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Serial innovation starts and ends with guidelines on the wall

4. April 2014

I wonder – what would work be like, if you and your team would agree to the following four guidelines?

I thought about having a designer work on a poster but decided it was better to monitor how many actually downloads my Keynote screenshot

I thought about having a designer work on a poster, but I decided it was better to monitor how many actually downloads this slide that I made in Keynote

1. Exploration over back-logs

There, I won’t forget it now. Phuh. Writing down future work is therapy to the overworked innovator.

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This is why I work for Iterate

31. March 2014

I have recently published quite a popular blog post Frustration-Driven Development – Towards DevOps, Lean, Clojure. My good colleague Tom Bang has pointed out that it actually shows nicely the reasons why many of us work for Iterate and why Iterate does what and how it does. I therefore republish it here under a modified name.


 

A post about development practices, speed, and frustration.

My wife has mentioned that she likes my passion for doing things right in software development. That made me thinking, why do I actually care so much and do not just enjoy the coding itself? It boils down to that I am not happy until my code is in production. Seeking the satisfaction of having my code used by and helping people while trying to eliminate all unnecessary mental drain is behind all the practices that I embrace and evangelize. It’s a drug I like to take often, in small doses.

practices = f(max(delivered value), min(mental energy))

So how does this relate to DevOps, Continuous Delivery, testing, single-piece-flow, Lean Startup, Clojure? It is simple.

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Lean Startup as an invisible hand

25. February 2014

Torve Indahl on Please share your opinion on what prevents lean startups in enterprise

invisible-hand

Business cases are in most large corp the key follow-up tool to measure your projects success and growth. When business managers do the traditional thinking and “lock” the business case at the project starting point, they then also lock or restrain the projects ability to learn and change. Eg. working with a norwegian telecom post acquisition for my 2006 startup in 2008, we where following the telecom´s 1 year old pre-acquisition business case and followed that path for 4 years. The company does not exist today. Many factors played in, yes, but fore sure the set path was one.

Working with lean startup for large and SME on a daily basis and as an MSc in Business, I frequently us this mindset (lean Startup) as an invisible hand. We don´t explain everything, we just use it. We change the business cases at every board/steering group meetings and wait for them to start asking questions about way there are all this changes. We are proud then to look them right in the eye and tell them “Sorry, we were wrong the last time“. We then show them the evidence from our market experiments on why we where wrong and let them in on the discussions on what to do next. Now you suddenly are on the road of trustchanges is expected and the board executives starts digging into if we are doing enough experiments….”what about the MVP then” (yes, they start using your words).

The best part is when our “success formula for new stuff” then becomes demand. Life is good

5 MAGISKE LYKKEFORMLER FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

19. February 2014

Lykkes du – så del med andre hva du har lært. Deler du, så lærer du og det tror jeg er en god formel!

Her er fem ting jeg har lært om forretningsutvikling i store organisasjoner:

#1. Finne flere personer som vil det samme:

Det er viktig å finne engasjement på mange nivåer som vil det samme. Du trenger støtte på høyeste hold, på ledernivå og 2-3 operative som motor. Dvs. at man må ha 5-6 personer som finner ut av at dette skal skje og bli enige om dette.

#2. Skille ut fra eksisterende tankesett og beskytte mot makta som rår:

Hovedargumentet for å skille ut er å beskytte funding og passe på at ressurser ikke dras i flere retninger.

Schibsted har mange gode eksempler på dette, eks. vis VG når de skulle «vinne» kampen på mobil, startet de et eget AS. I 2013 tok de det inn igjen siden mobil nå er blitt en så stor del og kan måle seg med avis delen. De skilte nylig ut VGTV og kommer til å føre det tilbake igjen når det er oppe å går.

Nokia kjører et super hemmelig prosjekt som skal rette opp skuta. Norsk sjef. De er skilt ut som et eget miljø, med egne budsjetter og med topplederstøtte gjennom at Elop og noen andre VP sitter direkte i styringsgruppen. De stiller nær sakt aldri i møter, men alle vet at de bare er en telefon unna om noen prøver seg på å stjele funding eller trekke ut ressurser.

