Innovation Panel with Naveen Jain, T.A. McCann and Steve Strauss


That's a Wrap: National Entrepreneurship Week


Lesson Info

Innovation Panel with Naveen Jain, T.A. McCann and Steve Strauss

- [Scott] We have a great surprise in store. An amazing panel here on innovation and entrepreneurship. Chase, do you want to kick things off? - [Chase] Well, I do only to underscore the point that innovation is happening basically, virtually everywhere around us in this day and age. We talked in the first segment, the opening segment about how the access to tools, to capital, to peers is that the barrier is at an all-time low and that therefore, innovation at an all-time high. And we have brought three guests today on the panel to celebrate this idea of innovation and we're hoping to take some questions from the in-studio audience, even from the internet. But before we do, we'd like to get a little bit of background from all you all. If you would just take, I don't know, 30 seconds to introduce yourself, a little bit of back story on you and we'll just go down the line. Go ahead. - [Steve] So my name is Steve Strauss. I am the small business columnist for USA Today. I'm an entreprene...

ur, an author, I've written a lot of books including The Small Business Bible. And relevant here today is, I wrote a book several years ago called The Big Idea: How Business Innovators Get Great Ideas to Market. Because what we wanted to do is look at how does someone come up with a unique idea, a different idea, CreativeLive, whatever it is, Office 365, and actually turn it into a business. How do you do it? So that's what the book was about, coming up with the idea but then the hard part, getting it all the way to the end. So that's what I am, that's what I do, and happy to be here. - Excellent. Thank you very much for joining us. You, good sir. - [Naveen] Well, I'm Naveen Jain and I am an entrepreneur and I am doing lots and lots of interesting thing. You talk about audacious stuff, about going to the Moon, or actually solving another problems like health care and completely making illness inactive. So not only we can land on the Moon at a private company and become the fourth superpower, my belief is the next step of superpowers are going to be entrepreneurs, not the nation states. So go out there and be the superpower. - All right. - Wow. And please, T. A. - [T. A.] I'm T. A. McCann, I'm also an entrepreneur here in Seattle and I've done a number of different of companies. And also now working in the last year's period of time as an entrepreneur in residence of Providence Healthcare. So thinking about new ideas in the health care space as well which I think is a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs today. - Awesome. Actually, since you both mentioned health care maybe we can touch on health care. I'm interested in space travel as well. Not everyone in the room here can speak to space travel. But we'd like to just a little bit on health care, and maybe we'll go back to you, T. A. You've been paying attention to the space for some time now. You've built and sold a couple of companies, but what are you thinking about in the future of health care right now? - Well, I'm a mobile and a big data person and this is an area that can be totally personalized around mobile and big data. It's an area that has largely been untouched by software in the way that we all understand. And so, for me, it's something that's also has an idea of doing well and doing good at the same time. And so, I'm just particularly interested in how do we personalize health care, how do we use data, our personal data, a collective data, or a population of data to inform the right choices and center that all around our mobile devices. - Yeah, there's a whole bazillion companies bubbling up, and to me it's a very exciting time, specifically because those companies are generally in service of individual's rights around health care and providing more opportunity access to information and data, as you said. - Well, one thing is that we have to fundamentally rethink about who we are, and I think that we're using the 20th-century tools to solve the 21st-century problem. So 20th-century tools were the one we were dying from infectious diseases. So we actually invented antibiotics and that is exactly what's causing the new chronic diseases. So everything, we as humans, we are really proud of ourselves, 1% of our genes are actually the human mammals, 99% of the genes that are expressed in our body are microbial genes in our gut. We are simply a beautiful container for parasites. Who we are? We are microbial ecosystem, and when we throw the nuke bomb on our body called antibiotics, we kill everything, we're killing the ecosystem. And that's the reason I started the company called Viome, that's V-I-O-M-E, and, and you can sign up as an individual to take care of your own health and it requires nothing but the diet and nutrition. You take care of the gut and you take care of these microorganism, and they take good care of you. So you have to completely rethink the health care, and that's not going to come from Obamacare, Trumpcare, or any hospital, it's going to come from an entrepreneur who fundamentally disagrees with everything that we have done