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

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What Your Startup Needs to Know About Regulated Markets

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. […]

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

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 […]

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

A version of this article appeared in the Harvard Business Review 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 […]

Janesville – A Story About the Rest of America

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. When I got out of the Air Force […]

Why Uber is The Revenge of the Founders

A version of this article is in the Harvard Business Review Uber, Zenefits, Tanium, Lending Club CEOs of companies with billion dollar market caps have been in the news – and not in a good way.  This seems to be occurring more and more.  Why do these founders get to stay around? Because the balance of […]

How companies strangle innovation – and how you can get it right

  A shorter version of this post first appeared on the HBR blog — I just watched a very smart company try to manage innovation by hiring a global consulting firm to offload engineering from “distractions.” They accomplished their goal, but at a huge, unanticipated cost: the processes and committees they designed ended up strangling […]

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 […]