Solutions to Three of the World’s Hardest Problems

December 17, 2018 § Leave a comment

The Problems

(Drawn from the list identified by Social Capital on December 15, 2018)

  1. Disrupting Programming
    1. Can we enable people who don’t know programming to build applications?
    2. Is there a way to structure, pipe, and manage data better?
  1. Disrupting Education
    1. Can we educate humans in interesting ways so that they learn to think in multi-disciplinary ways?
    2. Can we educate people in small, continuous ways so they keep learning throughout their lives?
  2. Disrupting Urban Transport
    1. Can we build new transportation methods that enable us to take someone form point A->B faster?
    2. Is there a way to build better, cleaner cities?

The Solutions

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Three Steps to Startup Success (in 15 syllables)

August 17, 2018 § Leave a comment

  1. Own a big problem.
  2. Make measurable progress.
  3. Together.

 

References

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Sunday School 2.0: Shark Tank for Spiritual Growth

July 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

The purpose of Sunday School 2.0 is to create an adaptive architecture of participation where everyone can experience what it feels like to be children of God, including:

  1. The Security of unconditional love
  2. Service to those outside
  3. The Struggle to create something worthwhile

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MissionalTrails.app: Pokémon GO Into All The Nations

June 27, 2018 § Leave a comment

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” — Proverbs 29:18a (KJV)

In our breakout session at the “hope” Kingdom Networking event, Tim Svboda of YWAM SF taught us that “Information creates Vision creates Mobilization creates Transformation.”  In particular, it is incredibly helpful to know the the ratio and distribution of:

  •  ethne: people groups, cultural touch points
  • evangel: churches, seminaries, ministries, etc.

Both at the aggregate “macro” city level for strategic planning, and at the “micro” street level for personal presence and ministry.

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Whole-I-Ness: A New Job to Be Done for Christianity

June 17, 2018 § Leave a comment

In many ways, Western Christianity is now a solution in search of a problem.  We are a victim of our own success, having effectively worked ourselves out of a job by eliminating the “pain points” of Judaism, paganism and animism while diffusing most of our benefits into the culture. Like a technology-centric startup, we now find ourselves in the awkward situation of trying to define (or worse, create) problems that need our solution.

The alternative is to go back to the customer discovery phase. Who is our customer?  What are their most important jobs to be done?  What is the “impossible” thing that, if it could be done, would change everything for them?

What is it that the world most needs? Especially from us?

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What is a Technical Co-Founder?

April 8, 2017 § Leave a comment

Most successful startups require both a technical “hacker” and a relational “hustler” to bring them to life.  One common pattern is that a “hustler” has access to ideas and potential funding and looks for a “technical co-founder” to join him or her,  through a process often compared to finding a spouse.

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Best Live Chat Widget for Startups: Jan 2016

January 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

Live chat support software is a great way to ensure visitors to your SaaS site are successful – or at least tell you what went wrong.  An in-page widget with a friendly human being on the other side is much more approachable than a link to anonymous forum!

Unfortunately, few startups are able to guarantee 24×7 coverage, which means you need a easy-to-use tool with a good fallback user experience for when nobody is available to chat. Here is what appear to be the best options as of January 2016.

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How to Fund Growth

July 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

Most organizations’ financial structures are designed for predictability rather than explosive growth.

To change that, we must:

Invest Constructively in Passion

Specifically:

1. Align Incentives

  • Learn what people deeply want.
  • Articulate how they can pursue that by contributing to the organization’s mission

2. Unleash Talent

  • Learn where people are the happiest and most productive.
  • Build support systems that allow them to maximize flow.

3. Virtualize Infrastructure

  • Learn which essential tasks nobody is able to do efficiently and awesomely.
  • Sell those to a business that sees the opportunity.

Leaving Apple after 17 years to launch a startup

September 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

After arguably the most amazing 17 years in computing history — seeing UNIX spread from iMac to the Apple Watch — I’ve decided it is time to leave Apple and strike out on my own.

I’ll be taking a few months off to play with some ideas I’ve been working on for making programming more accessible, to see if there’s a viable business in there somewhere.

I’d love for you to stay in touch on this next phase of my journey.  Recommendations always welcome. I may need them… 

Entrepreneur Club, Week 4 “The Hidden”

July 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

Our focus this week is what Ed Catmull of Pixar calls “The Hidden” — all those things we don’t know we don’t know:
  • In the management context, particularly, it behooves us to ask ourselves constantly: How much are we able to see?
  • we would inevitably be subject to those same delusions at Pixar unless we came to terms with our own limited ability to see.
  • I resolved to bring as many hidden problems as possible to light, a process that would require what might seem like an uncommon commitment to self-assessment.
  • the leaders of these companies were not attuned to the fact that there were problems they could not see. And because they weren’t aware of these blind spots, they assumed that the problems didn’t exist.
  • If we accept that what we see and know is inevitably flawed, we must strive to find ways to heighten that awareness—to fill in the gaps
  • making room in my head for the certainty that, like it or not, some problems will always be hidden from me has made me a better manager
  • This universe of unknown stuff will intrude in our lives and activities, so we have no choice but to deal with it.
 A theme also found in Scripture:
Entrepreneurship is a terrifying challenge, and in some sense we must believe in ourselves and our vision of the world in order to avoid becoming paralyzed. But that very faith can blind us to not just hidden dangers, but also the hidden blessings God has in store for us.
Come join us as we share stories of God’s goodness amidst our weakness.

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