Why Build, Measure, Learn – isn’t just throwing things against the wall to see if they work

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I am always surprised when critics complain that the Lean Startup’s Build, Measure, Learn approach is nothing more than “throwing incomplete products out of the building to see if they work.” Unfortunately the Build, Measure, Learn diagram is the cause of that confusion. At first glance it seems like a fire-ready-aim process. It’s time to update Build, Measure, Learn to what we now know is the best way to build Lean startups. Here’s how…read full post or download MP3.

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How One Startup Figured Out What Could Really Help Deaf People

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Thibault Duchemin and his team applied for our Lean LaunchPad class at UC Berkeley in 2014. We accepted them because it was clear Thibault was driven to solve a very personal problem – he grew up in a Deaf family, the only one who could hear. His team project was to provide automated aids for the hearing impaired. Here’s his story…read full post or download MP3.

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Hacking For Defense In Silicon Valley

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In peacetime the U.S. military is an immovable and inflexible bureaucracy. In wartime it can adapt and adopt organizational change with startling speed. BMNT, a new Silicon Valley company, is combining the Lean Methods it learned in combat with the technology expertise and speed of startups…read full post or download MP3.

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Getting to “Yes” for Corporate Innovation

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I’ve been working with Roberto, the Chief Innovation Officer of a diversified company I’ll call Sprocket Industries. I hadn’t heard from Roberto in awhile and when we caught up, it was clear his initial optimism had faded. I listened as Roberto listed the obstacles to the new innovation program at Sprocket…read full post or download MP3.

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Fear of Failure and Lack of Speed In a Large Corporation

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I just spent a day working with Bob, the Chief Innovation Officer of a very smart large company I’ll call Acme Widgets. Bob summarized Acme’s impediments to innovation. “At our company we have a culture that fears failure. A failed project is considered a negative to a corporate career. As a result, few people want to start a project that might not succeed. And worse, even if someone does manage to start something new, our management structure has so many financial, legal and HR hurdles that every initiative needs to match our existing business financial metrics, processes and procedures…read full post or download MP3.

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Blowing up the Business Plan at U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School

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During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, science and engineering at both Stanford and U.C. Berkeley were heavily funded to develop Cold War weapon systems. Stanford’s focus was Electronic Intelligence and those advanced microwave components and systems were useful in a variety of weapons systems. Starting in the 1950’s, Stanford’s engineering department became “outward facing” and developed a culture of spinouts and active faculty support and participation in the first wave of Silicon Valley startups…read full post or download MP3.

 

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Life Science Startups Rising in the UK

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Stephen Chambers spent 22 years in some of the most innovative companies in life science as the director of gene expression and then as a co-founder of his own company. Today he runs SynbiCITE, the UK’s synthetic biology consortium of 56 industrial partners and 19 Academic institutions located at Imperial College in London. Stephen and SynbiCITE, just launched the world’s first Lean LaunchPad for Synthetic Biology program. Here’s his story…read full post or download MP3.

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What Do I Do Now? The Startup Lifecycle

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Last week I got a call from Patrick an ex-student I hadn’t heard from for 8 years. He was now the CEO of a company and wanted to talk about what he admitted was a “first world” problem. Over breakfast he got me up to date on his life since school (two non-CEO roles in startups,) but he wanted to talk about his third startup – the one he and two co-founders had started…read full post or download MP3.

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When Krave Jerky Showed up in Class with a $435,000 Check

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I remind my students that I’m teaching them a methodology they can use the rest of their careers, not running an incubator.Every once in awhile a team ignores my advice and builds a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars…read full post or download MP3.

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It’s About Women Running Startups

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“Why is it so hard for a woman to still get taken seriously by a venture capitalist?” Read full post or download MP3.

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