Steve Blank hacking for defense @ Stanford 2019


We have just completed our fourth annual defense hacking course at Stanford. At the end of each class, each team gives a presentation on the lessons learned. Unlike traditional demonstration days or Shark Tanks, where "I'm so smart, give me money," a lessons learned presentation tells the story of a hard learning and discovery journey. acquired. For all teams, it's a roller-coaster story of what happens when you discover that everything you thought you knew was wrong and that, in the end, they worked well.

Looking at each of the teams present, I remained amazed and amazed by what they had accomplished in 10 weeks.

  • The eight teams spoke on 820 beneficiaries, stakeholders, requirements writers, program managers, combatants, lawyers, security officers, clients, etc.
  • At the end of the class, all the teams understood that the problem raised by the sponsor had turned into something bigger, deeper and more interesting.

Our guest speaker was Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus and designer of the Oculus Rift. He is now the CEO / founder of defense company Anduril Industries, specializing in defense.

If you can not see Palmer Luckey's video, click here

Format of presentation
Each of the eight teams submitted a 2-minute video to provide context for their problem.

An 8-minute slide presentation is followed by their 10-week customer discovery journey. All teams used the mission model, customer development and agile engineering to create viable de minimis products, but all of their journeys were unique.

All presentations are worth seeing.

If you can not see the video Panacea 2 minutes, click here

If you can not see the video of the Panacea team presenting the product, click here.

If you can not see the Panacea slides, click here.

Mission-based entrepreneurship
This course is part of a larger idea: mission-oriented entrepreneurship. Instead of the students or professors presenting their own ideas – we now have them on social issues, that it's issues for the state department or the Department of Defense, or nonprofit / NGO, for the city of Oakland or for energy or the environment, or for anything that fascinates them. And the thing is, we use the same Lean LaunchPad / I-Corps curriculum – while maintaining the same class structure – experiential, practical, driven this time by a mission-model not a business model.

Mission-focused entrepreneurship is the answer to students who say, "I want to give back. I want to make my community, my country or my world a better place, while solving some of the most difficult problems. "

If you can not see the 2 minute Learn2Win video, click here

If you can not see the video of the Leanr2Win team presenting click here

If you can not see the Leanr2Win slides, click here

It started with an idea
Hacking for Defense came out of the Lean LaunchPad course that I had taught for the first time at Stanford in 2011. I found that I taught case studies and / or how to write a business plan. business as a turnkey course on entrepreneurship did not fit the chaos Start. And that there was no entrepreneurship course combining experiential learning with Lean methodology. Our goal was to teach both theory and practice.

That same year, we launched the course, which was adopted by the National Science Foundation to train senior researchers who wanted a federal grant for the commercialization of their science (a SBIR grant). The NSF said, "The course is the scientific method of entrepreneurship. Scientists understand the "hypothesis tests" and have re-labeled the class under the NSF name I-Body (Innovation Corps). The class is now taught in 9 regional locations supporting 98 universities and has trained more than 1,500 scientific teams. It was adopted by the National Institutes of Health as I-Corps at the NIH in 2014 and at the National Security Agency in 2015.

If you can not see the 2-minute EmbargoNK video, click here

If you can not see the video of the EmbargoNK team presenting, click here

If you can not see the EmbargoNK slides, click here

Origins of piracy for the defense
In 2016, after a brainstorming with Pete Newell of BMNT and Joe Felter at Stanford, we found that students at our research universities had little connection to the problems of their government as well as to the larger problems that the civil society was struggling. We wondered how to involve the students, but we realized that the same Lean LaunchPad / I-Corps course would provide a framework for doing this. That year, Hacking for Defense and Hacking for Diplomacy (with Professor Jeremy Weinstein) were launched at Stanford.

If you can not see the 2 minutes video of Common Ground, click here

If you can not see the video of the Common Ground team presenting the product, click here.

If you can not see the Common Ground slides, click here.

Objectives for hacking for the defense class
Our main goal was to teach students about lean innovation when they engaged in a national public service. Today, if students want to give to their country, they think of Teach for America, the Peace Corps, Americorps or perhaps the US Digital Service or the GSA GSA. Few consider the possibilities of making the world safer with the Ministry of Defense, the intelligence community or other government agencies.

