Agile Explorations
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Agile Explorations

Agile Adventurers: Sir Richard Burton


  • Part 1: Entrepreneurs as Explorers
    Introduces the classic model for entrepreneurship from Howard H. Stevenson (the “godfather” of entrepreneurship studies at Harvard), and makes the connection between explorers, entrepreneurship, and Agile methodologies.
  • Part 2: The Making of An Explorer
    Being an entrepreneur means exploring new frontiers. Success on those frontiers requires an all-consuming focus to acquire the information and skills that the frontier demands. Burton “went native”, absorbing the language and culture of his frontiers until he was able to go out disguised as a local.
  • Part 3: The Making of An Opportunity
    Entrepreneurial opportunities abound, but you must be well-positioned in order to see them and to take advantage of them. For Burton, positioning himself to take advantage of exploration opportunities required self-promotion to develop a larger-than-life explorer persona and networking with the venture capitalists of Empire expansion.
  • Part 4: The Pilgrimage to Mecca; Or, Delivering What You Can
    Entrepreneurs often fail. It’s in the nature of traveling to new realms. Daniel Kahneman’s cognitive biases help us to better understand some of Burton’s failures, and why explorer types are especially prone to these biases.
  • Part 5: Serial Explorers in the Age of Exploration
    During times of rapid expansion in opportunities (e.g. the Digital Age and the Age of Exploration) there are armies of serial entrepreneurs seeking and pursuing opportunities. Kahneman’s Optimism Bias helps us to understand what prompts these hardy souls to take these risks.

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Michael Kelly

A veteran of numerous software development adventures, delving the intersection of complexity theory and cognitive science in order to be a better Agilist.