in the past and go back to the beginning. - Steve, yeah, you're… - I stand corrected. - Oh, please, do tell. I know you've written about this a little bit and you thought critically about it for some time, so do share your opinion, if you would. - Yeah, so one thing I know about innovation is, look, it's fun, interesting, and exciting, all these things, and it's also really challenging. If you're going to innovate, what that means is, you're going to come up with an idea that you see, but maybe no one else sees. So not only do you have to be an innovator and an entrepreneur, but you also have to be a salesman, you also have to figure out how you're going to get the money, you also have to figure out all the steps along the way so innovation is great, and it's going to take a lot of your research. As these guys can tell you, right, to take it from idea to fruition for sure. What were the challenges? - Interesting thing is, if you think audacious goals, that can change the trajectory of how humanity lives. You find the best and the brightest people in the world wanting to solve that problem. You want to be able to show them that what you're doing is going to change everything that the people have done and you can move the billions of people around the world and you can do so good in the world and create an amazing enterprise at the same time. So always do things because a great business and even going to the Moon, people may or may not believe it, we chose to go to the Moon not because it's easy, because it's a great business and we create amazing business at the same time. - I'm really fired up right now. I want to go jump through a wall or something. - That's right. - Actually, I'm going to go to the crowd here for a question in just a second, but before we do, you guys talked about resources, you talked about how to put ideas in motion. Ideas are one thing, but shifting them into action is an entirely different set of skills and maybe takes some gumption that some folks at home, they might not even know where to start. So maybe kick it back to T. A., I know you as someone who's a doer, and maybe you could use some of that doer background, some of the experiences you've had, what's a key thing that you think people out there in the world who are starting their own businesses or trying to bring their ideas to fruition, what's a blind spot for most people since you consult so many folks and are a mentor to so many? - I'm going to call it three things. So one is, you can never talk to enough customers. The average entrepreneur, the first-timer's like, "I want to protect my idea and it's not quite good enough and I don't want to tell anyone about it." So invert all of that. Get out there and start talking to people as much as you can. Two, I think Naveen has done this incredibly well which is you have a tell story that people want to get behind. You're the leader, at the front of the band, and you have to be inspiring in what you want to do and how you want to go do it. And then third is, you've got to build stuff. It's easy to sit and talk about it, but you have to build, and you have to start, and always it's like this little part of this gigantic thing you want to build and you don't quite know where to start, but you have to build and then just keep building, keep building, keep talking, and building the narrative. And in many cases, the first narrative doesn't work. People are like, they are like, "What?" - "What?" - "Really? Could that work?" And then, so in many ways you have to find the way to tell the story that gets the people like, "Hmm, tell me more about that." And this way, you have early interest, and then more interest, and then more interest. And in order to build something big, you have to have a lot of people that want you to be successful. - You've done a great job of just winding the people up in the room here. Who wants to go to the Moon, right? - Dream so big that people think you are crazy, and when you tell them what you are doing and they don't think you are crazy, you are not dreaming big enough, unless if you happen to be crazy, all backs are off. But the thing is never be afraid to fail. You only fail when you give up. Entrepreneurs pivot, and everyone else fails. Every idea that does not work is simply a stepping stone to a bigger idea. Never be afraid to do the things you don't know. If you are expert in your field, you can only improve it incrementally. If you go out and do things that you know nothing about, that is where the disruption happens. What makes me the most dangerous person in the health care because I know nothing about health care. That is what made me the most dangerous person in the space. I knew nothing about the space and we will be landing on the Moon this year, not someday, this year and that's the dream you have to have. Where you can say, it doesn't matter how many times people tell you it's impossible because when they think it's impossible, it's impossible for them not for me. So all they have done is taken themselves out of the solution space. So they leave the space to me and we'll keep executing and keep winning and keep making money, and keep helping people. - You know what I love, that you just said, "Entrepreneurs pivot and everyone