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The power of supply chains in implementing innovations

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | March 17, 2016

Many of the products and services we consume today did not exist a hundred years ago (internet, television, modern cars, cell phones, computers, penicillin, McDonalds and Whole Foods). The world thrives on innovation, which is frequently derived from new scientific knowledge, as well as inspiration. Innovations may include (i) a new product, (ii) a new … Continue reading »

Tesla and Adobe: Why Continuous Deployment May Mean Continuous Customer Disappointment

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 6, 2014

For the last 75 years products (both durable goods and software) were built via Waterfall development. This process forced companies to release and launch products by model years, and market new and “improved” versions. In the last few years Agile and “Continuous Deployment” has replaced Waterfall and transformed how companies big and small build products. Agile is … Continue reading »

Strangling Innovation: Tesla versus ‘Rent Seekers’

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | June 25, 2013

The greatest number of jobs is created when startups create a new market – one where the product or service never existed before or is radically more convenient. Yet this is where startups will run into anti-innovation opponents they may not expect. These opponents have their own name –  “rent seekers” – the landlords of the status-quo. … Continue reading »

When Microsoft threatened to sue us over the letter ‘E’

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 21, 2012

By 1997 E.piphany was a fast-growing startup with customers, revenue and something approaching a repeatable business model. Somewhere that year we decided to professionalize our logo (you should have seen the first one.) With a massive leap of creativity we decided that it should it should have our company name and the letter “E” with … Continue reading »

Unrequited love

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 24, 2012

If there’s only one passionate party in a relationship it’s unrequited love. Here’s how I learned it the hard way. The Dartmouth football team After Rocket Science I took some time off and consulted for the very VC’s who lost lots of money on the company. The VC’s suggested I should spend a day at Onyx Software, … Continue reading »

Why labeling of GMOs is actually bad for people and the environment

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | June 6, 2012

On November 6th, California voters will be asked to vote on a proposition about labeling of genetically modified (GM) products. On the surface this seems quite reasonable: people should have information about what they consume. In my view, labeling requirements are appropriate when there is undisputed scientific evidence that a food component is damaging, which, … Continue reading »

Bonfire of the Vanities: Marketing vs. sales

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 9, 2011

When I was in my 20’s, I was taught the relationship between marketing and sales over a bonfire. — Over thirty years ago, before the arrival of the personal computer, there were desktop computers called office workstations. Designed around the first generation of microprocessors, these computers ran business applications like word processing, spreadsheets, and accounting. … Continue reading »