CTO versus VP Engineering

An abridged version of this post was published on IvyExec.com. I just saw a really good article from Forbes on what constitutes a great, fundable, seed-stage startup team.  Here is a quote from Ryan Broshar, the co-founder and managing partner of St. Paul-based venture capital firm Confluence Capital Partners. Broshar … Read More

Leadership 101 for First Time Founders

Imagine you are a brilliant undergraduate student. With a few other students, you came up with a medical device that will completely transform how patients with certain chronic conditions can monitor themselves at home.  You decide to start a company.  After a few months of hard work, you landed a … Read More

Agile Primer for Cowboys and Hardware Folks

In today’s connected devices world, where every hardware product also runs or interacts with a significant amount of software, every product development person needs to know how to develop software. This can be a bit of a culture shock for hardware people, who are used to a different type of development process (stage-gate, … Read More

EBook: Bringing a New Hardware Product to Market

Throughout the spring semester, I have been working with student startup teams at MIT, helping them apply Bill Aulet’s Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework to figure out who their customer is, how their target market works, how they will acquire customers, and what their financial outlook may look like in the next … Read More

Think like a founder before becoming one

This article first appeared on Xconomy.com. February 2014 will go down in history as a month with two huge startup exits: Nest (acquired by Google for a whopping $3.2 billion) and WhatsApp (acquired by Facebook for an even more whopping $19 billion). If you haven’t caught the startup bug, there’s … Read More

Cross functional leadership in product development

I’d like to take a moment and discuss cross functional leadership in product development. Let’s say we are working on the same product example I used before in my process post: For the purpose of this discussion, let’s assume we are working on a hypothetical consumer electronics device, to be … Read More

Offshoring and rightshoring

I’ve been chatting with hardware startups who are looking for a production partner. The topic of offshoring and rightshoring came up. Should they manufacture in the US, or abroad? What is right for their product and stage of business? How do they make this decision? I’ve had a lot of … Read More

Repeat after me: Hardware is NOT software

The Lean Startup / Customer Development, as most startup people know, was started by Eric Ries (author of “The Lean Startup“) and Steve Blank (author of “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” and “The Startup Owner’s Manual“. The basic tenet of Customer Development is to invest heavily in customer research … Read More

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