else fails." Man, that was the nugget. Steve, I'm curious if you're a business and let's say you feel stuck in a particular business stage, how do you ignite innovation and get things moving forward again? - So that's a great question. So for my tribe, for small businesses, innovation is something we like and think about. And sometimes it's not always easy, like I'm going to bet the ranch and innovate. But I will give people a tip that I think really works for the small entrepreneur, the individual, the self-employed, and that is, I call it the trim tab principle. This is from a guy named Buckminster Fuller. He was one of the great innovators ever, and he said, "Think about a giant ship going down through the ocean, right. How does the captain turn that big ship into a new direction? Right, that's what innovation is, we want to go in a new direction. Well, you think he turns the wheel, the wheel turns the rudder, and the rudder turns the ship. But that's not how it happens, there's too much water pressure on the rudder, so there's actually a little mini rudder on the rudder called the trim tab. So when you turn the wheel, the wheel turns the little trim tab, there's a little bit that creates a little open water pressure, then the rudder changes, then the whole boat changes. So to answer your question, how does a small business or anyone innovate if you can't just make a giant change, make a trim tab change. Just go in a little…okay, here we are, we go a little bit in a new direction and all of a sudden we're in a whole new direction. So that trim tab idea, what can you do in your business that's a little different, that's innovate, that's creative that will make a big difference? That's the question to ask yourself. - But that's incrementalism. That is where you don't…think so audaciously that says, you know what, the mindset of a scarcity is why we never ever, we think things are scare. Imagine if we can create abundance of energy, the abundance of food, the abundance health, and you can create abundance of homes. Why would anybody ever fight over anything? And that's what I'm thinking, dream big, dude. - The dream is big, but the execution is incremental. - Exactly. - So you have to go do something tomorrow, and that may be a little bit different than you did yesterday. It's still out trying to get out there, but you have to have that execution. It's easy I think to say, "I'm going to go do that." It's hard to say, "What am I doing tomorrow and next week and next month?" - And how do you enroll a team that believes in that vision? Because if you have a new vision, you see it, but no one else sees it. So you have to be a great, I said earlier, a salesperson, you have to be enthusiastic and get people on your team for sure, but then take them in that direction. - I have a question. So you've got this big vision, okay, but we all have to run the business day-to-day, and when we do that, there's highs and lows, and there's ups and downs and things like that, how do we stay focused on the big vision despite some of the stuff that occurs in operating our business? - So remember, we as humans, how do we know we are alive, you see our heart, it goes up and down, up and down, when you see the smooth line, you're dead, right? So you don't want your business to be the smooth line because that means you're really, really dead. Our job as a leader is really simple, we don't want to take them to the water and make them drink, that's what the corporates do. Entrepreneurs are simple, we make them thirsty. We make them so thirsty that they want to find their own water an they will drink. So my job is to give them such audacious goals to go out and make it happen, and I am there side by side with them and taking small slices of that wisdom and keep executing, but keep the eye on the ball. There is nothing you can't do. You've got to be inspiring. Or else, you know what, you might as well go work for Microsoft. - I think maybe you have to in order to aspire, inspire a bunch of people, you have to have something which feels simple to explain, "I want to land on the Moon, I want to turn my mobile phone into the future of medical diagnostics." Everyone goes like, "Oh, okay. How do I that?" "I'm not sure yet." But that's the thing that when you're weaving back and forth, when you have the ups and downs, everybody can say, "Okay, we realign to a thing that I'm inspired by. And I'm going to realign behind a person or a set of people who I think can get me to that and re-inspire me through the ups and downs." And so I think that reassessment and realignment toward a particular big vision, that is easy to understand and maybe not clear on how to get there yet, but you have to have that because it will bring a lot of people with you. - Obviously, what you need is not entrepreneur, you need a visionary, enthusiastic entrepreneur, but if you're going to innovate, you then have to have a team to help you. Something like Cindy said earlier, one of the things a lot of people don't realize is, there is a lot of help available out there right now. And so, if you're going to innovate, you need to find people who fill your gaps. You can have part of the things to create a great team. Look at the guy who invented the Xerox