Our Commitment to Doing Better

X Genesis is a startup studio harnessing entrepreneurship as a lever for social good. Our programs challenge entrepreneurs to develop market-based solutions to wicked problems and launch new ventures at the intersection of impact and ROI.

On Monday, we kicked off our 8th program to help entrepreneurs tackle wicked problems. These problems — which include issues such as crumbling water infrastructure and extreme climate events that displace millions of people and cost billions of dollars each year — require people with a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds and life experiences to come together to craft solutions…

You are going to have to hurry. Today’s the deadline. But maybe, just maybe Andrew Hutton will let you in this time even if your application is a bit late – or if not this time, perhaps next time. Here’s your application: Day One Application.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about you and your participation in the 2nd Cohort for Day One, which has been designed from the ground up…

to guide and support entrepreneurs on their journey to build great businesses — by connecting them into a community of their peers, by guiding them and teaching them…

Edge of the World – Walk on Water

I recently happened upon a Joel Trammell blog post from 2015, that called attention to Howard Stevenson’s definition of entrepreneur. Howard was a profession at the Harvard Business School, and I want to share his definition with you.

Entrepreneurship is

“the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.”

What’s so good about this definition? It helps distinguish the manager from the entrepreneur. Managers look first to the “resources controlled.” As they should. Entrepreneurs look first to the “opportunity.” As they must.

For entrepreneurs, opportunity comes first. “Resources controlled” comes in at a distant second. What do you have or control as…

Hello, It’s Me.

My Medium posts are recently shaping up to be different than I had expected. I’ve recently been writing more about what I’m experiencing personally, in the moment.

So what’s happened today?

I woke up at 3 am. (This happens more frequently than I’d like. More frequently than it should.) We live in the city. The light from the house next door shines through our bedroom window — through the closed blinds — at 3 am, daily. Over a year ago we bought something to block out that light. I still haven’t taken the time to put it…

This is a bit of a departure from my usual writing. You’ll find nothing here about entrepreneurs, wicked problems, or complex systems. This is just a story about something that happened last night.

It’s Saturday night. We had decided to order takeout from a place down on Larimer Street in Denver. (The photo above was taken on Larimer Street a week ago, and the art here is a feature of the “Crush Walls” week that has become an annual event.)

The restaurant’s mobile order app has a bug, so I had to place our order and make the trip to…

This morning, I sent this text to my siblings:

I’m the oldest of six, so while our parents are both gone, the distribution list is still pretty good sized. We grew up, four of the six of us, in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, a time of extraordinary change (as Kurt Andersen makes evident in a great new book, “Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History,” August 2020).

Our mother had the most beautiful soprano voice I have ever heard. Anywhere. Ever. She led the church choir. She sang opera (though not frequently enough). And she exposed all…

Place vs Plumbing

A thousand things are tugging at me these days as I consider our future . By “our” I mean humans living in the world in 2020 and beyond. And, yes, I know that by some standards that’s a pretty wide aperture while, by others, limiting the perspective to “humanity”makes humans the center of the universe, which narrows the aperture more than we seem to understand.

One thing that’s captured my attention is the tension between place and infrastructure or plumbing. (Thank you Leland Maschmeyer). Zoom in the time of COVID affords a potent illustration of this. When…

Throughout my life I’ve read. A lot. I discovered a trove of books in my grandparents cupboards, books that had originally been purchased for my father and my uncle. I devoured them. Tom Sawyer, Tom Sawyer Abroad, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Swift and His _______ (there were dozens of these), Ivanhoe, and on and on. When I was still just eight or nine I’d haunt Salvation Army and St. Vincent De Paul stores to buy these old books for 10 or 15 cents apiece.

Most of the books my grandparents bought for my father and his brother were intended to satisfy…

I forget.

I’ve been thinking about creating something like a blog. A vehicle for sharing what I’m seeing, hearing, thinking, and learning in something closer to real-time.

I thought about reviving a blog I began writing years ago, but abandoned, and even about having someone help me set it up, create a structure that would allow it to work for me and what I want to be doing.

But just now I realized I could probably just go back to using my Medium account, which I’ve also neglected. I’m going to try this for a bit. …

I’m experimenting. I want to explore a different way of writing, so I’m using a simple Markdown writer, iA Writer, to write this.

Thomas Edison, in his laboratory, experimenting. Wikimedia Commons.

It may go nowhere, but my hypothesis is this. Using a writing tool that is more fundamental, more stripped down, I will find it easier to start and finish each thing I want to write. If I’m right about this, starting and finishing more of my written work would be the result I’m looking for.


I’ve used all kinds of things to capture thoughts and notes over the years — text editors, Mars Edit, Wordperfect, Wordpress, Microsoft…

Tom Higley

Wicked Problems. Founder Opportunity Fit. Entrepreneur “success” means more than just ROI. Founder & CEO, X Genesis & 10.10.10. @tomhigley

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