#3. Utholdenhet og utålmodighet, på en gang!

Det er utrolig vanskelig å lykkes med nye ting!

Hva skjer om man er utholdende uten å være utålmodig? Jo, mange titalls, kansje hundre millioner kan være bruket før noen setter ned foten.

Det å finne beslutningstakere og «stake holders» som har akkurat den perfekte balansen mellom utholdende og utålmodig er sjeldent. Finner du en så hold godt fast i denne/disse!

Å finne miljøer som klarer å komme frem med «udødelige» ideer. Dvs, på tross av alle som prøver å rive ned, hindre, utsette osv. så klarer miljøet å sjonglere stake holders, produktet, marked og penger på en unik måte. Disse personen vet at om de feiler på bare en, så faller alt.

#4: 3D forståelse av terrenget du er i

20140206091024

I en 2D verden trer man inn i et terreng hvor du bare ser det som er rett fremfor deg. Du ser et produkt, en tjeneste eller en forretningsmodell, men du ser egentlig ikke så godt hva kunden egentlig prøver å få gjort, hvordan endrer dette vår posisjon i markedet, hvordan kan vi gi kunden mer verdi?

Hvorfor har droner tatt over krigsmarkene? Jo, de sparer potensielt krigerens eget liv, men det er noe mer her.

De gir beslutningstakerne en 3D forståelse av situasjonen, hva som er under oppseiling og ikke minst: Hva betyr det av endringer i planen!

Jeg mener man kan oppnå dette 3D bildet gjennom å bruke flere personer med ulik bakgrunn og erfaringer som sammen diskuterer og lager planer innen et gitt området. Disse må relativt raskt kunne settes ut «live» gjennom simulering og testing i terrenget – på ekte kunder. Gjennom dette kan du som tilegne deg denne evnen til å forstå ditt marked i 3D.

#5. Kontroll på NÅR

Kanskje det vanskeligste.

Når brenner det akkurat passe under beina på «stake holders»?
Når er markedet klart for noe nytt?
Når passer det for intraprenøren å ta egen risiko (kan jo miste jobben/posisjonen)?
Når har org nok selvtillit (det har jo vært noen fiaskoer i historien bak)?
Tror du lett kan finne 20 viktige NÅR faktorer og de skal alle stemme…..det er sjeldent, temmelig sjeldent, dessverre.

Deler du så lærer du og det tror jeg er en god formel!

Torve

How to secure your Bitcoin wallet

19. February 2014

Assuming that you have already invested some money in Bitcoin you need to decide now how to make them safe.

Bitcoins are associated with an identifier called an address which is an alpha-numeric string. Every Bitcoin address consists of a public key and every public key has a corresponding private key. With the private key you can prove that you are the owner of the Bitcoin address and you can sign transactions to spend the bitcoins.

If someone steals your private key, he has full access to all the bitcoin connected to that address. Needless to say, you need to figure out how to secure it.

Example of a Bitcoin address: 1CC3X2gu58d6wXUWMffpuzN9JAfTUWu4Kj
Example of a private key: 5Kb8kLf9zgWQnogidDA76MzPL6TsZZY36hWXMssSzNydYXYB9KF
Example of a public key: 0450863AD64A87AE8A2FE83C1AF1A8403CB53F53E486D8511DAD8A04887E5B23522CD470243453A299FA9E77237716103ABC11A1DF38855ED6F2EE187E9C582BA6

The private key and public key are stored in a wallet. Wallets can be either offline or online.

Online wallets

An online wallet is, as the name suggests, online. The private keys are on the internet. You must choose to trust a third party that takes care of your keys. You trust that they do not run away with them or get hacked.

The online wallet service inputs.io got hacked and their customers lost a total of 4100BTC.

I don’t recommend using an online wallet for any larger amount of money. It is more suitable for smaller amounts intended for spending because its accessible from everywhere you have an internet connection. One online wallet that has good reputation is the open source blockchain.info. There is another open source service called coinpunk.com that currently is in  beta, but it has great potential.

