Startup Psychology – Why entrepreneurs innovate faster, cheaper, and with less people than corporations with Mike Stemple

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Welcome back to the Pass the Secret Sauce podcast. This week’s guest is Mike Stemple, founder of Inspirer and a proud veteran of the US Army. Mike helps corporate executives to think and act more entrepreneurially. This is accomplished through client workshops and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) consulting. Recently, Mike embedded for 2 years with Molson Coors as their EIR where he provided the entrepreneurial mindset for global innovation teams. Mike has built 20+ startups, is an expert at ideation, innovation, startup psychology, and brand creation, and is a mentor at Techstars, a global seed accelerator. 

During this episode I discuss with Mike the impact of a black swan event to opportunities within startups and corporations. We also discuss why entrepreneurs innovate faster, cheaper, and with less people than corporations

In this episode we discuss:

  • Mike shares his family dynamic, a story of loss and how they overcame it as a family  [1:15]
  • Mike discusses working with his brothers on businesses  [3:20]
  • The time he had a business idea (SkinIt) everyone thought was stupid and was going to fail  [4:16]
  • His inspiration for SkinIt  [5:32]
  • How he created the first customized skin for his phone  [08:10]
  • Mike’s SkinIt idea being rejected by a VC  [9:31]
  • How Mike and his brothers funded, built and ran SkinIt  [13:21]
  • Hardest part of running SkinIt in the early days  [14:51]
  • Getting banned from all the electronic retailers in his area  [17:14]
  • What is an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR)  [19:55]
  • How he started EIR’ing for a company  [22:00]
  • How he built his brand and  working with big companies  [24:00]
  • Scaling a small company VS a large company  [26:04]
  •  GE: an example of a company that has unnecessary processes [27:20]
  • Building for sale, not for scale [29:06]
  • The psychology of innovation in a black swan event [29:39]
  • Massive opportunities from the pandemic [30:43]
  • Why Mike is giving away his content for free [32:15]
  • Inspiration, hope,courage and strategy  [35:19]
  • Mike’s book [37:50]

Quotable Quotes

  • Pay attention to stress, pay attention to friction, pay attention when the people are upset because there’s usually a problem to be solved.
  • There are people in this world, even venture capitalists who you think would be really good at pattern recognition,  who can’t see an obvious future even though it’s in front of them.
  • Most unicorns are created in the startup world and not the corporate world.
  • Corporations have the training they have everything but whatever reason they’re not able to innovate at the pace with the quality as start ups do.
  • Build for sale, not for scale. Stop building to be a global product, just focus on building a product that you can get your first sale.
  • I can’t think of one event in history that has created more opportunities than the black swan event we’re going through right now.
  • If the world needs my help, I’m more than happy to give it. Because that’s what you do in a black swan event.
  • Inspiration is the key. You cannot self-inspire. I cannot inspire myself. I have to seek inspiration.  Inspiration gives you hope. 
  • The minute you’re hopeless you have no  courage and if you don’t have courage you don’t act in a way that the consumer needs you to act to deliver on the promise of what they want.

Links to sources and tools

Follow Mike on all his social media to access valuable information that he is now making available for free. Head on over to his uDemy to access his courses for free as well.

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