A Path to the Minimum Viable Product

I first met Shawn Carolan and his wife Jennifer at the turn of the century at 11,000 feet. I was hiking with my kids between the Yosemite High Sierra camps. Having just retired from a career as an entrepreneur I had started thinking about why startups were different from large companies. The ideas were bouncing around […]

These Five Principles Will Accelerate Innovation

As Director of the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force Pete Newell delivered innovation at speed and scale in the Department of Defense. Pete is now CEO of BMNT, a company that delivers innovation solutions and processes for governments. Here are Pete’s 5 principles that will accelerate innovation. To help a large Defense organization wrestle with how to increase […]

How to Convince Investors You’re the Future not the Past

This article previously appeared in VentureBeat. I just had a coffee with Mei and Bill, two passionate students who are on fire about their new startup idea. It’s past the “napkin-sketch” stage with a rough minimum viable product and about 100 users. I thought they had a great insight about an application space others had […]

AgileFall – When Waterfall Sneaks Back Into Agile

This article previously appeared in the Harvard Business Review AgileFall is an ironic term for program management where you try to be agile and lean, but you keep using waterfall development techniques. It often produces a result that’s like combining a floor wax and dessert topping. I just sat through my a project management meeting where […]

Teaching Lean Innovation in the Pandemic

Remote education in the pandemic has been hard for everyone. Hard for students having to deal with a variety of remote instructional methods. Hard for parents with K through 12 students at home trying to keep up with remote learning, and hard for instructors trying to master new barely functional tools and technology while trying […]

Technology, Innovation, and Modern War – Class 1 – Ash Carter

We just had our first week of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War. Given the tech-centricity of Stanford and Silicon Valley, Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I thought it was natural to design a class to examine the new military systems, operational concepts and doctrines that will emerge from 21st century […]

The Fatal Flaw of the Three Horizons Model

A version of this article first appeared in the Harvard Business Review I’m a big fan of McKinsey’s Three Horizons Model of innovation. (if you’re not familiar with it there’s a brief description a few paragraphs down.) It’s one of the quickest ways to describe and prioritize innovation ideas in a large company or government agency. However, […]

The Lean LaunchPad Class: It’s the same, but different

It’s the same, but different We just finished the 8th annual Lean LaunchPad class at Stanford. The team presentations are at the end of this post. It’s hard to imagine, but only a decade ago, the capstone entrepreneurship class in most universities was how to write – or pitch- a business plan. As a serial entrepreneur […]

Hacking for Defense Goes National

Our goal was to scale Hacking for Defense classes across the US – giving students the opportunity to perform national service by solving real defense/diplomacy problems using Lean Methods. In exchange our government sponsors benefit from 1) access to talent that most likely would never have served the country, 2) getting solutions as minimum viable products/prototypes in 10 weeks, […]

CoinOut Gets Coin In

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 […]

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