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Innovation at Speed — when you have 2 million employees

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | February 13, 2018

Success no longer goes to the country that develops a new fighting technology first, but rather to the one that better integrates it and adapts its way of fighting…Our response will be to prioritize speed of delivery, continuous adaptation, and frequent modular upgrades. We must not accept cumbersome approval chains, wasteful applications of resources in … Continue reading »

Janesville — A story about the rest of America

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | February 2, 2018

I just read a 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 … Continue reading »

2018 Olympics: Could computer hacks produce the wrong winners?

Betsy Cooper, Executive Director, UC Berkeley Center for Long-term Cybersecurity | January 19, 2018

Sporting events are only meaningful if we trust the results. But as digital devices proliferate, so will the risks of cybersecurity failures. Imagine if, at next month’s 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the women’s figure skating competition were to be halted mid-event. Several coaches file a protest alleging that the International Skating Union Scoring System, the computer-based system … Continue reading »

Food, technologies and politics in Berlin

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | December 16, 2017

I visited Berlin to participate in the Global Food Summit, an event sponsored by our International and Executive Programs (IEP) at UC Berkeley and Wageninen University among others. This is the second time we held this event, and it has improved in many ways. We hosted the event at the top floor of the Radisson … Continue reading »

Risks of recognition: New digital ID program for refugees is vulnerable to abuses

Brandie Nonnecke, Research & Development Manager, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute | November 27, 2017

“Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.” — Article 6, UN Declaration of Human Rights Tired, hungry, and scared, she approaches the front of the line and is greeted by aid workers. They scan her eyes, catalog her fingerprints, and snap her photo. For the first time in her life, she … Continue reading »

Why Uber is the revenge of the founders

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 24, 2017

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 power has dramatically shifted from investors to founders. Here’s why it generates bad CEO behavior. Unremarked … Continue reading »

The red queen problem — innovation in the DoD and intelligence community

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 18, 2017

“…it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. ” — The Red Queen, Alice in Wonderland Innovation, disruption, accelerators, have all become urgent buzzwords in the Department of Defense and intelligence community. They are a reaction to the “red queen problem” but aren’t actually solving the problem. Here’s why. … Continue reading »

Office of Naval Research goes lean

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 11, 2017

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been one of the largest supporters of innovation in the U.S. Now they are starting to use the Lean Innovation process (see here and here) to turn ideas into solutions. The result will be defense innovation with speed and urgency. —- Here’s how the Office of Naval Research … Continue reading »

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

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 22, 2017

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 innovation. … Continue reading »

Removing the roadblocks to corporate innovation — when theory meets practice

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 20, 2017

Innovation theory and innovation in practice are radically different. Here are some simple tools to get your company’s innovation pipeline through the obstacles it will encounter. — Pete Newell and I’ve been working with Karl, the Chief Innovation Officer of a large diversified multi-billion-dollar company I’ll call Spacely Industries. Over the last 15 months his … Continue reading »

Coevolution of human and artificial intelligences

Edward Lee, professor of electrical engineering and computer science | September 18, 2017

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, in an open lesson to more than a million schoolchildren on Sept. 1, said that “Whoever becomes the leader in [artificial intelligence] will become the ruler of the world.” Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, states that AI represents an existential threat to humanity and urges government regulation before it’s too late. Clearly, AI … Continue reading »

The false media focus on violence: If it bleeds it still leads

Jen Schradie, research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse | September 7, 2017

On Sunday, August 27, in downtown Berkeley, I witnessed thousands of protesters raising their voices against a planned white supremacist “Patriot Prayer” rally. In my decades as a documentary filmmaker of activism and now an academic studying movements and media, it was one of the most positive, diverse and unifying gatherings I ever experienced. While … Continue reading »

Working outside the tech bubble

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 21, 2017

Annual note to self – most of the world exists outside the tech bubble. —– We have a summer home in New England in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street. Drive down the road and you can see the tall stalks of corn waving on other … Continue reading »

You adapt, or you adopt, or you die

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 7, 2017

I was in Boston and stopped by the Harvard Business Review for their IdeaCast podcast. I shared my current thinking about innovation in companies and government agencies. The interviewer, Curt Nickisch was great and managed to get me to summarize several years of learning in one podcast. He even got me to tell my Steve … Continue reading »

New players and new tools in the bio-economy

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | July 24, 2017

Almost every year over the last 20 years, the International Consortium of Applied Bio-economy Research (ICABR), was meeting in beautiful Ravello in Italy to present new research results on the economics and policies of agricultural biotechnology, biofuels and the environment. We enjoyed the wonderful views and food of the Amalfi Coast, and the meetings inspired … Continue reading »

Why good people leave large tech companies

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 11, 2017

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry I was visiting with an ex-student who’s now the CFO of a large public tech company. The company is still … Continue reading »

Tech pride: celebrations and challenges for LGBT people in the tech community

Camille Crittenden, Deputy Director, CITRIS | June 20, 2017

  June is a month for celebrations: not only for weddings but also commemorations of advances in civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. Just as technology has shaped countless aspects of social and public life, its influence on LGBT rights and relationships has also been substantial — for consumers and producers … Continue reading »

Tesla lost $700 million last year, so why is its valuation $60 billion?

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | June 14, 2017

Automobile manufacturers shipped 88 million cars in 2016. Tesla shipped 76,000. Yet Wall Street values Tesla higher than any other U.S. car manufacturer. What explains this more than 1,000 to 1 discrepancy in valuation? The future. Too many people compare Tesla to what already exists, and that’s a mistake. Tesla is not another car company. … Continue reading »

Dalhousie University commencement speech – 2017

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | June 1, 2017

Light a path for the better angels Thank you, Chancellor McLellan, President Florizone, Dean Charlebois, Dr. Hewitt, and Dr. Kilfoil for the invitation to speak today and thank you for the honorary degree. I’m honored to speak at a university whose motto is: Pray and Work. It’s pretty close to the one I had as … Continue reading »

Beyond basic income: claiming our right to govern technology

Annette Bernhardt, visiting professor, sociology | May 25, 2017

One common characteristic of universal basic income advocates, and indeed progressives and labor more generally, is a near-fatalistic acceptance of the current path of technological development. It is a gaping hole in discussions about the future of work: either we are sticking our heads in the sand and avoiding the topic altogether, or we’re accepting … Continue reading »