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The Art and Science of Hacking an Industry

Every business claims to be disruptive. Most startup founders want to innovate the next app or feature to attract more dollars or clicks than the industry standard. Now there’s a new class of rising entrepreneurs. These unsung innovators invent business models, not technology. They scale businesses giving consumers radical new choices. Panelists will illuminate the philosophies & execution behind their Industry Hacking:
•Sunrun redefined home solar so homeowners can opt out of dirty energy without buying expensive panels
•Birchbox transformed retail by offering sample boxes to consumers to discover, sample, and learn about the best products
•Bina revolutionizes healthcare by giving Americans easier access to their DNA information
•Minted crowd sources graphic designs and content globally to redefine the paper goods industry

These hackers represent a new age of entrepreneurship in which business model innovation changes the marketplace and the world more than technology tweaks.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What makes an industry ripe for hacking, and how do you listen to the marketplace and pick up on that readiness to turn novel approaches into a scalable business?
  2. Is an industry best hacked: • From the inside or the outside • Intentionally or accidentally • Overtly or stealthily
  3. How do you persuade stakeholders (e.g., investors, co-founders, users, etc.) to eschew convention in favor of an Industry Hack?
  4. What industries are hack-ready and hack-worthy right now?
  5. What are the pitfalls of Industry Hacking and how does it align/diverge from popular entrepreneurial philosophies, e.g. Lean Startup Methodology?



Lyndsey Besser, Public Relations, SutherlandGold Group

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