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Sam Bhagwat: Solving Important Problems

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Part II of Sam Bhagwat's talk, focusing on "solving important problems" (generalizing lessons from part 1 about Blueseed).

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Sam Bhagwat: Solving Important Problems

  1. 1. Solving important problems Method: agnostic to definition of “important.” Focus: positioning oneself in current institutional blind spots. Metaphor: A ladder to pick well-developed, medium-hanging fruit all the low-hanging fruit opportunists missed. Sam Bhagwat CFO, Blueseed
  2. 2. Solving important problems Solution is moderately capital-intensive Solution Problem has little considered new tech political Solution combines two disparate fields Sam Bhagwat CFO, Blueseed
  3. 3. Capital intensivity Large Capex Blue-ocean Corporate planning / real estate inv. Deep-pocketed eccentric / crafty pitchHigh Capital Small business Lean Startup Banks, companies Typical Silicon Valley VCLow capital Old business model New business model
  4. 4. Politics vs. technology Policy innovation Lobbying Political solution Engineering Radical pragmatismTechnology solution Problem considered Problem considered technological political
  5. 5. Adjacency distance (“X for Y”) • What are the core competencies required? • And how far apart are they in skill- space?
  6. 6. Adjacency distance (“X for Y”) Communications satellite (1960) iPod (2001) Solar Music distribution largeRocketry large small Communication tech Computers Paypal (1998) Blueseed (2011) Payment Maritime processing Silicon medium Valley large Electronic small communication Immigration law/politics
  7. 7. Invention vs. repurposing Breakthrough improvement Crazy sh*t High Brilliant Crazy & loadedTechnologicalinnovation Incremental improvement Repurposing Skilled tinkerer Clever Low Small: Large: Overlapping Disparate Adjacency distance
  8. 8. Solving important problems Solution is moderately capital-intensive Solution Problem has little considered new tech political Solution combines two disparate fields Sam Bhagwat CFO, Blueseed
  9. 9. Additional reading• Working on important problems: – “Good and Bad Procrastination,” Paul Graham, http://www.paulgraham.com/procrastination.html• Working on important problems & capital-intensivity: – “What Happened To The Future?”, Bruce Gibney, Founders’ Fund: http://www.foundersfund.com/the-future• On multiple competencies: “Career advice,” Scott Adams, http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2007/07/career-advice.html

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