You’re probably familiar with the old saying, “You can get it fast, good or cheap. Pick two.” This is known as the Project Management Triangle, Triple Constraint or Iron Triangle. I’ve experienced this dilemma before, but usually it comes into play with more mature businesses, products and projects. In the startup or new ventures world, is it possible to remove (or reduce) the constraints and have it all?

The short answer is yes. Lean Startup provides us with a framework for doing more, faster, while keeping costs in check. …

Last week I gave a quick talk at ResolveTO about how big companies are disrupting themselves through startup innovation. The goal of the talk was to walk through why companies should engage with startups, and a few methods they’re employing.

I’ve included the presentation below:

There’s a time and place for big companies to work with startups. The challenge is figuring out which problems/opportunities are better off being solved through a startup (and partnership with them) versus doing something in-house. Not every opportunity is best served through the creation of, or investment in, a startup. …

Successful startups usually don’t win with their first idea or first product. There are many examples of startups that pivoted (in some cases multiple times), or completely reinvented themselves, in order to win. Starbucks started selling espresso machines and beans door-to-door before pivoting to coffee shops on every corner. Avon started as door-to-door book sales, only to discover that the cosmetic samples they gave away for free to try and sell books were the real winners. Pinterest originally focused on mobile shopping, and then pivoted into focusing on online item collection and sharing.

And of course, many startups ultimately do…

As Steve Blank said, “A [big] company is a permanent organization designed to execute a repeatable and scalable business model.” Simply put, this usually boils down to, “Do more and sell more of the same.” Big companies have cash cows and milk them as much as possible. This makes complete sense. It’s hard to argue against doing what’s worked for as long as you possibly can.

But the problem emerges when cash cows start to dry up. Nothing lasts forever…and when performance in a core business starts to drop (reflected in revenues, profits and other key benchmarks), big companies struggle…

Successful startups are a bit like puzzles. You have to put a lot of pieces together, in the right way, to win. Except with startups, you don’t get all the pieces in advance (or even know how many pieces there will be), and there’s no final picture beautifully printed on a box that tells you what the end looks like. You might have a few of the pieces, but not many. You should have a big vision you’re aiming for, but the way to get there is a fuzzy picture at best.

Highline BETA’s goal is to provide more of…

At Highline BETA we believe that a key way to drive startup success is through partnerships with corporate leaders. Our mission is to unlock the assets locked up inside big companies (think: ideas, industry expertise, customers, distribution, capital), and combine them with the assets of startups (think: speed, ability to take risk, new technology) to create winning conditions for everyone. Big companies get access to startup innovation, and startups get access to critical accelerants that help them win.

In the spirit of that mission, we’ve partnered with Cookhouse Lab, a new open innovation space in Toronto dedicated to InsurTech and…


I remember when AngelList first came out in the U.S. It had a very quick impact on a startup’s ability to build momentum in the investor community. If you had a lead or a few investors (+ traction), you could get featured on AngelList and others would notice. Fundraising momentum is so hard for startups to build, as is FOMO (fear of missing out). AngelList was a great catalyst for that.

And then they launched Syndicates. Syndicates further democratized the marketplace between investors and startups. More passive angels that wanted to participate in the “tech action” could now do so…

Highline BETA is all about connecting corporates and startups in a meaningful way. We believe that many of the problems & opportunities worth going after are locked up inside of large companies — and startups are (in some cases) the right vehicle for solving those problems and unlocking those opportunities. The answer to every problem isn’t, “start a new company!” But sometimes that’s exactly the right answer. And that’s where Highline BETA’s model of startup co-creation comes in.

In order to get to startup co-creation, we need to find tangible ways of connecting corporates and startups. These two groups think…

WTF does that even mean?

It means: You’re not a young white guy.

And it’s total bullshit.

Heather Anne Carson, co-founder @ Repable recently posted this on Facebook:

(She didn’t ask me to write this.)


It’s not surprising that guys feel / think this way (but saying it out loud really demonstrates a whole new level of stupidity.)

Here’s the thing, I think of startup founders like comedians. Comedians come in all shapes and sizes. Their tool is their brain — their ability to make things funny, communicate that and engage an audience. That’s all the brain. You don’t…

In a recent presentation I gave on the use of data in the product management/development process there was one slide that I ended up taking out. It didn’t fit the flow of the talk, but I think it’s still an important point.

Here’s the slide:

The presentation in question was arguing for the proper implementation of Lean Startup as a process for successfully building better products. But oftentimes when talking about Lean Startup (and generally when people speak about processes for product management), they use the “factory analogy.”

The factory analogy is there to help us understand that we should…

Ben Yoskovitz

Founding Partner @ Highline BETA, a startup co-creation company. Previously VP @ VarageSale and GoInstant (acq. by $CRM). Author of Lean Analytics.

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