The canonical product development model – concept, develop, alpha, beta, first customer, ship – is how Silicon Valley grew strong. But why does this process to build a business only succeed part of the time? And how can early stage ventures reduce their overall risk? Serial entrepreneur Steve Blank points out that most founding partners strongly focus on product and ship. But too often, startups confuse engineering's accomplishments with marketing and sales success, and they pop the champagne corks too soon.