Bill Colleran is the CEO of AnswerDash, a Seattle-based SaaS start-up company that offers a unique customer support platform on the web, in mobile apps and via chatbot. AnswerDash is his third stint as CEO, having sold one company a led another for fourteen years prior to its IPO.
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3 Key Points:
- Crafting a Plan B will not only save you in the future, but will also give you more clarity for today.
- First, build a great team—then prioritize all the rest as your team will get you to where you need to be.
- Continually share your vision with your team.
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Time Stamped Show Notes:
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:58] – Bill started out as an engineer designing silicon chips
- [01:03] – He got his PhD at UCLA and he went to law school
- [01:20] – He went back to work as a banker
- [01:39] – He then had the opportunity to start a company that made bluetooth chips
- [01:58] – After a few years, he sold the company and moved to Seattle
- [02:38] – Bill’s area of expertise is in being able to spot technology trends
- [03:20] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: “Entrepreneurs should always be thinking through what their Plan B is”
- [04:00] – Working through plan B, even if you don’t come to use it, gives a lot of clarity and focus for the task at hand
- [05:18] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Bill was in his last company, Impinj, back in 2001. They were pursuing North-tel and when they called back, the main engineer they were talking to had been laid off.
- [06:18] – They just realized that what they had been working on for the last 2 years didn’t matter anymore
- [07:02] – The Plan B mentality was born from that experience
- [07:17] – Realize that there will be times you need to pivot or change plans
- [10:22] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: 6-9 months later, Bill and his team were working hard on their new plans and they had the opportunity to establish their leadership. The fact that they had great people and a great team allowed them to pivot to another plan.
- [11:59] – “It’s really about the team”
- [12:23] – “Bet on people, not on products”
- [13:10] – Create a common vision for your team
- [13:30] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? Bill is fired up about artificial intelligence
- [15:18]– The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “I don’t think anything”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “The best way to get a promotion into a job is to do that job first”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I read a lot”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Wait But Why
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Thinking, Fast and Slow – “It has lots of insights about how we, as human beings, think and act”
- [19:25] – Connect with Bill on LinkedIn or via email
- [19:38] – Being an entrepreneur is a marathon – and it is NOT glamorous
- [19:57] – Plan accordingly
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