Steve Blank on Rebuilding the Department of Defense


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Steve Blank (@sgblank), creator of Hacking For Defense and author of 4 Steps To The Epiphany, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode of Solarpunk. Takeaways:
- The secret history of Silicon Valley is that it emerged from the government’s desire to develop advanced technology and weapons in universities during World War II.
- Stanford became a powerhouse in microwaves and electronics post-WWII. People were encouraged to leave to start companies, which kickstarted Silicon Valley.
- The Department of Defense needs a radical redesign. Steve says the US can’t even keep pace with innovation in North Korea, let alone China.
- The DoD was designed for a different world. China currently operates like Silicon Valley and the DoD operates like GM.
- The “game is fixed” against small startups trying to sell to the government.
- Steve says things typically don’t change unless there’s a leadership change or a crisis, and that the US is lying to itself about China and how fast it is advancing.
- Billionaires like Peter Thiel, Palmer Luckey, and Elon Musk have accomplished “miracles” building companies in the defense space in spite of how the system is designed.
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