machine, he invented that technology, but he had no businesses sense. He finally found a company that had the money and the business sense, together they created that technology. So it's that synergy bringing in all sorts of disparate groups that create one team in the visionary new direction. - Truth. - Powerful, powerful message. - Isn't that what you did? - It is. Yeah, just the short story behind CreativeLive is that we had an aspiration to use the internet to help bring the world's top expert to a global audience and to do so for free. And it wasn't without a lot of ups and downs. The heartbeat, I like that. I'm going to borrow that one for sure. It's like, "Oh, we're just in the down part of the heartbeat right now." But no, extremely aspirational. I wanted to go to the crowd today and see if there's some questions in line. I got some coming on the internet, but I wanted to respect the people who made the journey from sometimes very far away to come here in the crowd and to have a chance to ask a question on one of these smart guys up here. Anyone, questions from the audience here? Because I can go the internet if not. All right, I'm going straight to the internet. Ted, Ted wants to know, "I hear your big dreams, but what about paying the bills? What are small steps that each of us can take to the next step?" - Every time you dream big doesn't mean you don't a short-term path. So if you give the people that audacious dream that allows the smartest people to come together, and then, you bridge the path to essentially these big, audacious goals. So every small step you do that generates revenue, that pays bills, but you never ever lose sight of where you start or where you're going because that's the reason people join you. So for example, when we started Viome we started the service and we got amazing technology that was already done at the last (inaudible). They spent billions of dollars of our taxpayer money developing this technology, we took that stuff and took it to the market and within the months we're launching the service next month and anyone can sign up and never be sick ever again, $99 a month, go to - Never sick ever again. Perfect health. I love it. - I'd say don't quit your day job. - Yeah. - Right? - That's a bad, bad advice. Anyone who thinks they can do this part-time entrepreneurship. They are the one who fail. Keeping the… the person who have their feet on the two boats, you know what happens to them? They fall in the water. So if you do it. - I totally disagree. - That's why you're not an entrepreneur, right? You're working for a large company. - Here's the thing that Ted's asking. Ted's asking, we can't all go…we actually don't all have the aspiration of go to the Moon or we don't all have the aspiration of solving...hold tight, we don't all have the aspiration to solve world health, some of us want to put food on our table and support our kids and drive them to school. - You work full-time. - What's that? Yeah, it's full-time but... - He said, "Do it part-time." - I'll actually share in parallel with T. A.'s point the piece of advice that I got from one of my mentors, Richard Branson, it's the idea that you bet the farm is fiction, if you bet the farm, you don't have something to fall back on. So how can you mitigate the downside, and I think from the day-to-day actions that entrepreneurs wherever you are in this world listening to this broadcast, what is it that you can get up and do today, and it doesn't mean light your bank account on fire. - That I agree. - It doesn't mean pushing all your chips. And I think that's what T.A... Yeah, that's what T.A. was really reaching for. - I'll finish the topic. So when you start with an idea, you probably have a day job, you're probably doing something already. So you start finding extra time that's the five hours on Tuesday night, it's the Saturday that you don't play basketball anymore, it's something like that. You start trying to gather momentum behind your idea, you start talking to other people who can be helpful on that idea, and they start choosing their Saturdays and their Tuesday nights, and their Wednesdays. And pretty soon they're starting to say, "My day job, I'm trying to do in a couple hours a day." Until you just can't help it, and that's when you go. So at some point to the extent that you gain enough momentum around that, then there will be people who want to fund that idea to the extent that that idea gets enough interest, there will be enough that then you can make that real jump. - Steve, you've talked to entrepreneurs all over the country as a columnist for the USA Today, can you share parallels to this idea? - Absolutely. - Yeah, give us a little insight. - So one of my favorite quotes, unfortunately, it's not from one of my books, The Small Business Bible or something like that, but it's from a book called The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. It is a great book about it's called the entrepreneurship myth and he says this, and I think it's really relevant to what we're talking about, and that is, "Most entrepreneurs spend so much time working in their business that they don't spend enough time working on their business." Right, you're working in your business everyday, you're doing