Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value." As part of our longer interview, after discussing the pros and cons of the culture of celebrating failure, Dan related his own failure story and what he learned from it. He talks about a startup that grew quickly and imploded ever faster than that in the crazy dot-com bubble era of 2000-2001. Access the story here (30 minutes). The failed venture. Lessons from the failure - the sixth sense of business danger; the speed of failure; reading the macro situation; the "Dersu Uzala" story
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value," a very valuable book on the subject. We had a wide-ranging conversation on failure, mistakes, lean startups and whether entrepreneurs need to try to get very big. Enjoy! Access the podcast here (30 minutes). Summary: 1:15 What "Worthless, Impossible and Stupid" is about 3:10 On the emerging "Failure Culture" 7:30 The fine line between success and failure in new ventures 8:20 Is the first mover advantage really an advantage? 9:25 Do entrepreneurs have to be innovators to succeed? 10:00 Dan's failed venture 11:30 Lessons from the failure - the sixth sense of business danger; the speed of failure; reading the macro situation; the "Dersu Uzala" story 13:33 Is there a scarcity of capital for entrepreneurs? 17:00 On the Lean Startup movement; not so novel - "that's the way our grandparents did business"; "a lot of really good ventures will require a lot of capital" 18:55 Is a flower-shop owner really an entrepreneur? "There's not a continuum between self-employment and entrepreneurship." 22:30 Entrepreneurs as job-creators - and public policy (please be patient with the interviewer's 90 - 90! - second question. He got carried away.) 28:05 A bit more on the book - great entrepreneur stories without even one about Steve Jobs
Monday, March 26, 2012
After our recent interview with Ron Adner, author of "The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation," we got to chatting, and in that exchange we talked about the reasons smart companies can fall into the trap of a too-narrow viewpoint. I You can learn more about The Wide Lens at its website, where chapter 1 is available to read for free. Mini-Podcast: Ron Adner after interview discussion (4:15)
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I had the opportunity to interview Ron Adner, professor at the Tuck School of Business and author of "The Wide Lens: A New Strategy of Innovation." The book details the challenges with innovating when you are dependent on more than you and the end-customer - including intermediaries, co-innovators, etc., who influence the success of your new venture. Ron shares a couple of great stories, but perhaps the most significant part of the interview is the discussion that happens after each story. One of the great benefits of sharing mistake stories is dialoguing with others about what happened, why, and how we can learn from it. I have found this sort of dialogue very helpful in my own learning, and I'm happy to share this neat example with everyone. You can learn more about The Wide Lens at its website, where chapter 1 (in which Adner evaluates the Michelin story he relates in this podcast) is available to read for free. Podcast: Ron Adner, author of The Wide Lens, on innovation ecosystem mistakes (28 minutes) 0:30 - How did The Wide Lens come about? 2:30 - The Michelin mistake story 6:45 - Discussing the Michelin story 13:15 - The inhalable insulin mistake story 19:30 - Discussion: The value blueprint, leading/following, timing, etc. 24:10 - How "The Wide Lens" helps innovators
Monday, May 23, 2011
Monica Gould is the president of Strategic Consulting Partners. In this story, she talks about her early days in consulting, when she fell prey to a common mistake of consultants (I can tell you from experience): the temptation to say you can solve any problem.
Download the story here (1min 57sec).
Friday, May 20, 2011
I love this story, recorded during our longer interview with Monica from 2010. It felt to me, as she was relating it, that she was discovering and analyze this situation in the moment; as if, in fact, she was coming to terms with her feelings about it just as we were talking. She argues with herself a bit: "I'm not sure it was a mistake... [but] it's just not a fruitful use of time..." just like we do when we are evaluating something that isn't working out as we'd planned. Magic!
Download "Monica Gould - realizing a strategic opportunity is actually a waste of time" (2:21)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Monica Gould is the president of Strategic Consulting Partners. She discusses bringing on a subcontractor to help with a big project, and how she felt when she saw the sub doing things much differently from how she would have done them herself. This story came from our longer interview with Monica from 2010.
Download the story here (3min 43sec).