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Is a Venture Studio Right for You?

This post previously appeared in the Harvard Business Review. Three types of organizations – Incubators, Accelerators and Venture Studios – have emerged to reduce the risk of early-stage startup failure by helping teams find product/market fit and raise initial capital. Venture Studios are an “idea factory” with their own employees searching for product/market...

Be Where Your Business Is

This post previously appeared on the readwrite blog.   A CEO running a B-to-B startup in needs to live in the city where their business is – or else they’ll never scale. I was having breakfast with Erin, an ex-student, just off a red-eye flight from New York. She’s built a 65-person startup selling enterprise software to the financial services...

Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition  – 2022 Wrap Up

We just wrapped up the second year of our Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition class – now part of our Stanford Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed the class to 1) give our students an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities for the United States in its enduring strategic...

Why The Pentagon Can’t Count: It’s Time to Reinvent the Audit

This article previously appeared in War on the Rocks. In the past, headlines about the Pentagon failing its financial audit again would never have caught my attention. But having been in the middle of this conversation when I served on one of the Defense Department’s advisory boards, I understand why the Pentagon can’t count. The experience taught...

The 6th Lean Innovation Educators Summit – Education and Innovation in the Age of Chaos and Disruption

Join Jerry Engel, Pete Newell, and Steve Weinstein for the sixth edition of the Lean Innovation Educators Summit December 14, 1-4 pm Eastern Time, 10 am-1 pm Pacific Time. Register here. — This virtual gathering will bring together entrepreneurship educators from around the world who are putting Lean Innovation to work in their classrooms, accelerators,...

The Three Pillars of World-class Corporate Innovation

My good friend Alexander Osterwalder, the inventor of the business model canvas (one of foundations of the Lean Methodology) has written a playbook (along with his associate partner Tendayi Viki,) From Innovation Theater to Growth Engine to explain how to build and implement repeatable innovation processes inside a company.  Here’s their introduction...

A Simple Map for Innovation at Scale

An edited version of this article previously appeared in the Boston Consulting Group’s strategy think tank website. I spent last week at a global Fortune 50 company offsite watching them grapple with disruption. This 100+-year-old company has seven major product divisions, each with hundreds of products. Currently a market leader, they’re watching...

Mapping the Unknown – The Ten Steps to Map Any Industry

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step  Lǎozi 老子 I just had lunch with Shenwei, one of my ex-students who had just taken a job in a mid-sized consulting firm.  After a bit of catching up I offered he was looking a bit lost. “I just got handed a project to help our firm enter a new industry – semiconductors. They want me to map out...

National Industrial Policy – Private Capital and The America’s Frontier Fund Steps Up

This article previously appeared in The National Interest. Last month the U.S. passed the CHIPS and Science Act, one of the first pieces of national industrial policy – government planning and intervention in a specific industry — in the last 50 years, in this case for semiconductors. After the celebratory champagne has been drunk and the confetti...

Finding and Growing the Islands of Innovation inside a large company – Action Plan for A New CTO

This post previously appeared in Fast Company. How does a newly hired Chief Technology Officer (CTO) find and grow the islands of innovation inside a large company? How not to waste your first six months as a new CTO thinking you’re making progress when the status quo is working to keep you at bay? I just had coffee with Anthony, a friend who was...

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