Lessons from “The Lean Startup”

For Christmas my sister gave me Eric RiesThe Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneur’s Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. It was a timely gift, because I started a business in September 2011 and began to learn about Lean Startup theory during the fall at networking events in Boston. This week I dove into the book, and lo and behold, it is a gold mine. Ries’ first 30 pages – rife with succinct advice and relevant case studies – have already provided new inspiration and validated aspects of my business strategy. The rest of this blog will chronicle lessons I learn from The Lean Startup as I venture through its pages. Follow me on Twitter @RedTuftedGiant to get updates about each new lesson learned, and check back in on this blog often.

Lesson #1: A strong brand image just needs to be recognizable, not necessarily relevant. I recognized the Lean Startup the second I removed the paper my sister had wrapped around it. I had never seen the book in person before, but I had seen it online once or twice. Its cover conveys nothing related to business, entrepreneurship or innovation. It has simply a blue jacket with the title, author’s name and a large, white, circular paintbrush stroke. That’s all it takes. As soon as you’ve seen this book cover once, you’ll recognize it forever.

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Why Every Environmentalist Should Study Abroad

This article originally appeared at http://www.blog.greenlinktufts.com.

As you look over GreenLink, this new website with a unique mix of offerings, you may wonder why we have built a site with a major section that focuses on study abroad programs related to the environment. Why study the environment abroad? It’s a good question.

Most students who study abroad find that it enriches their young lives. It introduces them to new sights, sounds, tastes, smells and ideas, which give rise to new interests and ambitions. It teaches them about the diversity of the world, makes them more comfortable around people unlike themselves and gives them a new perspective on their own society. It literally makes the world a bigger place for the student and makes humanity a vast, multifarious community.

Rajasthan, India

For an environmentalist, studying abroad has this impact, but with the added benefit of a more complete sense of environmentalism itself.

Supporting the environment on an international, global scale is completely different from joining the environmental movement in the United States. Here it’s too easy for environmentalism to become centered around symbolic goals like protecting trees and polar bears or fighting big oil or around simple changes like using a Nalgene or switching to fluorescent light bulbs. In contrast, around the world, especially in developing countries, the motives beneath the movement are very different, and they are more urgent. In many places, people feel the effects of their environmental challenges on a daily basis in an unavoidable way. In these localities it’s about health and basic standard of living. On a global scale, it’s about fighting corruption in government, it’s about cooperative resource management, it’s about survival and adaptation and it’s about ethics and social justice.

As international negotiations over climate change – like the COP17 conference beginning in South Africa today – continue to flounder, it becomes increasingly clear that the international initiatives required to protect our shared future cannot succeed without the US adopting domestic policies that will better support efforts at the UN. For the US to pass the legislation that would protect its own population and its neighbors around the globe, it needs citizen demand, and before that political will can be mustered, Americans must better understand their country’s place in the world.

By studying abroad, you become a globally-minded citizen, and you enable yourself to teach those around you how they can contribute to the global environmental movement.

Check back often to the World section of Rising Green and read more stories from students who have studied the environment abroad. If you have learned about the environment while traveling abroad and would like to share your story with us, please submit an article under 500 words to adrian@greenlinktufts.com.

Study Abroad → Serve the Planet

Read more articles like this at http://www.blog.greenlinktufts.com