the tasks that you're supposed to do, and then how do you innovate, how do you have a big idea, how do you find a team, how do you do anything? Well, you have to do exactly what T.A. said, which is set aside time daily, weekly, whatever it is, to work on your business. No just doing what you do, but really having a bigger picture. Now, you can't do it every day, all day. That's unrealistic, you can't pay the bills, but you can do it, you have to do it if you're going to innovate. - Until you can. So the paying of the bills will switch. When you gain enough momentum, someone's saying, "How do I invest in that idea? I want to invest in you and I want to invest that idea." Now quit that thing you're doing day job and go spend 110% of your time on this new thing. That's the trigger. And you can't predict when that trigger is going to happen. - And then you bring the money with it. - That's exactly right. - Interestingly is that, as an entrepreneur, if you always have a plan B, that becomes your plan A. So the thing is, unless you cut the umbilical cord, you will never ever be able to go out and actually succeed because you're willing to do what it takes, you never empty your bank account, but you really have to believe in what you're doing and give yourself a time. So when I quit my first job from Microsoft I gave myself six months of savings, and say, "I'm going to have six months of savings. I'm going to keep everything in the bank and I'm going to keep just the six months' time to go out and execute 100% of my life just dedicated to do that." And that's what created my first large hit. If you keep thinking, "I'm working other things, yeah, I'll work on the weekend, I'll work on two days." You know what, by the time you get to something 10 other people have already done it, so the idea is to go out, cut the umbilical cord, and go make the shift and give yourself a time to go execute. And if you can, go back to another job. - So, Scott, on your Business & Burger show. I like your show. You talk to a lot of entrepreneurs, that's what you do. Do you find that they jump in 100% or do they do it incrementally? What do you find works for entrepreneurship and innovation with people that you speak with? - Well, I find that, first of all, everyone has a story and it's never been easy to build a successful business, but what I do find is that the people who stick with it, the rewards are just unbelievable. And what I find is that most of them who are successful end up working something during the day and at night and on the weekends, that's they work on their vision, that's they work on their dream until they're able to turn the tables. And that dream, that vision is paying them enough to be able to go in 100%. Again, you were talking about mitigating risk, and I used to think that the most important job of every entrepreneur had something to do with leadership or writing business plans or vision or culture, whatever. I think the biggest job is learning how to mitigate your risk so that if things take longer than planned… - And they do. - Right, and they do, and they will. - And they will. - You put, you set yourself up so you can bounce right back. - So entrepreneurs really are not risk-takers, they are risk mitigators. And every entrepreneur figures out what the risks are and you mitigate one risk at a time. And so, in fact, we never take risk and really thinking any business and creating the right business model around it, and there is no doubt in my mind you can create a business model around everything, every social problem, whether it's a homeless shelter problem or safety of women, you can create a good business model that does tremendous good. Solve a $10 billion problem, you create a billion-dollar company. Help a billion people, you create a billion-dollar company. It's really not that hard to create a billion-dollar company. - I love it, I love it. I want to actually inject one question, or one ask, if we put this on pause for a second because we're getting mounting questions at the #WinInBiz and here in the in-studio audience. So I'd like to take one of those questions before we go back to all you all. You were in the second row, there's a microphone right there in the front, coming your way. Please tell us who you are and feel free to ask these folks a question. - [Angelie] Hi. Yeah, my name is Angelie. I'm from Seattle. I have question. So since we're talking about innovation, I'm curious, what is your advice for those entrepreneurs who maybe don't have an idea that this widely innovate new thing, but maybe it's a different take on something existing? What's your advice? Is that an idea that can be still successful? - Great, I'm going to go right to Steve on this one. - I love that, right, because I think that's actually realistic. I think for most small businesses, look, there's 30 million businesses in this country, 99% are small businesses and most of those one-person small, one, two, three-person businesses. So most of us are like that. Are you going to create the next big thing? Most of us are not going to create the next big thing, but what you can do find someone who's doing something really interesting that you think is really interesting, and you have a way to twist it or tweak