An allegedly retired serial entrepreneur, Bob Dorf is the co-author of The Startup Owners Manual. Along with Steve Blank, the two have spent nearly two years conceiving, outlining, drafting, rewriting and revising this global bestseller.

Bob left a lucrative broadcasting job at the age of 22 because he had a passion to start his own company, which he did seven times over three decades, and he’s invested in, coached or advised over two dozen startups over more than a decade.

He travels the world, helping startups, incubators, governments and established corporations learn how to effectively deploy Customer Development process through speaking, workshops and intensive hands-on Startup Boot Camps.

Bob lives in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife, Fran, a writer, therapist and thrice-published novelist. When’s he’s not speaking, teaching or writing, he is often found on his bicycle or his skis. But Bob’s proudest startup of all is his daughter Rachel Dorf Gotler, a Ph.D. Psychologist who recently made him a grandpa.


Things you will learn from this episode:

• How self-confidence can be both an asset and a liability (11:52)

• Don’t be afraid to pivot! (16:16)

• What makes a person the most interesting or relevant in the room? (18:19)

• Any idea you have is testable before you build it or start selling it – and whose opinions you should be listening to! (35:10)

• The “Ugly Baby Scenario” and how it can apply to any business (36:22)


Deadly Quotes 

“I was 16 years into (my career); it was very lucrative and profitable, but I was bored out of my mind” (4:06)

“The first thing I bought was probably the worst thing I bought!” (9:08, on buying two rundown video stores)

“We often don’t apply the same rigour to personal decisions that we apply to business decisions” (10:50)

“I fix stuff you know; it’s what I do.” (12:25)



The Startup Owner’s Manual by Bob Dorf and Steve Blank

21 Days to a Great Idea by Bryan Mattimore