica.
We are celebrating my unquantum physics article being published in a peer-reviewed journal: Progress in Physics. The article title is: New Experiments Call for a Continuous Absorption Alternative to Quantum Mechanics--The Unquantum Effect. It should appear soon, free to download online, at ptep-online.com or see my website at unquantum.net.
Concise Introduction to the Unquantum Effect Quantum mechanics (QM) is synonymous with wave-particle duality: It means a particle is emitted, a wave associated with the particle determines the probability of where the particle will land, and the particle lands. Many physicists will admit there is no way to really understand QM because the wave must go everywhere, and then the wave needs to magically disappear. Spooks! It is not like a crime wave, because the effects happen one at a time. A famous example is the double-slit experiment, where single emissions make a wave pattern downstream. An early and nearly forgotten alternative model was called the loading theory (LT). In LT, emission of either matter or light initially would be quantized (a burst), but then can spread like a wave (not a particle). For absorption, the wave (matter or light) would load up to a threshold, then a particle-like effect would happen. This made perfect sense until the idea was unfairly misrepresented and banished, seemingly first by Max Born in his 1935 book, and by others. It has been misrepresented in our textbooks in several ways you will see in my writings. The way to show the distinction between LT and QM is to test if one emission can make two absorptions in coincidence. Such a two-for-one effect contradicts QM and upholds LT. That is what my experiments do: two-for-one. It does that because a fraction of energy (or matter) was pre-loaded ahead of time, and the wave would complete one or more loadings. I have seen up to four-for-one, and have been substantiating my case for 10 years with various tests. Previous tests similar to mine were done with visible light. They call it photons, but I am saying there are no photons. They had no idea of what a workable alternative to QM might be. When they saw one-for-one in their beam-split coincidence tests (you need to read my work for the details), they thought they proved QM. But they were just measuring random noise. First, I figured out a workable loading theory, and then designed the experiments with gamma rays (light) and alpha rays (matter) that would see through the illusion of QM. Many will protest and quote other experiments, like giant molecule diffraction. But I examined their writings and found major flaws. It is my work against a world invested in QM for 80 years, even though many knew QM was sort of nutty. QM falls, and these new experiments reveal an understandable world. No photons, no spooks. It needs to be reproduced, but it is simple. I was able to run my best experiment at my public Chit-Chat Physics demonstrations last November. Please see www.unquantum.net and its link to my YouTube video.
San Mateo County Library (SMCL) has launched its new free mobile app, powered by Boopsie, available for smart phones and tablets. Download it at smcl.boopsie.com or visit the app store for your particular device. With the app, customers can perform many of the same tasks they do online: search the catalog, place holds, renew materials, and see a display of new books, movies, and music. They can follow SMCL blogs, check out events and programs, locate SMCL branches, and connect with library staff. The new app is also designed to simplify access to the library’s collection of ebooks/e-audiobooks with easy download ability. Finally, the app features BookLook, which can be used to scan a book’s ISBN code to find out if the item is owned by SMCL.
We encourage you to contribute $25 or more to Single Payer Now to receive a copy of Health Care Wars by John Geyman, M.D. Please mail your check to Single Payer Now, PO Box 460622, San Francisco, CA 94146. Questions? Call Don Bechler, Chair, Single Payer Now, 415-695-7891, 415-810-5826 (cell)
From the Preface: "We
have been told from time immemorial in this country that free markets,
unfettered by government interference, are the fix for any of our
problems. The notion that a competitive private marketplace gives us
more information, choice, efficiency and value has been repeated so
often for so long that it has become a meme (a self-replicating idea
that is perpetuated regardless of its merits). Although this idea has
become as American as apple pie and might work in some sectors of the
economy, it does not work that way in health care. The
shared prosperity that followed World War II gave rise to the American
dream that brought new hope and opportunities for much of our
population. But over the last 30 years, under a relentless attack by
conservatives and willing Democrats, this dream is disappearing."
book takes an evidence-based approach to assess and describe the track
record of health care markets as they actually work. As you will see, it
is a story of profiteering, greed and waste with very little
accountability. I hope that this book is useful in informing the public,
policymakers and politicians of the real problems with markets. We will
need a strong and powerful unified grassroots movement to push our
leaders toward real reform. Single Payer Now survives on the generosity of its supporters. Please consider making a donation.
San Mateo County Library (SMCL), which includes Pacifica's two public libraries (Sharp Park and Sanchez), has added a new digital platform for e-books and more than 1,500 titles to its collection. Axis360 is a new digital media service that offers interactive e-books enhanced by color, video, and audio. Library users can access a growing collection of bestsellers, new releases, and classic titles, as well as heavily illustrated e-books such as children’s storybooks, cookbooks, and craft books.
Readers with a San Mateo County Library card can take advantage of the new e-book service 24/7 when they visit the library’s website from a computer or mobile device. The cloud-based delivery system greatly simplifies the process of downloading what patrons want to read onto the devices they prefer to use, including Apple, Android, and Windows tablets and smartphones. At the end of the lending period, titles automatically expire and are returned to the digital collection – eliminating late fees. Axis360 is the most accessible e-book platform available, allowing limited-sight patrons guided reading as well as text-to-voice options for all titles. To check out and download e-books and more, visit www.smcl.org/axis360.