Mike Stemple has built 20+ startups, is an expert at ideation, innovation, and startup psychology, and advises corporate executives and innovation teams on how to “think and act more entrepreneurial.”
Innovating Innovation – Why Corporate Innovation Struggles in the Age of the Entrepreneur.
Inspirer – Helping executives and innovation teams learn to innovate faster, with smaller teams, and less capital, through the use of startup psychology, training, and consulting.
Mike’s Email – Connect with Mike!
3 Value Bombs
1) It has never been easier and more profitable to be an entrepreneur in all of history – even going into this economic environment we are in. Great companies were created in scarcity. Scarcity breeds creativity.
2) The innovator psychology is focused on creation and making things, being curious, and tracking down new ways of optimizing that machinery.
3) Fierceness is a powerful and heartfelt intensity. Great innovators have an emotional fierceness about them. They have this intensity when they talk about their ideas, this passion that just comes through in the presentation of their ideas, that’s lacking in the corporate environment.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Innovating Innovation with Mike Stemple
[1:17] – Mike shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- Startups are significantly better at innovation than corporations.
[2:36] – The contemporary definition of innovation
- Innovation is the human response to evolution.
- When we are faced with evolution, changing markets, changing demographics, changing environments, what we do is we use these tools of technology – combined with the tools of creativity – and create something new to adapt ourselves into that environment.
[4:05] – Examples of innovations.
- A whiskey brand called Jeffersons — Instead of keeping them in a warehouse, they’re loading them onto a shipping container, putting them into a cargo ship, and sending them around globe.
- The motion of the ocean moves the liquid in the barrel. The whiskey in the barrel and the temperatures – the hot temperatures and the cold temperatures – are seasoning that whiskey in a radically different way than you can do in a warehouse environment.
[7:29] – The differences between innovators and operators.
- It’s psychology. Operators are the pit crew of a company. Their job is to take the race car driver the car, or the machine that an innovator creates.
- The innovator psychology is focused on creation and making things, being curious and tracking down new ways of optimizing that machinery.
- Operators are your Masters of Business Administration; their focus is on optimization through process improvement.
[9:42] – A timeout to thank our sponsor!
- HubSpot: Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better and get a special offer of 20% off on eligible plans at HubSpot.com/eof!
[12:07] – The number one quality that separates entrepreneurs and corporate innovators.
- Fierceness is a powerful and heartfelt intensity. A great innovator has an emotional fierceness about them. They have this intensity when they talk about their ideas, this passion that just comes through in the presentation of their ideas, that’s lacking in the corporate environment.
[1:25] – How do entrepreneurs in residence help companies be more innovative and entrepreneurial?
- It’s when an entrepreneur is sitting on the sidelines waiting for their next gig and they add value back to the school or back to the VC firm that they were previously funded at.
- When people present problems to you, solve them to create the next new thing. It’s one of the things that creators and entrepreneurs just have.
[16:33] – Mike’s key takeaway and call to action.
- It has never been easier and more profitable to be an entrepreneur in all of history, even going into this economic environment we are in. Great companies were created in scarcity. Scarcity breeds creativity.
- Inspirer – Helping executives and innovation teams learn to innovate faster, with smaller teams, and less capital, through the use of startup psychology, training, and consulting.
- Mike’s Email – Connect with Mike!
[17:28] – Thank you to our Sponsor!
- HubSpot: Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better and get a special offer of 20% off on eligible plans at HubSpot.com/eof!
Light that Spark Fire Nation, JLD here. And welcome to Entrepreneurs on Fire, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. With great shows like MarTech podcast. Today we'll be breaking down innovating innovation. To drop these value bombs, I brought Mike Stem pull into EOFire Studios. Mike has built over 20 startups, is an expert at ideation, innovation, and startup psychology, and advises corporate executives in innovation teams on how to think and act more entrepreneurially. In today's foundation, we'll talk about what innovation is in today's day and age. We'll talk about innovators versus operators. We'll talk about eis. You're gonna have to stick around for that one and so much more.
