Introduction with Cindy Bates, Microsoft VP of Small and Midsize Business
- [Chase] Hello, hello. Hello, friends from the internet land. I'm Chase Jarvis, want to welcome you to CreativeLive and our wonderful collaboration today with Microsoft around National Entrepreneurship Week. - [Scott] You got it. - My co-host here, Scott Duffy. Say hi to the people. - What's up, people? How are you doing? - Hello. We have people gathered from all over the nation, actually maybe even the world here in the room physically, and then we've got I think probably close to a hundred countries tuning in from all over the world for today's event which we are going to be talking about innovation, about women in business, about entrepreneurship, solopreneurship, creativity, over the course of just 90 minutes. - That's right. That's right. This is so cool. We got things kicked off earlier this week in New York and today really feels like a grand finale. - It does, it does. - And what's awesome about National Entrepreneurship Week is this, is that it doesn't matter what stage you a...
re in business. - So true. - Whether you have an idea that you're ready to take to market, or you're ready to launch, or you have an existing business that you want to take to a whole new level, you are in the right place. - And there's never been a more interesting time to be an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, someone chasing your own dreams because there used to be one or two paths, and now, as we know, there are so many. And the democratization of creativity, of entrepreneurship, of creating a living and a life doing what you love is available for anyone. - That's right. That's really what this week is all about. It's all about celebrating entrepreneurship and really giving you all the tools that you need in order to succeed. - Great. You want to tell anybody about some URLs? I'll just give a shout-out to the #wininbiz. #W-I-N-I-N-B-I-Z. We'll be putting our eyes on that, maybe even bringing your questions in. So if you have a question, you can attach it to that hashtag on Twitter and/or Facebook I think on the CreativeLive page, and you got some other URLs, too, right? - Yeah, that's right. If you want to get a full rundown on the week and see all the amazing content that we've created, if you want to find special offers from our guests, go to entrepreneurshipweek.com. Again, that's entrepreneurshipweek.com. - A mouthful, huh? - It is. It is. - We got this, though. We got it. We got it. - We got it. Or #wininbiz. - Great. And we also have a guest that we wanted to introduce to kick off the program. I'll let you take that away. - We do. We have a very special guest to kick off our program. Let's all give a warm round of applause for Cindy Bates. - Cindy! She's a VP at Microsoft. Hi, boom, boom. Thank you. - [Cindy] Hey, guys. Scott actually asked me if I would do the Ellen DeGeneres walk-in. - I did. - There you go. - I wasn't sure if that was a legitimate ask or I can do the walk-out. - Do you want to do it again? - No, no. No, you nailed it. You nailed it. - We'll do the walk-out. - You'll do the walk-out. - Moonwalk-out. - So for all of you that don't know, Cindy Bates is the U.S. Vice President of small-midsize business for Microsoft. And we kick things off this week in New York, and it's been a whirlwind. - Absolutely. - And what do you take away from this week? - It's just been amazing in terms of I would say the scope and the scale and the energy. So this really is our inaugural National Entrepreneurship Week and we have had involvement from 250 organizations and companies. In addition to Microsoft, we've had Wix and Yelp and Square. The small business development centers have been involved. We've had chambers of commerce. We actually had…I heard there was an event in Galesburg, Illinois, workshop to start your business and they had 15 people right there do the paperwork and start the business, which is awesome. - That's awesome. - So a hundred events. So just the scale and the energy and the inspiration and the optimism has been overwhelming. So I've been very grateful to be part of this week. - And at Microsoft, you talk about supporting entrepreneurs in small business. What does that really mean within Microsoft? - So I have a fantastic team that wakes up every day thinking about how we can help America's small businesses start, grow, and thrive with today's modern technology. And we focus a lot on small businesses directly. We have webinars, tips, and tricks. We work on a lot of top 10 things that you can do to protect yourself from cybersecurity. So just a wealth of resources for small businesses. And then because we go to market and touch the millions of small businesses through an army of partners, so Joe's IT shop, Joann's IT shop, we have about 10,000 partners that we work with, and we spend a lot of time helping make sure that they're up-to-date on all the latest technology, and most importantly, that they understand the unique needs of small businesses. So they're not talking techy, they're really talking about