Over the course of 10 days in October, a group of 10 Prospective CEOs, successful entrepreneurs from across the United States, come together to face a monumental challenge. Their task? Confront 10 wicked problems in cities. Their goal? To create a new venture based on a new product or service that can change the world. The entrepreneurs present their ideas and intentions, and for the next 12 months, many of them will continue pursuing the concepts they presented as they seek to start new ventures.
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What will you do next?
Our Prospective CEOs have already founded a successful company. They are sharp, seasoned visionaries. They have grit. Most importantly, they are still hungry, searching for another all-consuming challenge. They come to 10.10.10 for ideas, inspiration and a renewed sense of purpose. They come to begin their due diligence, testing new venture ideas for value before they decide to invest the next chapter of their lives — 5, 10 or 15 years. It can be devastating to invest years of your life in a thing you wish you hadn’t started in the first place. They know this too well.
WHY WE DO IT
The talents of today’s best entrepreneurs are squandered.
Despite their experience, skill, and intelligence, many serial entrepreneurs discover a hard truth: they frequently start new companies that do not represent a good founder/opportunity fit. They know they may be investing 5, 10, 15 years of their lives in this new venture. Yet their due diligence process is unequal to the task of identifying and evaluating opportunities and related risks. So, they make poor decisions that cause them wasted years, wasted dollars and wasted opportunity.
The world doesn’t need its best and brightest to build yet another app. It needs them to grapple with wicked problems – the sprawling, intractable issues that must be tamed if we’re going to build a better world. We need them to persuade investors to fund this vision. We need them to deliver these new products and services to a hungry and waiting market that will create and sustain new businesses and offer incentives for the creation of more things that deliver return on investment and benefit to the community, society and the world.
These wicked problems are too often left to governments, nonprofits, industrial giants and research institutions. Government, large organizations and institutions will not solve these problems. We need new perspectives. We need outsiders with different points of view. We need serial entrepreneurs.
Wicked problems present tremendous business opportunities. This means entrepreneurs, investors and the market itself could take them on. But this can only be done with the right combination of entrepreneurial energy and insight. 10.10.10 harnesses this power and points it in the right direction. Prospective CEOs participate in 10.10.10 with the determination to build successful companies that attack wicked problems with market-based solutions.
What's a wicked problem?
Complex. Malignant. Nebulous. Profound… and that’s just the beginning.
A problem doesn’t achieve wicked status just because it’s really big or really difficult. Building a skyscraper is a huge and complex problem. Deriving the field equations for Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity is extraordinarily hard to do. But neither are wicked problems. Wickedness is not a matter of degree.
First outlined by two Berkeley professors in 1973, wicked problems elude description and defy solution. They stem from numerous causes, spread in in every direction and tend to become entangled with other wicked problems. What’s worse, conventional approaches to addressing them usually just makes things worse. They can be a societal scourge, such as poverty, or a seemingly more specific problem, like Alzheimer’s disease.
We’re always looking for people to help us confront the world’s wicked problems. 10.10.10 is built on a unique model that requires a diverse group of talented individuals to assist our Prospective CEOs.
Problem Advocates have often dedicated their lives and careers to understanding these wicked problems. They articulate the pain caused by a problem, help others understand how people are affected by it and serve as the champions, securing resources that can be used to create new approaches and solutions.
Ninjas offer heavyweight assistance. They are experienced professionals with diverse skills and backgrounds. Much like a co-founder in a start-up, Ninja’s gather and interpret, engage in ideation, and modeling – all critical early-stage company needs.
Validators are entities and individuals that intimately understand the kinds of problems we are addressing in a program. They validate that Wicked Problems are indeed Wicked Problems. They also validate alternative approaches an entrepreneur might take to solving these problems.
Volunteers are an invaluable asset. We need wicked motivated people to help us. Are you ready to help change the world?