And a big thank you for sponsoring today's episode goes to Mike and our sponsors Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast hosted by Amy Porterfield is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals with a focus on online business, Amy and her guest breakdown, big ideas and strategies and actionable step-by-step processes. In a recent episode, Amy talks with Michael Hyatt about science back data on how thoughts influence your success. Listen to Online Marketing Made Easy wherever you get your podcasts. Mike, say What's up to Fire Nation? And share something that you believe about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
1 (1m 22s):
Hey, Fire Nation, I'm excited to be here. I think the thing that I pops straight to mind is startups are significantly better at innovation than corporations, and it's pretty easy to prove that. So the success of startups is easy to prove over a corporate innovation with a really simple question. Think of the top three innovators that you respect. Picture 'em in your mind right now, the top three. And my guess is that at least two of them are entrepreneurs. And why is that? Why do we, when we think of innovation and innovators and being successful, that we naturally picture the Elon Musks or the Mark Zuckerbergs or the Bill Gates of the world.
1 (2m 4s):
I, I, I've been fascinated by that throughout my career is why is, why is being an entrepreneur so highly regarded, but so many, so few people ever go that path and build a career in it.
0 (2m 18s):
Fire Nation, this is right on theme because today we're talking about innovating innovation, and I've been hearing innovation on this podcast for 10 years now, Mike, and frankly, the definition, it's a little antiquated. What would you say is the contemporary definition of innovation?
1 (2m 41s):
Well, the dictionary definition is a new method, idea or product. So we're talking about newness and I, I just bristle at that. As a professional entrepreneur in residence for large corporations, I have to deal with the C level individuals, and they all have different definitions of it. And it's really frustrating to hear the marketing team talking about innovation differently than the finance team. And so I set out about a decade ago to create a, an updated definition based upon my track career as an entrepreneur and also the deep work I've done in the corporate innovation space. And my definition is the human response to evolution.
1 (3m 21s):
So innovation is the human response to evolution, and it's a uniquely human thing. Innovating is uniquely human. Animals don't innovate, they adapt. And when we are faced with evolutions, well changing mark markets, changing demographics, changing environments, what we do is we use the tools of technology combined with the tools of creativity and create something new to adapt ourselves into that environment.
0 (3m 52s):
Now you've mentioned some of the big boys, the Elon Musks, the Marcus Zuckerbergs, of course, there's, you know, the Ubers of the world that were innovating and doing what they did. Let's give maybe a couple not so obvious examples where you are, you're like, man, that is some real interesting innovation. What would that look like?
1 (4m 12s):
Oh, there's a one that just happened this week that I'm just fascinated with. It's a, it's a, a whiskey brand called Jefferson's. And what they're doing that's really, really creative is they're taking whiskey. So they're, they're making whiskey. They put it into oak barrels, charred barrels, but instead of keeping them in a warehouse, they're loading 'em into a shipping container, putting 'em into a cargo ship and sending them around the globe. And the motion of the ocean moves the liquid in the barrel, the whiskey in the barrel, and the, the temperatures, the hot temperatures and the cold temperatures are seasoning that whiskey in a radically different way than you can do in a warehouse environment.
1 (4m 58s):
And so something like that is highly innovative, highly interesting. It's not overly complex. It's actually quite simple and ingenious and it's not involving any new technologies. It's just a different way of looking at how do we make a great product even better.
0 (5m 16s):
I just had this concept pop up of something that I was like, that's super innovative and I'd like maybe your feedback on it to see if I'm kind of looking at this in the right direction. But you know, wine is, wine is wine is wine. I mean, there's great wines, there's not great wines, there's wines that are in the middle, but it's really hard to differentiate wines on a lot of levels. You know, like a lot of times you go into a wine store, you're just like, oh my God, there's a hundred red wines in here. Like, I don't know which one I'm gonna grab. Let me say I wanna spend about 35 bucks. You go around, you kinda look for that number, then you grab a wine that kind of has like an interesting, you know, shape or whatever, or tag or cover.
0 (5m 56s):
But then there was this wine that started coming, I forget the exact name of it, but it was something like 39 or 39 live or something where they incorporated ai where you would hold your phone over the actual front of the wine and the the face on it would start talking. And he would tell you one of the 39 crimes of Australia that he committed to be put to death. And like that's like where they got the number 39. And I might be not getting the number right, exactly. But now it's just like, I saw that and I'm like, that's the only bottle of wine I'm ever bringing over to a friend's house for dinner, because now it's a conversation piece.
0 (6m 38s):
Now I'm not just bringing a, a bottle of wine that I thought looked cool and was about the dollar amount that I wanted to spend. I'm bringing something that people can be like, wow, that is a really fascinating, innovative type of idea that, you know, I hadn't never seen before. And I was just like, that is really interesting. Does that fit the description?