what a small business cares about. - Sweet. And we're going to get a sample of some of those things, some of those people actually behind the things and the visions and the companies in a series of about three or four panels over the course of the next 90 minutes. A handful of topics and I know… - Sure, the Microsoft people of influence. We've got some amazing guests coming up later today. - Yeah, for sure. - I'm curious, from a technology perspective, how could an entrepreneur gain an advantage by leveraging the best technology? - Yeah, I actually loved what you said, Chase, in terms of the democratization. I think in today's world, the solutions that were available to the biggest companies are now available to the solo entrepreneurs. So we talk about the SMB technology revolution where you might have an idea on a napkin, and before you had to actually get space and buy servers and spend a lot of money and actually find capital to start a business, no longer. Technology basically lets you turn that napkin idea into reality for the cost of a couple cups of coffee a month. So we're very passionate about that. We talk about breaking down walls. So that as an example, but also the fact that you talked about there are people from around the world, that's true in terms of how you actually can run your business. So our product, Office 365, is focused on letting companies take advantage of people in all the ways that people bring assets and resources to a company. So that means you can actually hire people from around the world. You can remotely work with people from anywhere. And so that's what is really very exciting about today's technology. - That's so awesome. - Indeed. - And you operate several really high-performance teams. And I wanted to ask you, what's the role or importance of culture in operating a great business? - I love that question. I am so passionate about culture as a differentiator. So you could have the best product. I think long-term, if you've got a dysfunctional culture, your competitors are going to win, your competitors with a better culture. So I'm very focused with my team on building an incredibly healthy culture. I think a few elements of that, I talk a lot about trust and transparency in my team. One of my favorite books is a book called
The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey Jr. and it talks about how in an organization when you have trust, the flywheel just goes. You don't have to be watching your back. You don't have to be checking everybody's work. It just is so powerful. So trust and transparency. We talk a lot at Microsoft about a growth mindset, and that means being curious, constantly learning, taking on huge goals where you have no clue at all about how you're going to accomplish those goals, but getting people together in a room and asking questions and being curious. And it actually ties into one of the last elements, I think, of a strong culture is diversity, diversity of experience and perspective. One of my favorite things to do at work is just throw out a huge challenge, you get people in a room and just brainstorm, and it's a magical thing to watch happen. - So cool. And you've worked with literally millions of small and midsized businesses through Microsoft. And I'm curious, what's the one piece of advice, one lesson that you'd share with them as they embark here on National Entrepreneurship Week? - I come from a family of entrepreneurs and I've been touching the entrepreneurial space for decades, and I think, without a doubt, a key takeaway is, nobody gets to the top on their own. It's all about the support and the community. And so I would say be bold, go for it, but realize that you've got so much support there and ask questions and ask for help and realize…part of the fabulous energy of this week is how many people I think are resonating with just coming out and helping small businesses. And so one of my favorite quotes is, whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius power and magic in it. And so I think that's the best advice. Go for it and know you've got a ton of support behind you. - Sweet. That was inspiring as hell. Ultimately, one of the things that I'm most excited about what's happening at Microsoft right now is the…you mentioned diversity and inclusion. You guys are doing such a good job, not just at a company level but at a worldwide level, for example, today's broadcast, National Entrepreneurship Week of bringing like-minded people together to plant the seeds and grow their passions. It's super-inspirational. I want to say a personal thank you from those of us at CreativeLive. We've taken a great inspiration from what you guys have been building, and just across the lake. Not too far down the street. - Yeah, absolutely. - So, wonderful to have you guys in Seattle. - Excellent. Thank you guys for the partnership. - And I think we got some more stuff in store, don't we? - We do. We have a big day ahead, and right now, we want to say a big thank you and a big round of applause to Cindy Bates. - Thanks, Cindy. Appreciate it.