Offline wallets

An offline wallet is a wallet that is generated and stored on an offline computer to minimize attack surfaces. Offline wallets provides the highest level of security for your bitcoins. To get started, download a wallet application and transfer it to an offline computer via an USB-memory. There are many wallet applications, but the most secure and stable ones in my opinion are armory and electrum

To be completely safe I recommend using a clean install of Ubuntu (remember to check md5 hash) with the network card physically removed. That way you minimize the possibility of having malware on your computer. An excellent in depth tutorial on how to do this can be found here: http://falkvinge.net/2014/02/10/placing-your-crypto-wealth-in-cold-storage-installing-armory-on-ubuntu/

As you can see it requires some technical competence to store your Bitcoins at the highest level of security. Even people that have the required background might be hesitant, simply because it is so time consuming.

But there are solutions to this problem. One interesting project is Bitcoin Rezor (http://www.bitcointrezor.com/). It is a hardware wallet that gives the highest level of security for Bitcoins, and is user friendly at the same time. Right now it is under development and the first beta version has been shipped. You might do good to get your hands on one.

In the meantime, you must figure out what level of security you need for your Bitcoins.

Good luck!

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Interested in learning about Bitcoin? We invite you to join a Miniseminar on the 6th of march at 8 am in our office in Oslo. In 45 minutes you will get to know the “What” and “Why” of Bitcoin. Free to attend. Talk will be in Swedish, unless the audience decides otherwise. Check and subscribe here.

House of Cards: Lessons in Power and Politics for Corporate Entrepreneurs

11. February 2014

No spoilers: Based on Season 1. If you like it, I might derive more dirty tricks from season 2!

Wake up your inner entrepreneur – it’s time to disrupt yourself. By hauge2.

Take Kodak, Nokia and Commodore in their prime time, and ask yourself why your company is any different right now.

Getting enthusiasm about your ideas at lunch is one thing – getting the organization behind your mission to innovate, is another.

Disobedient innovation, or intrapreneurship as we prefer to call it, requires political skills: Any good idea in an established organization is also a threat to someone (anyone who perpetuates the status quo).

Master the politics – become an effective entrepreneur

But you’re not an underdog. You’re Frank Underwood, ready to outmaneuver the opposition with political virtuosity, lean thinking and entrepreneurial charm.

Like the president, who unknowingly unleashes a monster when double-crossing Underwood in the first episode of season 1, established companies who hunger for continuation unknowingly unleash the entrepreneurs in their people. Preventing entrepreneurship is after all the cardinal sin of a technology company in its prime. Thank God entrepreneurs now learn to deal with the Washington in their companies.

Here’s how Frank Underwood would disrupt your company from within:

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7 counter-tips to entrepreneurs

6. February 2014

I’d like to protest against some general advice, by giving some general advice. Written by @hauge2

Dave Kerpen’s post titled 7 tips to entrepreneurs is undoubtedly based on experience, and written with the best intentions. Even so, the more general advice about entrepreneurship I read (that includes stuff I’ve written myself), the more I ask myself what’s the value for the receiving end.

Based on experience. Written with passion. Anticipating success.

Based on experience. Written with passion. Anticipating success.

Example: “Believe in yourself” is an advice we hear often. I don’t think you shouldn’t believe in yourself, but there’s a problem: People who try and utterly fail also believe in themselves. At least believed. Such advice is a cliché.

What’s more alarming, is how easily such advice is misinterpreted and used in ways that was never intended. Hence, to avoid the pitfalls I’m sure the author of the original post never intended, here are my seven counter-tips to Kerpen’s 7 tips to entrepreneurs.

And please: Take this with a pinch of salt.

Tip 1: “Have an amazing support system”.

Counter-tip: “Don’t get addicted to confirmations from your support system”

Make sure you distinguish moral support from validated learning. Eric Ries talks about the entrepreneur distortion field – people who wish you the best will unintentionally give you false positives about your ideas:  The people who fuel your ego are rarely the people who pay the invoices you send. Have a support system, but spend your time on real customer prospects instead.

Tip 2: “Expect utter hell, and you’ll be just fine”

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