1 (6m 56s):
It does. And it's ironic that you bring that up because the, the company's 19 crimes, not
0 (7m 3s):
19 crimes. I was close. That's all
1 (7m 4s):
Right. People might recognize Snoop Dogg is on the label and Martha Stewart's on their label. Oh, cool. And they're actually a client of mine, treasury, wine estate, one of the largest wine companies in the world. I've been their entrepreneur in residence for the last couple years.
0 (7m 19s):
I see. I mean Fire Nation, I did not know that. But what a conversation, what a chat we're having here today. And in this world, Mike, there are innovators and there are operators. What are the big differences between the two?
1 (7m 34s):
I think it's psychology operators are the, the, I always call the operators, the race car drivers in the pit crew of a company. Their, their job is to take the, the car or the machine that an innovator creates. An engineer might manufacture and then optimize it and drive it and perform it and, and race it. But there's two different psychologies at play in there. The innovators psychology is focused on creation and making things and being curious and tracking down new ways of optimizing that, that machinery, whatever the idea might be. And operators are your MBAs like a master of business administration, the administration of a machine, and their focus is on optimation optimization in a different way, not through creativity, but through process improvement.
1 (8m 25s):
And so you have these two different distinct personas that are at play in innovation. One creates it and one runs it or manages it. And what happens though is large corporations fail because when they want to do something new and create a new innovation, they ask their operators to step in and build the race car. And they can't, they don't have the skills of creativity, they don't have the persona where they can actually be a creator. And that's one of the reasons startups are just so effective at creating new innovations is I use this stat with my clients, pick three, three startups that are competing against Megacorp and they pick them.
1 (9m 9s):
And I was like, in those three startups, there's more innovators whose sole job is to innovate in those three startups than you have in your multi-billion dollar corporation. And times that by the thousands, if not tens of thousands of startups around the globe competing against you. And your internal corporate innovation team is massively outgunned
0 (9m 29s):
Fire Nation. I hope you're finding this topic, this conversation as interesting as I am, as though provoking, as light bulb rendering as I am. And we're just getting started and we have a lot more to talk about when we get back from thanking our sponsors
2 (9m 45s):
Growing a business can feel like the Wild West, but there's a better CRM in town. HubSpot. HubSpot CRM keeps all your teams on the same page so you can spend less time managing your software and more time connecting with your customers. When you hit your wagon to HubSpot CRM, your marketing, sales, operations and service teams all have access to the same data. Sales teams won't miss out on qualified leads and marketing teams know where best to promote their offers. That's how the Wild West is won. Learn more at hubspot.com. HubSpot grow better.
0 (10m 14s):
Mike, we're back. And entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, they have a lot of differences. We've talked about some of those obviously today thus far, but what is the number one quality that separates those two?
1 (10m 28s):
In my experience deeply in the entrepreneur community, I've been built all my own startups and also working with who's who of large corporations. This one trade I look for when I have to pick a new corporate team to innovate with, and that's fierceness. The definition of fierceness is a powerful and heartfelt intensity. Great innovators have an emotional fierceness about them. They have this intensity when they talk about their ideas, this passion that just comes through in the presentation of their ideas that's lacking in the corporate environment. And this is always one of the first things I try to work on with the corporate environment is getting them to be more Kirk and less Spock.
1 (11m 11s):
So think about those two characters from Star Trek. Spock is analytical and never emotional, and Kirk is overly emotional and usually not too analytical, but the creation of things involves that, that fierceness, that passion, the desire to create the next new. And so I try to get innovators in the corporate environment to be a little bit more Kirk and a little less Spock.
0 (11m 34s):
I love this phrase, fierceness equals a powerful and heartfelt intensity in Fire Nation. I can tell you that with the over 3,700 entrepreneurs that I've interviewed over the past decade, man, there is intensity, there is heartfelt power within what they're doing and the direction and path they're on to get it done. Let's talk about eis Mike, that is entrepreneurs in residents. How do entrepreneurs and residents help companies be more innovative and entrepreneurial?
1 (12m 12s):
Well, an entrepreneur in residence is a corporate entrepreneur in residence is a position I pioneered. I took it from the academic and the VC environment. It's when an entrepreneur is sitting on the sideline waiting for their next gig and they add value back to the school or add value back to the VC firm that they previously funded at. And I realized there was this interesting ability to bring it into the corporate realm to help senior leadership take an entrepreneurial perspective into mine as they're making decisions. And so I coined the term corporate entrepreneur in residence and I put a shingle out there and started marketing myself. And it was overwhelming and it's been overwhelming for the last decade.
