Seven Steps to Small Business Recovery

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche The world is a different place than it was 90 days ago. Countries traded saving lives by shutting down most of their economy. Tens of millions who had jobs are now unemployed worrying about their future. Business owners large and small are struggling to find their […]

Hacking 4 Recovery – Time to Take A Shot

Rise Up “Let’s do something to help with the pandemic.” In April, with the economy crashing, and the East Coast in lockdown, I heard this from Stanford instructors Tom Bedecarre and Todd Basche, both on the same day. And my response to them was the same, “I can’t sew masks and I don’t know how […]

What I Learned from 500 Educators – Build Back Better Summit – Results

With the theme “Build Back Better” Jerry Engel, Pete Newell, Steve Weinstein and I co-hosted nearly 500 Lean Educators from 63 countries and 235 universities online for a three-hour session to share what we’ve learned about educators on how we can help our communities rebound, adjust, and recover. We got insights from each other about […]

Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2020 Lesson Learned Presentations

We just finished our 5th annual Hacking for Defense class at Stanford. What a year. At the end of the quarter each of the eight teams give a final “Lessons Learned” presentation. Unlike traditional demo days or Shark Tanks which are, “here’s how smart I am, please give me money,” a Lessons Learned presentation tells the […]

You’re Not Important to Me but I Want To Meet With You

If you’re a busy startup founder, you’re likely delegating the task of scheduling key meetings about things you want/need to your admin. This is a mistake. That’s because the dialog you have in setting up the meeting is actually the first part of your meeting, not some clerical task. Treat it this way and you’re […]

Brown University Talk

Every year I head to the East coast for vacation. We live in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street and an arm of the ocean in the backyard. While they own tech, smartphones and computers, most of my neighbors can’t tell you about the latest trends […]

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 […]

The Class That Changed the Way Entrepreneurship is Taught

This article first appeared in Poets and Quants   Revolutions start by overturning the status quo. By the end of the 20th century, case studies and business plans had reached an evolutionary dead-end for entrepreneurs. Here’s why and what we did about it. The Rise of Business Schools – Management as an Occupation The business […]

How to Stop Playing “Target Market Roulette”: A new addition to the Lean toolset

Modern entrepreneurship began at the turn of this century with the observation that startups aren’t smaller versions of large companies – large companies at their core execute known business models, while startups search for scalable business models. Lean Methodology consists of three tools designed for entrepreneurs building new ventures: The Business Model Canvas – to […]

In a Crisis – An Opportunity For A More Meaningful Life

Sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, my coffees with current and ex-students (entrepreneurs, as well as employees early in their careers) have gone virtual. Pre-pandemic these coffees were usually about what startup to join or how to find product/market fit. Though in the last month, even through Zoom I could sense they were struggling […]

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