Frequently Asked Questions
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Isn’t this basically the Lean Startup methodology?
BMNT adopted many aspects of the Lean Startup methodology thanks to years of close work with Steve Blank, the “Godfather of Silicon Valley”. But the Lean Startup is only part of the equation. BMNT’s Managing Partner Pete Newell developed a complementary problem-solving methodology while he was the Director of the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force. The combination of these two methodologies creates the unique value that we offer to our customers. We are a community of problem solvers, not just entrepreneurs.
Is BMNT a consultancy?
It’s hard to define what we are, mostly because our work does not neatly fit into pre-existing business models. The best model to use is “problem-solving agency”, in the sense of a creative agency or ad agency. BMNT is not only a close-knit team of people employing a common language and methodology to solve challenging problems. We stand apart by the level of involvement with our customers. No one “outsources” their problems to us. Our goal is to hardwire you to solve your own problems.
I’ve heard of Hacking for Defense (H4D). What’s H4X?
H4X is the language and methodology we’ve developed at BMNT, that was first prototyped as Hacking For Defense. H4X can be applied to a wide range of problem sets, from purely government areas such as Diplomacy to private sector efforts such as Commerce. The value of H4X is its ability to help people solve difficult problems, and many types of organizations are struggling with such problems.
What’s going on with H4X at universities?
We created a common language and methodology for rapid problem-solving. This can be applied in a variety of contexts. BMNT does not work directly with universities, but we do allow H4X to be taught through H4Di, a non-profit that is responsible for coordinating the training and certification of educators, as well as the dissemination of problems to specific campuses around the country. You can go to H4Di.org to learn more about the campus programs. For organizations interested in internal problem-solving and/or H4X training, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How is BMNT different from In-Q-Tel or the Defense Innovation Unit, Experiment (DIUx)?
BMNT works directly and indirectly with all the other national security organizations in Silicon Valley. What we do is complementary to their efforts. BMNT focuses on sourcing and validating problems, building coalitions around those problems, and developing pathways to rapidly test critical aspects of the solutions. In other words, we don’t focus on technologies or products. We focus on problems and people.
Who works with BMNT?
We work best with people inside large organizations who have a mandate to solve difficult problems. These people must be ready to roll up their sleeves and work with us to: define success; prioritize the problems they want to solve; identify advocates, saboteurs, and other stakeholders; and engage with us throughout the process.
What does H4X cost?
Our process is high value, low cost by design. You and your organization will be responsible for doing a lot of the work. That is the only way to solve difficult problems. Most of our customers start with a limited engagement to determine if the methodology suits them, then expand discussions to include annual or multi-year partnerships.
Where can I learn more about BMNT’s work?
Please go to our Medium page to read up about our most recent projects, discussions, and interesting problems sets.