it, make it a little different, a little better, that is innovation. Don't tell me that that's not innovation. All innovation stems from someone getting an idea of something they saw and thinking, "I can do it better." And if you're a small business, a tweak on something else that you saw, I think that's great, and I think that's actually how most small businesses do it. - I think you just have to understand what it is you're trying to achieve, and if you want to run your own small business and that might be a restaurant or something like that, great, that's fine. That is a small business, that is entrepreneurship, that is running your own thing. That's a little bit different than reinventing health care or trying to go to the Moon. It's a very different thing, and it's neither one of those is better or worse, they're just different. And if you want to do the latter, then it requires probably a lot more people behind you to do it, and so it takes probably longer to develop the narrative and the plan to go do it, especially if you don't have the experience yet. But in many ways, for all of us or from myself at least, have this level of success, this level of success. Okay, next one, I want to go a bigger level of success. So just understand what you want to achieve, what does success look like for you, and that will dictate a little bit of your plan. - I think something that was maybe underpinning what Steve was saying, I'll just add two cents onto those fantastic answers. And that is, scratch your own itch. If you don't solve a problem that's important to your or someone close to you, when stuff gets hard, you're probably going to just throw in the towel because if you're chasing something that's not that interesting or you're not that passionate about, you don't have a real connection to the problem or you or someone that you love, or a cohort of people that you would care deeply about changing their lives, then when stuff gets hard, you're going to throw in the towel. And ultimately, entrepreneurship, like Naveen said, it's a heartbeat, it's up and down, and when things are down, you need the motivation, the passion to push through. So that'd be the only thing. - Chase, if I may add just one thing to it. - Please, please do. - So it's about selling aspirin versus selling the vitamin. If you can find that you have an aspirin then all you have to do is find people with headaches and they'll be beating down their door trying to get the aspirin. When you're selling vitamins, that's the problem, you have to knock and convince someone they really need something which they really don't believe they need. So always come up with what is the pain point, whose headache am I solving? And do I really have the aspirin for that headache? - I could say, one other thing is, join a startup. If you don't have the idea yet for yourself… - Great advice. - …but you think you want to do it, go join somebody who is working on a problem that you can get excited about that you think has the skills, go work there for a couple of years. - I would say we're hiring at - No, that's such a great idea, very good idea. - There's many, many thing that you can learn and in some ways you may say, "Mm, that's not, actually, that CEO gig is probably not for me, but that VP of Marketing thing is super-cool," and go from that for a long period of time. Or along the way while you're keeping your day job, you're thinking, "Hey, that idea is developing, I'm talking to other potential customers, I'm finding other people who want to spend Tuesday nights with me working on that thing for free because they're interested in working with you or they're interested in that vision that's slowly coming together for a new thing that you want to go do on your own." - If you're looking for that next thing, you're trying to find the idea and you're scanning the broader landscape, are there particular market segments that you think are more right today for innovation? - I would tell you some of the biggest problems facing humanity are the biggest, actually, the opportunity for an entrepreneur. So disrupting education. Our education system is ripe for disruption. It is not broken, it's simply obsolete. Our health care is ripe for disruption. It is obsolete, it's not broken. It just completely need to be re-taught from inside out, from gut out, right. Same type of thing, you can go down, energy, it is ripe for disruption. Every 90 minutes more solar energy falls on planet Earth than we use in the whole year. We can use Helium-3 from the Moon to actually create a fusion energy. Everything, if you go back and look at agriculture and the food. It's absolutely ripe for disruption. You can learn aquaponic, aeroponic agriculture. If you're looking at the food, ripe for, absolutely ripe for disruption. You can take a synthetic biological approach. As opposed to raising cattles, you can have a stem cell of a cow and creating a muscle factory, biofactories and have an abundance of beef, abundance of food, abundance of agriculture, the abundance of energy, and none of these ideas are hard. They're audacious, but the thing is, this is what gets people to come around you to make that happen and these things are easy to fund. Remember, people talk about resources, people