Steve Blank Podcast

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Synopsis

Visor Labs engineers mobile customers

Episodes

  • National Industrial Policy – Private Capital and The America’s Frontier Fund Steps Up

    17/09/2022 Duration: 12min

    Last month the U.S. passed the CHIPS and Science Act, one of the first pieces of national industrial policy – government planning and intervention in a specific industry — in the last 50 years, in this case for semiconductors. After the celebratory champagne has been drunk and the confetti floats to the ground it’s helpful to put the CHIPS Act in context and understand the work that government and private capital have left to do.

  • Finding and Growing the Islands of Innovation inside a large company – Action Plan for A New CTO

    22/06/2022 Duration: 08min

    How does a newly hired Chief Technology Officer (CTO) find and grow the islands of innovation inside a large company? How not to waste your first six months as a new CTO thinking you’re making progress when the status quo is working to keep you at bay?

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning– Explained

    04/06/2022 Duration: 59min

    Hundreds of billions in public and private capital is being invested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning companies. The number of patents filed in 2021 is more than 30 times higher than in 2015 as companies and countries across the world have realized that AI and Machine Learning will be a major disruptor and potentially change the balance of military power.

  • Lessons for the DoD – From Ukraine and China

    31/05/2022 Duration: 15min

    Looking at a satellite image of Ukraine online I realized it was from Capella Space – one of our Hacking for Defense student teams who now has 7 satellites in orbit. National Security is Now Dependent on Commercial Technology They’re not the only startup in this fight. An entire wave of new startups and scaleups are providing satellite imagery and analysis, satellite communications, and unmanned aerial vehicles supporting the struggle.

  • Cram Down – A Test of Character for VCs and Founders

    08/05/2022 Duration: 09min

    Cram downs are back – and I’m keeping a list. At the turn of the century after the dotcom crash, startup valuations plummeted, burn rates were unsustainable, and startups were quickly running out of cash. Most existing investors (those still in business) hoarded their money and stopped doing follow-on rounds until the rubble had cleared.

  • What Happened When Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks visited Stanford’s Gordian Knot Center

    01/05/2022 Duration: 09min

    It was an honor to host US Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks at Stanford’s Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation. (Think of the Deputy Secretary of Defense as the Chief Operating Officer of a company – but in this case the company has 3 million employees (~1.4 million active duty, 750,000 civilians, ~800,000 in the National Guard and Reserves.)

  • The Quantum Technology Ecosystem – Explained

    19/04/2022 Duration: 23min

    Tens of billions of public and private capital are being invested in Quantum technologies. Countries across the world have realized that quantum technologies can be a major disruptor of existing businesses and change the balance of military power. So much so, that they have collectively invested ~$24 billion in in quantum research and applications.

  • The Semiconductor Ecosystem – Explained

    12/04/2022 Duration: 15min

    The last year has seen a ton written about the semiconductor industry: chip shortages, the CHIPS Act, our dependence on Taiwan and TSMC, China, etc. But despite all this talk about chips and semiconductors, few understand how the industry is structured. I’ve found the best way to understand something complicated is to diagram it out, step by step. So here’s a quick pictorial tutorial on how the industry works.

  • What’s Plan B? – The Small, the Agile, and the Many

    09/04/2022 Duration: 16min

    One of the most audacious and bold manifestos for the future of Naval innovation has just been posted by the Rear Admiral who heads up the Office of Naval Research. It may be the hedge we need to deter China in the South China Sea.

  • Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition – Wrap Up

    18/01/2022 Duration: 15min

    We just had our final session of our Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition class. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed the class to give our students insights on how commercial technology (AI, machine learning, autonomy, cyber, quantum, semiconductors, access to space, biotech, hypersonics, and others) will shape how we employ all the elements of national power (our influence and footprint on the world stage). At the end of the quarter, each of the teams gave a final “Lessons Learned” presentation with a follow-up a 3,000 to 5,000-word team-written paper. By the end the class all the teams realized that the problem they had selected had morphed into something bigger, deeper and much more interesting.

  • I Can’t See You but I’m Not Blind

    09/01/2022 Duration: 06min

    If I ask you to think of an elephant do you see an elephant in your head when you close your eyes? I don’t. Regardless of how descriptive the imagery, story or text I can’t create any pictures in my head at all. 2% of people can’t do this either. This inability to visualize is called aphantasia.

