Startup Coach/Trainer, Professor of Entrepreneurship
Bob Dorf is likely the second most knowledgeable Lean and Customer Development expert on the planet, second only to Steve Blank, who developed the methodology and spent a decade extending and refining it. Together with Steve Blank, Bob published The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company. Today, after two years of near-fulltime research and writing, it’s Amazon.com’s #1 Business/Entrepreneurship bestseller, published in 15 languages worldwide. The 608-page, painstakingly detailed guide is the most comprehensive, rigorous step-by-step roadmap available anywhere, guiding startup
founders throughout the world.
Bob Dorf travels the world, helping startups, foreign governments, and major corporations learn how to effectively deploy Customer Development process through intensive 8-10 week training sessions, as well as one- and two-day workshops and hands-on consulting that he conducts repeatedly in Russia, Latin America, and throughout the US.
He teaches the Lean LaunchPad program at Columbia Business School, where he is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, and has led training sessions at Tech de Monterrey, Mexico, Skolkovo Business School in Moscow, and repeatedly for the government of Colombia and Moscow’s GVA Launch Gurus “Startup Academy.”
Entrepreneurial from the age of 12, Bob received his last W-2 some 40 years ago, when he left a great news editor’s job at WINS Radio in New York to launch his first major startup. Since then, he has personally founded seven companies, including—as he puts it—“two homeruns, two base hits, and three solid tax losses.” His 24 personal investments included 7 IPO’s, six colossal failures, and–as he puts it—“everything imaginable in between.” His founded his first startup, later named Dorf+Stanton Communications, in his living room at age 22. It grew from a staff of two—Bob and a St. Bernard—to more than 150, when Bob sold it in 1989.
Bob co-founded Marketing 1to1 (later Peppers&Rogers Group) in 1993, growing it to 400+ people. The March 1999 Fortune magazine raved about The One to One Fieldbook he coauthored, saying, “if your company is launching a customer-focused strategy…it sets the agenda.” As founding CEO, Dorf spearheaded major strategic customer programs at a veritable “who’s who” of companies including 3M, Bertelsmann, Ford, HP, Jaguar, NCR, Oracle, and Schwab. Bob has published dozens of articles including an in–depth Harvard Business Review CRM treatise.
Dorf lives in Stamford with his wife Fran, a therapist and thrice-published novelist. An avid bicyclist and skier, Bob’s proudest startup by far is daughter Rachel, a psychologist who also twice made him a grandpa.