What Job Needs to be Done? 2 Minutes to Find Out Why

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Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy

When you’re up to your neck in alligators, don’t forget the goal was to drain the swamp. I love teaching because I learn something new every class. This time it was, “Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy.” The latest “aha” moment for me when I was at Columbia University teaching an intensive […]

Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer and Why He Still Has His Job at Apple

What happens to a company when a visionary CEO is gone? Most often innovation dies and the company coasts for years on momentum and its brand. Rarely does it regain its former glory. Here’s why. Microsoft entered the 21st century as the dominant software provider for anyone who interacted with a computing device. 16 years later […]

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 44: Jacqueline Ros and Christina Stembel

The first two years of my startup were the most challenging years of my life; I just felt like a complete failure all the time. In moments of darkness you need to remember why you’re here and why you’re fighting that fight. Grueling. Demoralizing. Chaotic. Miserable. Most first-time entrepreneurs aren’t prepared for the challenges they will […]

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 41: Chris Schroeder and Andy Cunningham

There are only two emotions in startups — utter ebullient enthusiasm and outright terror. Here’s the big thing about tech companies: They all believe that if they build it, the world will come, but it doesn’t really work that way. The reality distortion you create is imperative to be able to believe what you’re doing, […]

Working Hard is not the same as working smart

Measuring how hard your team is working by counting the number of hours they work or what time they get in and leave is how amateurs run companies. The number of hours worked is not the same as how effective they (and you) are. I had been invited by Rahul, one of my students from […]

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 40: Stan Gloss and Matt Armstead

A lot of people, especially in the Midwest, will spend their time thinking too small. They’re a creature of their habit and habitat, in looking at potential investors and market opportunities. If you see a need or problem and you think you can solve it, you don’t want that destiny to belong to someone else. You have to disprove the […]

Clusters, Class, Culture and Unfair Advantages

“Talent Is Universal; Opportunity Is Not.” –Nicholas Kristof I just finished reading J.D. Vance’s excellent book Hillbilly Elegy, and had that funny feeling when you find the story arc of someone else’s life eerily paralleling yours. Vance’s book and the story of my own life suggest that there is an archetypal journey (a pattern of […]

Why the Navy Needs Disruption Now (part 1 of 2)

The future is here it’s just distributed unevenly – Silicon Valley view of tech adoption The threat is here it’s just distributed unevenly – A2/AD and the aircraft carrier Sitting backwards in a plane with no windows, strapped in a 4-point harness, wearing a life preserver, head encased in a helmet, eyes covered by googles, […]

Hacking for Defense @ Stanford – Week 4

We just held our fourth week of the Hacking for Defense class. This week the teams turned the corner on understanding beneficiaries and finding product/market fit. The 8 teams spoke to 115 beneficiaries (users, program managers, etc.); we sent each team a critique of their mission model canvas; we started streaming the class live to DOD/IC […]