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The Artist and the Innovator - CONCLUSION

What Separates Success Isn't Differing Skillsets But Differing Mindsets

Steve is operating like an Artist and is primarily driven by his love for his product (solution). You can easily substitute Artist with Software Developer, Designer, Creative, Maker, Writer, Author, Hacker, Inventor… He takes a build-first approach which in today’s world is highly risky.

The real question today isn’t: “Can we build it?” but: “Should we build it?”.

Larry, on the other hand, is operating like an Innovator.

Innovators turn inventions into working business models.

He is primarily driven by turning his ideas into a business model that works. He takes a customer-first approach because he considers that to be the riskiest aspect of his business model at the outset. Once he de-risks those starting assumptions, he continues to systematically de-risk his business model — prioritized from high risk to low risk.


Most entrepreneurs start out like Steve and eventually evolve into Larry.

I used to be a Steve too. I too was hit by an awesome idea. An idea so good I never told anyone but close friends sworn into secrecy. I spent a year building out my “big idea” in stealth. And, like Steve, I too struggled to get other people to see what I saw.

It took me roughly seven years to transition from Steve to Larry, and there’s been no looking back ever since.

This mindset shift has been a game-changer.

I attribute all the success and attention I’ve received over the years with my books (Running Lean and Scaling Lean) and the Lean Canvas to this new way of thinking and approaching products.