We need more solving and less managing

I had a sense of deja vu today as I was looking at a list of local entrepreneurial resources – over a dozen groups seemingly operating as incubators, development centers, and other startup-related places where companies could operate and grow. Even a cursory review reveals a lot of overlap, little in the way of market forces pushing and pulling on the edges of the suppliers and consumers, and a lot of opportunity to improve the ways in which these entities function and how they help companies develop, create demand, and deliver their products and services.

Many years ago, I deepened my involvement with nonprofits by taking a continuing legal education class sponsored by the Community Organization Representation Project of the San Francisco bar association. In that program I learned about nonprofit governance in exchange for taking on a pro bono project for a nonprofit organization in the city. It was around that time that I started to question the number of groups “fighting” homelessness in SF and wondered, only slightly facetiously, if there were more people working in these organizations than were actually homeless. Now, decades later, we seem to be learning that the best and cheapest way to fight homelessness is by giving them places to live.

What I’ll say now is “watch this space.” I am growing several projects to give concrete help to startups, from their earliest days to finding product-market fit. Let me know your thoughts, and your questions, in the comments.