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Episodes

How to Keep Your Job As Your Company Grows

11/15/2018
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If you’re an early employee at a startup, one day you will wake up to find that what you worked on 24/7 for the last year is no longer the most important thing – you’re no longer the most important employee, and process, meetings, paperwork and managers and bosses have shown up. Most painfully, you’ll learn that your role in the company has to change.

Duration:00:09:42

Driven to Distraction – the future of car safety

10/31/2018
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If you haven’t gotten a new car in a while you may not have noticed that the future of the dashboard looks like this... That’s it. A single screen replacing all the dashboard gauges, knobs and switches. But behind that screen is an increasing level of automation that hides a ton of complexity.

Duration:00:20:27

What Your Startup Needs to Know About Regulated Markets

10/11/2018
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Often the opposite of disruption is the status quo. If you’re a startup trying to disrupt an existing business you need to read The Fixer by Bradley Tusk and Regulatory Hacking by Evan Burfield. These two books, one by a practitioner, the other by an investor, are must-reads. The Fixer is 1/3rd autobiography, 1/3rd case studies, and 1/3rd a “how-to” manual. Regulatory Hacking is closer to a “step-by-step” textbook with case studies. Here’s why you need to read them.

Duration:00:11:17

The Apple Watch – Tipping Point Time for Healthcare

9/28/2018
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I don’t own an Apple Watch. I do have a Fitbit. But the Apple Watch 4 announcement intrigued me in a way no other product has since the original IPhone. This wasn’t just another product announcement from Apple. It heralded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) entrance into the 21stcentury. It is a harbinger of the future of healthcare and how the FDA approaches innovation.

Duration:00:20:53

The End of More – The Death of Moore’s Law

9/14/2018
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For most of our lives the idea that computers and technology would get, better, faster, cheaper every year was as assured as the sun rising every morning. The story “GlobalFoundries Stops All 7nm Development“ doesn’t sound like the end of that era, but for anyone who uses an electronic device, it most certainly is. Technology innovation is going to take a different direction.

Duration:00:06:39

Is the Lean Startup Dead?

9/7/2018
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Reading the NY Times article “Jeffrey Katzenberg Raises $1 Billion for Short-Form Video Venture,” I realized it was time for a new startup heuristic: the amount of customer discovery and product-market fit you need to find is inversely proportional to the amount and availability of risk capital. And while the “first mover advantage” was the rallying cry of the last bubble, today’s is: “Massive capital infusion can own the entire market.”

Duration:00:06:09

This 1 Piece of Advice Could Make Or Break Your Career

7/23/2018
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There’s no handbook on how to evaluate and process “suggestions” and “advice” from a boss or a mentor. But how you choose to act on these recommendations can speed up your learning and make or break your career. Here’s what to keep in mind...

Duration:00:06:09

Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2018 – wonder and awe

6/8/2018
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We just finished our 3rd annual Hacking for Defense class at Stanford. Six teams presented their Lessons Learned presentations. Watching them I was left with wonder and awe about what they accomplished in 10 weeks. Six teams spoke to over 600 beneficiaries, stakeholders, requirements writers, program managers, warfighters, legal, security, customers, etc. By the end the class all of the teams realized that the problem as given by the sponsor had morphed into something bigger, deeper and...

Duration:00:07:48

The Innovation Stack: How to make innovation programs deliver more than coffee cups

6/7/2018
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Is your organization full of Hackathons, Shark Tanks, Incubators and other innovation programs, but none have changed the trajectory of your company/agency? Over the last few years Pete Newell and I have helped build innovation programs inside large companies, across the U.S. federal science agencies and in the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community. But it is only recently that we realized why some programs succeed and others are failing.