talk about funding, capital is not patriotic, capital goes where the opportunities are. So create an opportunity wherever you are, money will come to you. People don't need to be in your neighborhood. I have people working in all different places, and I use the remote technology like Beam to be able to work together as a team. So no longer the physical proximity is needed, no longer the money needs to come from the local community. You can crowdfund it, you can crowdsource the ideas. There is so much to be done. Just all you have to do is believe in yourself. You don't want to be the person that everyone you're working for, people think you're just not putting your hard work enough. So if you're working today in your job, give it your heart and soul, not 80% and 20% doing something else, give it your heart and soul and when you're ready to quit, go quit and give it your heart and soul. The companies are created because your heart and soul is given to it, not because you think this might be interesting to do. - And this is why entrepreneurs are great, this is why National Entrepreneurship Week is great because, look, there are a lot of negative forces in this world today, but what are entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurs are creators, they're enthusiastic. They want to create something out of nothing, they're about creating and bringing people together, and that's why I love what you're doing, what all of us are doing. It's really a fantastic thing to do. - They are problem-solvers. - They are problem-solvers, exactly. If you solve a problem, then you have a business. - That's right. - All right. - So if you think of a problem, you are a human being, we all can think of a problem. If you come up with a solution or an idea, you may be a visionary. But you know what, taking someone else's idea and executing on it, you're an entrepreneur. - I'm out of here, I'm going to go build some stuff. Go ahead, Scott. - Well, I'm actually, I'm so fired up right now, I'm not event sure where to go with that. We were talking about… - Go to the Moon. - Going to the Moon. So let's talk about capital for just a minute. So you are a visionary, you have a big vision, you want to go in and disrupt an industry and you go with these big ideas to capital. How do you make it seem like you are somebody that's going to actually execute on the idea not just pie in the sky, focused on such a big vision. You understand where I'm going with that? - Yeah, absolutely. You got to have a plan. And in many ways, a good VC or angel investor is going to say first, "Do I ascribe to your vision? Do I ascribe that that's interesting and I want to go on that path with you?" And then the next question is, "Show me that you can actually go do it. What are you going to do first, second, or third? How much is it going to cost? Who are you going to hire?" And I think the best way to answer that question, "Yes, it's (inaudible) plan." But more importantly, "Here are all the other smart people who are already coming with me on this journey who have done this and this and this and this and this." And when you put that together in a Venn diagram of, "To go to the Moon, I need some people like this, and some like that, and some like that, and some like that. And here's the best people we can find that all want to come on that vision with me." So in many ways, you've convinced capital investors that you can inspire a set of people who could go do a hundred other things. Everyone of those people could go do a hundred other things, but they've chosen to want to come with you on that journey for that thing. - So the angel looks at your team as much as they look at you. - Absolutely. - People invest in people, they don't invest in ideas. I invest in, by the way, hundred of companies, I never ask them what they are doing because it's unimportant to me what they are doing because they are going to pivot and they're going to change, they're going to adapt. I invest in people. So anyone of you who are looking to do some audacious thing, my first name, last name, Reach out to me. My thinking is simple, if you think you are so passionate that you're willing to die for it, and you live for it, then you will make it happen. So find something that you say you will die for and then live for it, you will succeed. - All right, I think you might have some takers on that. Check your inbox, it's already starting to stack up. All right, I think we've got time for maybe one more question. Do you got anything you want to ask? Because I got one if you don't, but go ahead. - Go for it. - All right. So I think we've talked a lot about the range of entrepreneurship opportunities. There are so many big-thinking ideas and around the idea of capital, I think that most folks at home and what I've learned from hosting a lot of shows like this is that most people either don't have access, don't believe they have access, and to be clear, if you don't believe you have access then you really don't because believing in it is something, but there are so many things to be done where raising money isn't a requirement. And I would ask Steve if you'd share us because you've done so much work with the small business community nationwide, people in (inaudible) people