We know that you have The Startup Owner’s Manual on your nightstand. In the unlikely case that you don’t, Bob Dorf is a name you cannot miss in the startup universe.

Especially as he is joining us in less than a month at the StartUP Conference Next 2014 for an exciting opening talk plus special 1-on-1 sessions with startups. The invitation comes from Junior Achievement Bulgaria that is pioneering the startup culture and spirit in Bulgaria through educational programs for young people in schools and universities across the country.

Bob will talk about the neverending quest for the scalable and functioning business model, the business model canvas as applied to the Customer Development process and, naturally, about growth in all of its aspects. Bob will choose a handful of VIP ticket holders with functioning startups and will have individual sessions with them. 

Who is Bob Dorf

Yes, you all know who Bob Dorf is, but let’s have it here for the record.

Bob has been called a “serial entrepreneur” and the “midwife of Customer Development,” but he is certainly much more than that.

The last time he was anybody’s employee was 40 years ago. He’s been founding and running companies ever since. His first trial was at the age of 22 and until now the startup count is at seven. He seems to be especially good at making his companies grow. His first one had 150 employees when he sold it, while one of the next ones, the hugely successful Marketing 1to1, had 400 employees.


Bob Dorf

Besides being seriously infected with the entrepreneurial virus, Bob Dorf is no stranger to innovative thinking and visionary work. His concept of “getting out of the building” is quite a strong one, as it urges budding companies to validate the need for their product with real people before rolling the sleeves.

Let’s not forget the infamous “throw out the business plan.” Yes, Bob is apparently a fan of full-blown honesty, so he advises startups not to waste time on writing fiction but to focus instead on strong customer feedback loop and a deep analysis whether the product can actually pick up.

Bob and his long-time friend and business partner Steve Blank co-authored the renown The Startup Owner’s Manual. They spent two years in the process, researching and jumping deep in their theories. The result is a 500-page bestseller for startups that is being taught at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia University.

And what is he up to now?

For years now, Bob is traveling around the world and sharing… the startup love. Well, it’s more like the insider’s knowledge of running and growing a startup. He defines himself as a startup trainer/coach, but as a prophet of Steve Blank’s Customer Development approach he has been consulting both big companies and startups alike.

Bob is managing the Four Steps consultancy company, through which he is providing workshops and advice to businesses. His mentoring helps them apply the Customer Development process in the most authentic way.

Bob Dorf

The “serial entrepreneur” is also sharing his knowledge in the academic sphere. He is covering entrepreneurship and venturing topics at Columbia Business School, as he teaches the Lean LaunchPad program to the hungry for knowledge youth. He has guided training sessions at Tech de Monterrey in Mexico and at Skolkovo Business School in Moscow.

On the strictly personal side, Bob and his wife Fran live in Stamford and recently became grandparents. The source: as he jokes, Bob’s most successful startup, which is his daughter Rachel.


Don’t miss the opportunity to listen to Bob’s exciting talk at StartUP Conference Next 2014.

Eventbrite - Startup Conference NEXT 2014