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Why Defense Could Now Be a Market for Startups

The U.S. Department of Defense is coming to grips with the idea that the technologies it needs to keep the country safe and secure are no longer exclusively owned by the military or its prime contractors. AI, machine learning, autonomy, cyber, quantum, access to space, semiconductors, biotech are all being driven by commercial companies.  At the front-end...

A Path to the Minimum Viable Product

I first met Shawn Carolan and his wife Jennifer at the turn of the century at 11,000 feet. I was hiking with my kids between the Yosemite High Sierra camps. Having just retired from a career as an entrepreneur I had started thinking about why startups were different from large companies. The ideas were bouncing around my head so hard that I shared them...

E Pluribus Unum – A Rallying Cry for National Service

This post previously appeared in Real Clear Defense.   The Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One – is our de facto national motto. It was a rallying cry of our founders as they built a single unified nation from a collection of states. It’s a good reminder of where we need to go. Today as our country struggles to find the common threads...

Software Once Led Us to the Precipice of Nuclear War. What Will AI Do?

A version of this story previously appeared in Defense One. The story of RYAN and Able Archer is an oft-told lesson of a U.S. intelligence failure, miscalculation, and two superpowers unaware they were on the brink of an accidental nuclear war — all because the Soviet Union relied on a software program to make predictions that were based on false assumptions....

Hacking for Allies

During the Cold War U.S. diplomatic and military alliances existed to defend freedom around the world. Today, these alliances are being reshaped to respond to Russian threats to the Baltics and Eastern Europe and to China’s economic, military, and technological influence worldwide. Hacking for Allies The U.S. Department of Defense works with our allies...

When National Security Falls Between the Cracks

A version of this article – co-authored with Raj Shah and Joe Felter – previously appeared in War On The Rocks. After hearing from 20+ guest speakers, including two Secretaries of Defense, Generals, Admirals and Policy makers in our Technology, Innovation and Modern War class – the direction of technology and the future of national security came into...

Regaining America’s Technological Edge: Build a Civil-Military Alliance

A version of this article – co-authored with Raj Shah and Joe Felter – previously appeared in The National Interest. After hearing from 20+ guest speakers, including two Secretaries of Defense, Generals, Admirals and Policy makers in our Technology, Innovation and Modern War class – the direction of technology and the future of national security came...

Pentagon Advisory Boards Need to Offer 10X Ideas, Not 10% Ones – P.S. You’re Fired

A version of this article – co-authored with Raj Shah and Joe Felter – previously appeared in Defense One. (Update: After this article was written the Secretary of Defense fired every member of all 40+ defense advisory boards and will start anew. Hopefully the suggestions in this post will help inform how they reconstitute the boards.) Last week...

Reminder

Lessons for the New Administration – Technology, Innovation, and Modern War

Our recent national security class at Stanford, Technology, Innovation, and Modern War was designed to give students insights on how the onslaught of new technologies like AI, machine learning, autonomy, cyber, access to space, biotech, hypersonics, and others have the potential to radically change how countries fight and deter threats. With 20+...

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