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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 »

Digital insecurity is the new normal

Steven Weber, professor of political science and at the School of Information, faculty director of the Center for Long-term Cybersecurity | May 15, 2017

What’s most important about the latest ransomware attacks is that British doctors have reverted to pen and paper in their wake. This “back to analog” moment isn’t just a knee-jerk, stopgap reaction to a short-term problem. It’s a rational response to our increasingly insecure internet, and we are going to see more of it ahead.

Innovation, change and the rest of your life

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | May 10, 2017

I gave the Alumni Day talk at U.C. Santa Cruz and had a few things to say about innovation: Even though I live just up the coast, I’ve never had the opportunity to start a talk by saying “Go Banana Slugs.” I’m honored for the opportunity to speak here today. We’re standing 15 air miles … Continue reading »

Why some startups win

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 15, 2017

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? I was having a second coffee with an ex-student, now the head of a marketing inside a rapidly growing startup. His company had marched through customer discovery, learning about the customer problem, validated solutions and was now scaling sales and … Continue reading »

The no excuses culture

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 8, 2017

Getting ready for our next semester’s class, I asked my teaching assistant why I hadn’t seen the posters for our new class around campus. Hearing the litany of excuses that followed  – “It was raining.” (The posters go inside the building.) “We still have time.” (We had agreed they were to go up a week … Continue reading »

Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | February 28, 2017

When you’re up to your neck in alligators, don’t forget the goal was to drain the swamp. I love teaching because I learn something new every class. This time it was, “Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy.” The latest “aha” moment for me when I was at Columbia University teaching an intensive … Continue reading »

Accelerating momentum for women and girls in science

Camille Crittenden, Deputy Director, CITRIS | February 11, 2017

Participation by women in scientific research is rising — women now outnumber men majoring in biological sciences and the percentage of women awarded doctoral degrees in life sciences grew from 15 percent in 1969 to 52 percent in 2009. Yet women’s participation in other STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) still lags; fewer than … Continue reading »

Innovation – something both parties can agree on

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 16, 2017

On the last day Congress was in session in 2016, Democrats and Republicans agreed on a bill that increased innovation and research for the country. For me, seeing Congress pass this bill, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, was personally satisfying. It made the program I helped start, the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) … Continue reading »

How the tech industry can lead in the Trump era

Sonia Katyal, Chancellor's Professor of Law, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology codirector | November 30, 2016

Co-authored by Simone C. Ross, co-founder and chief program officer at Techonomy. This presidential election has kicked off tempestuous debates and much soul searching about the role of technology, especially social media, in the democratic process. These questions are vital, but now it is time to look forward. The core issue is the question of … Continue reading »

What the Harvard Business Review and the People’s Daily think about leadership succession

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 29, 2016

I had to laugh when my post about what happens when innovative CEOs retire or die appeared in both the bastion of capitalism – the Harvard Business Review — and in the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party – The People’s Daily. Then I didn’t. A Story is just a story Why the Harvard … Continue reading »

Machine learning meets the lean startup

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 18, 2016

We just finished our Lean LaunchPad class at UC Berkeley’s engineering school, where many of the teams embedded machine learning technology into their products. What struck me, as I watched the teams try to find how their technology would solve real customer problems, is that machine learning is following a similar pattern of previous technical … Continue reading »

Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer and why he still has his job at Apple

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 24, 2016

What happens to a company when a visionary CEO is gone? Most often innovation dies and the company coasts for years on momentum and its brand. Rarely does it regain its former glory. Here’s why. Microsoft entered the 21st century as the dominant software provider for anyone who interacted with a computing device. Sixteen years … Continue reading »