CVC Presents: “Testing Business Ideas” Webinar & Transcript, feat. David Bland and Beth McKeon

Columbia Venture Community
Columbia Venture Community
35 min readMay 21, 2020

This webinar was recorded live on April 28th, 2020, and sponsored by the Columbia Venture Community (CVC) — a global network of nearly 6,000 Columbia University alumni, students, and staff who are interested in all aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation.

CVC Global President Ryan MacCarrigan recently welcomed guests David Bland and Beth Mckeon to discuss David’s new book Testing Business Ideas, co-authored with Alex Osterwalder.

In this webinar, we explored the subject of entrepreneurial risk — how to measure and understand it through several different lenses. We also touched on the relationship between startup risk and experimentation and how our tolerance for risk might change in the wake of COVID-19.

Topics Covered:

  • Identifying and testing risky business assumptions as quickly as possible.
  • Why rapid experimentation and learning often provide a clearer picture of early-stage risk than other more traditional measures.
  • Why the book Testing Business Ideas should be required reading for all virtual accelerator directors and participants.
  • How our understanding of entrepreneurial risk might change or need to adapt in the post-coronavirus era.

Our Guests:

David Bland: Co-Author of Testing Business Ideas with Alex Osterwalder. David is an advisor on product-market fit using lean startup, design thinking, and business model innovation.

He pioneered GE FastWorks with Eric Ries, advised emerging product teams at Adobe, and mentored Toyota on lean startup practices. Before his transition into advising, Bland spent over 10 years of his career at technology startups.

He remains connected to the startup scene working at Singularity University, Draper University, Backstage Capital, and several other Silicon Valley accelerators.

Columbia Venture Community
Columbia Venture Community

Founded in 2006, CVC is a private network for Columbia students, alumni, and employees interested in all aspects entrepreneurship.