Duration:00:11:20

Why the Future of Tesla May Depend on Knowing What Happened to Billy Durant

5/3/2018
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Elon Musk, Alfred Sloan, and entrepreneurship in the automobile industry. The entrepreneur who founded and grew the largest startup in the world to $10 billion in revenue and got fired is someone you have probably never heard of. The guy who replaced him invented the idea of the modern corporation. If you want to understand the future of Tesla and Elon Musk’s role – something many want to do, given the constant stream of headlines about the company — you should start with a bit of...

Duration:00:13:04

Why Entrepreneurs Start Companies Rather Than Join Them

4/10/2018
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If you asked me why I gravitated to startups rather than work in a large company I would have answered at various times: “I want to be my own boss.” “I love risk.” “I want flexible work hours.” “I want to work on tough problems that matter.” “I have a vision and want to see it through.” “I saw a better opportunity and grabbed it. …”

Duration:00:08:14

The Difference Between Innovators and Entrepreneurs

4/2/2018
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I just received a thank-you note from a student who attended a fireside chat I held at the ranch. Something I said seemed to inspire her: “I always thought you needed to be innovative, original to be an entrepreneur. Now I have a different perception. Entrepreneurs are the ones that make things happen. (That) takes focus, diligence, discipline, flexibility and perseverance. They can take an innovative idea and make it impactful. … successful entrepreneurs are also ones who take challenges...

Duration:00:03:22

Leadership is More Than a Memo

3/18/2018
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Leadership is More Than a Memo by Steve Blank

Duration:00:03:43

CoinOut Gets Coin In

2/20/2018
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It’s always fun to see what happens to my students after they leave class. Jeff Witten started CoinOut four years ago in my Columbia University 5-day Lean LaunchPad class. CoinOut eliminates the hassle of getting a pocket full of loose change from merchants by allowing you to put it in a digital wallet. Jeff just appeared on Shark Tank and the Sharks funded him. We just caught up and I got to do a bit of customer discovery on Jeff’s entrepreneurial journey to date.

Duration:00:06:35

Innovation at Speed – when you have 2 million employees

2/12/2018
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Success no longer goes to the country that develops a new fighting technology first, but rather to the one that better integrates it and adapts its way of fighting…Our response will be to prioritize speed of delivery, continuous adaptation, and frequent modular upgrades. We must not accept cumbersome approval chains, wasteful applications of resources in uncompetitive space, or overly risk-averse thinking that impedes change. If you read these quotes, you’d think they were from a CEO who...

Duration:00:07:14

Janesville – A Story About the Rest of America

2/1/2018
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I just read book – Janesville – that reminded me again of life outside the bubble. Janesville, tells the story of laid-off factory workers of a General Motors factory that’s never going to reopen. It’s a story about a Midwest town and the type of people I knew and worked alongside.

Duration:00:07:59

Why GE’s Jeff Immelt Lost His Job – Disruption and Activist Investors

11/3/2017
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Jeff Immelt ran GE for 16 years. He radically transformed the company from a classic conglomerate that did everything to one that focused on its core industrial businesses. He sold off slower-growth, low-tech, and nonindustrial businesses — financial services, media, entertainment, plastics, and appliances. He doubled GE’s investment in R&D.

Duration:00:09:28

The Red Queen Problem – Innovation in the DoD and Intelligence Community

10/19/2017
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“…it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. ” - The Red Queen Alice in Wonderland Innovation, disruption, accelerators, have all become urgent buzzwords in the Department of Defense and Intelligence community. They are a reaction to the “red queen problem” but aren’t actually solving the problem. Here’s why.

Duration:00:17:36

Office of Naval Research (ONR) Goes Lean

10/12/2017
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The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been one of the largest supporters of innovation in the U.S. Now they are starting to use the Lean Innovation process (see here and here) to turn ideas into solutions. The result will be defense innovation with speed and urgency.

Duration:00:07:29

Removing the Roadblocks to Corporate Innovation – When Theory Meets Practice

9/21/2017
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Innovation theory and innovation in practice are radically different. Here are some simple tools to get your company’s innovation pipeline through the obstacles it will encounter.

Duration:00:10:05