February 5, 2021
Steve Blank and I have been on a mission to make the world a better place by changing the way innovation happens in companies and the government for the last six years — Steve even longer, so naturally, he was a fitting guest to kick off this season of the Innovators Radio Show and Podcast I’m co-hosting.
A retired serial entrepreneur who created the Lean Startup movement, Steve is a good friend and co-creator, with me, of the Hacking for X methodology that the Defense Department and other government agencies are using to rapidly solve critical real-world problems.
I knew listeners would be in for a treat when Steve agreed to join me and Bay Area radio personality Tom Dioro on the show. We talked about how the first Hacking for X class — Hacking for Defense — came to be; how it has created a new platform for national service; how the program has grown and what it is accomplishing; why curiosity is the single most important trait an entrepreneur can have; and why the future of entrepreneurship is mission-driven.
Listen to the full episode here or go to the time stamps below to hear portions of the interview.
1:30: What’s mission-driven entrepreneurship
3:36: Hacking for Defense: Solving real problems, making a real impact
5:55: First things first: Curating the problems
7:37: The 5-minute meeting that lasted 3 hours
10:25: Innovation from the battlefield to the boardroom
11:55: Why entrepreneurship education needs to be experiential
13:31: The hardest course students will ever take
16:52: Same method changed the way science is commercialized in the U.S.
18:06: The Red Queen Conference: Driving innovation in the Defense Department and Intelligence Community
25:21: Why we need a common language and process for defense innovation
32:10: In retirement, still working to change the world
38:27: This is what gives world-class entrepreneurs an edge
43:18: Why we keep it real in the classroom
The Innovators Radio Show and Podcast highlights the best and brightest mission-driven entrepreneurs — people dedicated to making the world a better place. The show airs Mondays at 11 am PT/2 pm ET on Stanford University radio station KZSU, 90.1 FM and is streamed at kzsu.org, Past episodes are archived here.
Taking an incremental approach can de-risk your innovation effort.