1 (12m 53s):
Large companies are creating that perspective. They don't have it internally. They have a lot of MBAs who have a lot of administration experience, but not creation experience, business creation experience. And so when I get brought into a company, there's, I, I call it the tail strategy that I perform the tail strategy. It's an acronym that's is around teaching. So I, I teach others to think and act more entrepreneurial. I bring startup psychology, the tools of the entrepreneur and techniques into corporate teams. I then advise. So I I, I listen to the problems and the issues and the, the innovations they're working on and just filter it through my vast experience of creating things myself.
1 (13m 39s):
I invent. So that's the other idea. That's the, I entail, it's just natural for me when people present problems to me to want to fix them, solve them to, to create the next new. It's one of the things that creators and entrepreneurs just have in nature. You know this, when you, when you hang out with other entrepreneurs, you can't help but riff on each other's ideas and try to make 'em bigger.
0 (14m 5s):
1 (14m 6s):
You just, it's what we do. It's, it's, it's, it's wired in us. And so I do that for these large clients. And the last letter is L, which is liaison. So I act like an ambassador to the startup community. I also liaison within the organization and bring the entrepreneurial perspective of the innovation team into other departments to help them understand a little bit more what innovate, what contemporary innovation is and what the company is working on for the next new
0 (14m 35s):
Fire Nation. Fascinating topic today about innovating innovation. Mike, take the microphone. Please take a step back. What do you really want Fire Nation to get from our conversation today? Give us the one value bomb.
1 (14m 52s):
The one value bomb is, it has never been easier and more profitable to be an entrepreneur in all of history, even going into this economic environment. We are great companies. Were created in scarcity. So I have a saying, scarcity breeds creativity. So whether it was GE or Disney or Microsoft or Netflix or Lego, they were all created by a founder, one individual who had an idea and started executing on it in a, in a terrible economic environment. The scarcity of money, the scarcity of time, and the scarcity of talent unlocks something magical in the human mind.
1 (15m 36s):
Scarcity does breed creativity and I think this is the most amazing period over the next three to four years that if you wanna be an entrepreneur and you wanna be a successful entrepreneur, now is the time to act on your ideas. Big companies will not be able to respond to you. They're all shrinking back into more of an operational mode versus an innovator mode. The next billion com dollar companies, just like in 2009 and 2010, are going to be created in the next two to three years.
0 (16m 7s):
Fire Nation. Exciting times that we live in for sure. Mike, let us know where we can connect with you or we can learn more about you, any call to action you have for our listeners, and then we'll say goodbye.
1 (16m 19s):
Sure, you can always connect with me on LinkedIn. That's where I spend most of my time professionally. You can check out my website if you want, but you can find it through LinkedIn. And if you ever have a question about what I do as an EIR or how I help big companies, you can email me at Micah Inspire someone who inspirer.com,
0 (16m 37s):
Fire Nation due the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with MS and JLD today. So, keep up the heat. If you have any direct questions for Mike, find this episode on the podcast listening app, Pado post a comment, start the conversations going, and of course, EOfire.com type mike and the search bar, the show notes page will pop right up. Mike, thank you for sharing your truth, knowledge, and value with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you brother, and we'll catch you on the flip side.
1 (17m 9s):
Thank you as well.
0 (17m 10s):
Hey, Fire Nation, a huge thank you to our sponsors and Mike for sponsoring today's episode. Fire Nation, successful entrepreneurs accomplish big goals. That's why I created the Freedom Journal to guide you in accomplishing your number one goal in a hundred days. And we're talking step by step. So visit thefreedomjournal.com and I'll catch you there or I'll catch you on the flip side. Online Marketing Made Easy podcast hosted by Amy Porterfield is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals with a focus on online business. Amy and her guests break down big ideas and strategies into actionable step-by-step processes. In a recent episode, Amy talks with Michael Hyatt about, about science, back data on how thoughts influence your success.
0 (17m 52s):
Listen to Online Marketing Made Easy wherever you get your podcasts.
1) The Common Path to Uncommon Success: JLD’s 1st traditionally published book! Over 3000 interviews with the world’s most successful Entrepreneurs compiled into a 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!
2) Free Podcast Course: Learn from JLD how to create and launch your podcast!
3) Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 podcasting community in the world!