Next, we wanted students to discover the country's security threats and issues while working with DoD innovators and the intelligence community. In doing so, also teach our sponsors (the innovators from the Ministry of Defense and the Intelligence Community) that there is a methodology that can help them understand and respond to rapidly evolving asymmetric threats. What if we could get the teams to quickly discover real problems in the field using Lean methods, and only then to define the needs to solve them, could defense acquisition programs work? speed and urgency and deliver timely and necessary solutions.

Finally, we wanted to familiarize students with the military profession, its expertise and its role in society. And conversely, show our sponsors in the Defense and Intelligence community that civilian students can make a significant contribution to problem understanding and rapid prototyping of solutions to real-world problems.

If you can not see the 2 minute Deepfakes video, click here

If you can not see the video of the team presenting Deepfakes, click here

If you can not see the Deepfakes slides, click here

Mission-oriented in 30 universities
Hacking for Defense is offered in more than 25 universities, but soon after Orin Herskowitz launched Hacking for Energy at Columbia, Steve Weinstein launched Hacking for Impact (non-profit) and Hacking for Local (Oakland) in Berkeley. He will launch Hacking for Oceans at Scripps. Piracy for conservation and development at Duke followed.

Instead that students or faculty present their own ideas – we now have them on societal issues, that it's all about problems for the state department or the army, for non-profit organizations / NGOs, for the city of Oakland, for energy or for energy. the environment, or for anything that fascinates them. And the thing is, we use the same Lean LaunchPad / I-Corps curriculum – while maintaining the same class structure – experiential, practical, driven this time by a mission-model not a business model.

If you can not see the Intellisense video of 2 minutes, click here

If you can not see the video of the Intellisense team presenting, click here

If you can not see the Intellisense slides, click here.

If you can not see the 2 minute video on Gutenberg, click here.

If you can not see the video of the Gutenberg team, click here

If you can not see the Gutenberg slides, click here

If you can not see the 2-minute video of PredictiMx, click here

If you can not see the video of the PredictiMX team presenting, click here

If you can not see the PredictiMx slides, click here

It takes a village
Although I wrote this blog post, this course is a team project. The teaching team consisted of:

  • Pete Newell is a retired army colonel. He is currently a Visiting Principal Investigator at the National Security Technology and Policy Center at the University of National Defense and Executive Director of BMNT.
  • Steve Weinstein is a 30-year veteran of Silicon Valley technology companies and Hollywood media companies. Steve is the CEO of MovieLabs, the research and development lab common to all major film studios.
  • Tom Bedecarré was the founder and CEO of AKQA, the leading digital advertising agency. Four decades in the world's most successful advertising agencies.
  • Jeff Decker is a social scientist at Stanford. Jeff served in the US Army as a light infantry squad leader in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our teaching assistants Nate Simon, Aidan, Daniel McCarty, Mackenzie Burnett and Diego Cervantes. Special thanks to Rich Carlin and the Office of Naval Research for supporting the program in Stanford and across the country. And our course consultant – Tom Byers, professor of engineering and faculty director, STVP

We were fortunate to have a team of mentors (venture capitalists and entrepreneurs) who gave their time selflessly to help coach the teams. Thanks to Kevin Ray, Lisa Wallace, Rafi Holtzman, Craig Seidel, Todd Basche, Don Peppers, Robert Locke and Mark Clapper.

We had the privilege of being able to count on the support of an extraordinary team of experienced military senior professional officers representing all levels of service and participating in scholarship programs at the Stanford Hoover Institution, as well as the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC). the Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) as well as the Defense Innovation Unit. These included: Tim Mungie, Tim Murphy, Matt Kent, Todd Mahar, Donnie Hasseltine, Jay Garcia, Kevin Childs.

And of course, a big congratulations to our sponsors. To United Nations Command – CPT Security Battalion Justin Bingham, Air Force Combat Command – Mr. Steven Niewiarowski, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Security Affairs for Asia and the Pacific – Chief of Defense Staff Julie Sheetz, US Coast Guard – Security Specialist Asad Hussain, IQT – Vishal Sandesara, Veterans Administration – Kristopher "Kit" Teague, Chief of Operations, IARPA – John Beieler, DNI – Dean Souleles

Thank you!

Classified in: Customer Development, Defense Piracy, Teaching |