13 Responses

  1. Thanks for laying this out clearly. I have just started to learn these facts and use them in my blog and to guide my companies as we try to innovate and to produce useful products. Your history makes it clearer what works, what doesn’t, and why.

  2. I was an unofficial member of the Presidents Science Advisory Committee, beginning at the age of 10. While your history correctly reports the official story, it does not speak to the intent of individuals, who were unhappy with the limited application of their R&D efforts. As you continue to write and learn from history, consider what would have happened if those dedicated individuals had access to the internet, 1950.

    • Hi Leonore,
      How might the rest of us find out what you know about this story? I am intensely interested and just finished reading and reviewing “Tuxedo Park”, “The Los Alamos Primer” and “The Great Decision.” I also live in Los Alamos, NM and have gleaned some pieces of the history directly from those who made it. I am a biologist and never worked in nuclear weapons. The story, however, is compelling.

  3. This is very helpful putting things into clearer context. When does part 2 come out?

  4. What’s also important is the post war culture of how the innovation was carried out which differs vastly to the red tape and ‘correctness’ of work-life today. Innovation is about observation & action/reaction – and in today’s culture that exploration path is often kept at arms length through a tier of policy glue.

    Our desire to immerse deeply with innovation is often countered by the friction in today’s many’s layered systems that push most out of that sphere of engagement – rather than the single unilateral focused need to make it so, through small groups challenged/tasked with changing their future.

    Something to be said about placing one’s backside on the soap box of need and having to make it work – supported by a itsy-bitsy committee with deep pockets !

  5. Thank you for delving into this for our benefit. Extremely helpful!

  6. As has been said, thank you for your research and writing on this topic and I am looking forward to more.

  7. Steve,
    I’d like to have your permission to translate this and the rest of the series into Russian. I believe this hold a great inspirational and educational value and would like to share this with those of my friends who better comprehend in their native language. Besides, it will make me read these with a lot more attention :)

  8. Dear Steve

    Thank you so much for your work on Customer Development and material that you have made publicly available. I am a lecturer at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad and Tobago ) and guide my students along the path to entrepreneurship. I don’t believe that entrepreneurship can be taught but I certainly know that the Customer Development can guide anyone to become a successful entrepreneur.

    Over the past few years I have used the principles exposed by Alex Ostwerwalder, Eric Ries and yourself in my course. Now I am fully integrating your material into my course material because although I felt comfortable with the principles my greatest challenge was presenting it in way that facilitates optimal assimilation by students who are citizens of a digital world. The course EP245 – How to Build a Startup on Udacity.com hits the mark for me and allows student to have a strong visual experience that they can revisit and reinforce as and when they wish. It allows me to more pay attention to ways and means by which the students can get more out of the class. The class is now one where they learn outside the classroom based on their individual encounters with the real work.

    As I learn too, I hope that one day your approach and that of others would help to raise the entrepreneurial mindset of the students that I teach and by extension that of my country.

    Regards

    Ian Alleyne

    Lecturer

    Animation Studies

    University of Trinidad and Tobago

    John Donaldson Campus

    Wrightson Road

  9. Dear Steve

    Yesterday we covered Lecture 3 – Customer Segments which dealt with market types. A student pointed out that Black Market was missing from the market types. I was stunned. In developing countries some black markets do provide essential products and services to the population.

    From: Ian Alleyne
    Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 5:03 PM
    To: ‘Steve Blank’
    Subject: Customer Development for All

    Dear Steve

    Thank you so much for your work on Customer Development and material that you have made publicly available. I am a lecturer at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad and Tobago ) and guide my students along the path to entrepreneurship. I don’t believe that entrepreneurship can be taught but I certainly know that the Customer Development can guide anyone to become a successful entrepreneur.

    Over the past few years I have used the principles exposed by Alex Ostwerwalder, Eric Ries and yourself in my course. Now I am fully integrating your material into my course material because although I felt comfortable with the principles my greatest challenge was presenting it in way that facilitates optimal assimilation by students who are citizens of a digital world. The course EP245 – How to Build a Startup on Udacity.com hits the mark for me and allows student to have a strong visual experience that they can revisit and reinforce as and when they wish. It allows me to more pay attention to ways and means by which the students can get more out of the class. The class is now one where they learn outside the classroom based on their individual encounters with the real work.

    As I learn too, I hope that one day your approach and that of others would help to raise the entrepreneurial mindset of the students that I teach and by extension that of my country.

    Regards

    Ian Alleyne

    Lecturer

    Animation Studies

    University of Trinidad and Tobago

    John Donaldson Campus

    Wrightson Road

  10. […] — leaving that to private capital.” This is a topic he has discussed in a series of blog posts; he argues that the U.S. government has not set investment policy, so venture capitalists have […]

  11. […] the Cold War with the Soviet Union.  During World War II, the U.S. mobilized scientists in a way no other country had. For 45 years – post World War II until the fall of the Soviet Union – the U.S. viewed science […]

  12. I enjoyed this post very much. I also enjoyed your detailed account of the story of Rocket Science. I am looking forward to part 2 of this entry (and more). I also would love to read Steve’s thoughts (as an entrepreneur and business school lecturer) on a difficult question: defining some form of ROI, maybe as a hypothetical “Romer multiplier”, for US research spending, that might represent average economic turnover (or wealth creation) from the outputs of research as those outputs propagate through the US economy (and later the world economy) in various products. Clearly, this is secondary to the inestimable value of the role of research in saving Democracy from a fascist conquest, but that message seems to get lost occasionally during economic downturns, and the question of the value of academic research (usually couched as ROI on investments of tax dollars) is perennially in the mind of state legislators. We occasionally reference Vannevar Bush’s tract in trying to answer these queries, but as time passes people do not remember (or give much thought to) the time before there was an NSF, or even a time before radar, jet-engines, rockets, nuclear weapons and power, analog and digital computers, and all the rest.

    Thanks again for informative and entertaining posts.

    Dennis Manos
    VPR
    College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

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