in the Northwest, and the South, and the Southeast. Not everyone needs to raise capital to create even a multi-million-dollar business. So what are some of your thoughts around that? - Let me answer that two ways. One is, there are a lot of industries out there where you can start a business for very little money because there are so many tools available right now. We can all start these remote businesses. You can go online, just start a business online, do something called dropshipping where someone don't have to stock your shelves, but someone will just ship your product for you. That's an easy way to start an e-commerce business, doesn't really cost you a whole lot of money. You start out of your house, you do it virtually, those are all available. I would also say this, Chase, that there is money available. Banks want to lend to you, that's what banks are in their business to do. They want to lend to you. Your job as an entrepreneur is to make you and yourself and your business ready for a bank to say yes. If you do that, then you're going to get some money from a bank, but beyond banks, there is friends and family. There is your own savings, there are credit cards, there's Kickstarter and crowdfunding, and there's business plan competitions. And there's really a lot of ways to raise money now that weren't available 10, 15 years ago. So do your research and you can find the money or find a business that's very inexpensive to start. - Find the customers and the money will find you. - That's another way to do it. - You find the customers, right? Most people have not found any customers, and therefore, they can't find money. Go find customers who say, "I want to pay you to solve my problem." And the more of those you find, the money will follow whether they come from the customers or whether… crowdfunding is all about finding a set of customers. Give you the money to go solve the problem. - Mark Cuban told me this. He said, "If you've raised money, you've already lost. You're in the backseat." So to what would you respond to that comment? Of course, huge ideas, some of the ones that Naveen's talking about, they require massive amounts of capital. - It doesn't. It's bootstrapping the idea that's really the key to success in life. - So talk about bootstrapping because I think that's a term that's familiar to many of us, but we want to know more. - So bootstrapping is something, you take a small amount of money and you build something, and when you build something now you can take a little bit more money to build something bigger, and that's how you build great businesses. The cost of starting a business is so low that you can easily make a small leap and get enough traction to get more money to get more traction. The venture capitalist is the worst source of capitalism you can ever find. So if you have to go to a venture capitalist you actually are going to vultures, and they are going to essentially completely destroy your business. That should be the last resource you go to. So really start with the friends and family who believe in you and you are willing to give your heart and soul and the last drop of blood. And then, you bootstrap into the next part where other people join you and you talk about it to every person you meet, every dinner conversation, every lunch conversation. You walk into everyone, you talk to everyone, you ask everyone. And you know what, eventually, you will succeed. - Well, T. A., Naveen, Steve, we want to thank you so much for joining us today on our innovation panel. And also we want to thank Microsoft because I think that there's no company out there that has helped entrepreneurs and small businesses to innovate more than Microsoft, whether it's through great content, through great events like these, or others. They're just amazing at helping the small business. - Thank you, Microsoft. - Absolutely. - Thank you, Microsoft.

Class Description

Join the Nation’s Top Entrepreneurs Live in celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week. Microsoft and CreativeLive invite you to a free, live broadcast moderated by Chase Jarvis (CEO, CreativeLive) and’s Top 10 speakers Scott Duffy and Greg Reid.

In our live webcast, you’ll have the opportunity to listen and learn from business leaders such as Brian Smith (founder of UGG Boots), Jory des Jardins (founder of BlogHer), Chase Jarvis (CEO of CreativeLive), T.A. McCann (founder of Gist), Steve Strauss (USA Today Small Business Reporter & author), JJ Ramberg (founder of Goodshop), Ariela Suster (CEO of Sequence Collection), Jenni Hogan (Co-Founder, Tagboard), Thig Gishuru (Recording Artist and Founder, SELANY Apparel) and more.


a Creativelive Student

FABULOUS! It's great to get reconnected to other Entrepreneurs, when you've become so busy in your own business that you start to become tired, losing steam or getting stuck! It was the JUICE I needed to get inspired and motivated all over again! Thanks to everyone who shared on this program. But a BIG THANKS to you Chase Jarvis - you're always knocking it out of the park with your big heart giving to so many of us! Big Hugs to you always! - - ATHENA ROBBINS

Lee Garvey

Well done, lots of good advice and inspirational energy for entrepreneurs.

Andres Rhor