  • The Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation at Stanford

    07/01/2022 Duration: 09min

    75 years ago, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) helped kickstart innovation in Silicon Valley with a series of grants to Fred Terman, Dean of Stanford’s Engineering school. Terman used the money to set up the Stanford Electronics Research Lab. He staffed it with his lab managers who built the first electronic warfare and electronic intelligence systems in WWII. This lab pushed the envelope of basic and applied research in microwave devices and electronics and within a few short years made Stanford a leader in these fields. The lab became ground zero for the wave of Stanford’s entrepreneurship and innovation in the 1950’s and 60’s and helped form what would later be called Silicon Valley. 75 years later, ONR just laid down a bet again, one we believe will be equally transformative. They’re the first sponsors of the new Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation at Stanford that Joe Felter, Raj Shah, and I have started.

  • Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition – Class 8 – Cyber

    05/01/2022 Duration: 07min

    We just completed the eighth week of our new national security class at Stanford – Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed the class to cover how technology will shape the character and employment of all instruments of national power. Today’s class: Cyber

  • Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition – Class 7 – Space

    05/01/2022 Duration: 05min

    We just completed the seventh week of our new national security class at Stanford – Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed the class to cover how technology will shape the character and employment of all instruments of national power. Today’s class: The Second Space Age: Great Power Competition in Space.

  • Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition – Class 6 – Unmanned Systems and Autonomy

    02/01/2022 Duration: 08min

    We just completed the sixth week of our new national security class at Stanford – Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed the class to cover how technology will shape the character and employment of all instruments of national power....Today’s class: Unmanned Platforms and Autonomy

  • When There Seems to Be No Way Out – Customer Discovery for Your Head

    22/12/2021 Duration: 06min

    As an entrepreneur at times you forget that being in charge doesn’t mean you have to know everything. When it feels like you’re trapped facing an unsolvable dilemma, and wrestling with a seemingly intractable problem, remember that “getting out of your head” is the personal equivalent of the Lean Startup mantra “get out of the building.” Learning this was a big step in making me a more effective entrepreneur.

  • Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition – Class 5 – AI and Machine Learning

    20/12/2021 Duration: 08min

    We just completed the fifth week of our new national security class at Stanford – Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed the class to cover how technology will shape all the elements of national power (America’s influence and footprint on the world stage). In class 1, we learned that national power is the combination of a country’s diplomacy, information/intelligence, its military capabilities, economic strength, finance, intelligence, and law enforcement. This “whole of government approach” is known by the acronym DIME-FIL. Class 2 focused on China, the U.S.’s primary great power competitor. China is using all elements of national power: diplomacy (soft power, alliances, coercion), information/ intelligence, its military might and economic strength (Belt and Road Initiative) as well as exploiting Western finance and technology. China’s goal is to challenge and overturn the U.S.-led liberal international order and replace it with a neo-totalitarian model. T

  • How to Find a Market? Use Jobs-To-Be-Done as the Front End of Customer Discovery

    17/11/2021 Duration: 18min

    Modern entrepreneurship began at the turn of the 21st century with the observation that startups aren’t smaller versions of large companies – large companies at their core execute known business models, while startups search for scalable business models. Lean Methodology consists of three tools designed for entrepreneurs building new ventures...

  • Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition – Class 4- Semiconductors

    15/11/2021 Duration: 09min

    We just completed the fourth week of our new national security class at Stanford – Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed the class to cover how technology will shape all the elements of national power (America’s influence and footprint on the world stage). In class 1, we learned that national power is the combination of a country’s diplomacy (soft power and alliances), information/intelligence, military power, economic strength, finance, intelligence, and law enforcement. This “whole of government approach” is known by the acronym DIME-FIL. And after two decades focused on counter terrorism, the U.S. is now engaged in great power competition with both China and Russia. In class 2 the class focused on China, the U.S.’s primary great power competitor. China is using all elements of national power: diplomacy (soft power, alliances, coercion), information/ intelligence (using its economic leverage over Hollywood, controlling the Covid narrative), its military m

  • Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition – Class 3 – Russia

    31/10/2021 Duration: 12min

    We just had our third week of our new national security class at Stanford – Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed the class to cover how technology will shape all the elements of national power (our influence and footprint on the world stage). In class 1, we learned that national power is the combination of a country’s diplomacy (soft power and alliances), information/intelligence, its military, economic strength, finance, intelligence, and law enforcement. This “whole of government approach” is known by the acronym DIME-FIL. And after two decades focused on counter terrorism the U.S. is engaged in great power competition with both China and Russia. In class 2, we learned how China is using all elements of national power: diplomacy (soft power, alliances, coercion), information/intelligence (using its economic leverage over Hollywood, controlling the Covid narrative), its military might and economic strength (Belt and Road Initiative,) to exploit Western fin

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