Entrepreneurship is important to the economy for so many reasons. From promoting social change to driving innovation, entrepreneurs have the ability to change the way we live and work. But not all entrepreneurs are created equal. In this episode, Jonathan Littman and Susanna Camp join Dr. Diane Hamilton to reveal the many faces of entrepreneurs. Jonathan and Susanna co-authored the book called The Entrepreneur’s Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed. Today, they go over the ten types of faces discussed in their book. Tune in to discover which one of these are you because figuring out who you are can provide the spark that makes the difference between success and failure.
I’m glad you joined us because we have Jonathan Littman and Susanna Camp here. They are the co-authors of The Entrepreneur’s Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed. They’ve done an interesting job of looking at the different leaders of companies and entrepreneurs on what makes us unique. This is going to be fascinating.
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The Entrepreneur’s Faces With Jonathan Littman And Susanna Camp
I am here with Jonathan Littman and Susanna Camp, who are the co-authors of The Entrepreneur’s Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed. They’re also the co-creators of SmartUp.life. It’s nice to have you here, Jonathan and Susanna.
It’s my pleasure. I’d like to get a little background on each of you. Maybe we’ll start with Jonathan. Jonathan, what led to your interest in writing this book? Give us a little background on your collaboration.
I started as a tech journalist and wrote some big books on computer hackers back in the day. I think of them as criminal entrepreneurs. That strangely, serendipitously led me to collaborate with IDEO, which is quite a well-known international innovation firm. I co-authored two bestsellers on innovation with them and then started teaching entrepreneurship in San Francisco. Several years ago, Susanna and I met while there was this huge group of folks coming to the city from all over the world. I’ll let her take it away from here.
We were attending all manner of startup networking events. At this time, entrepreneurship was on fire and everybody everywhere had a startup. They were all talking about it at these events, the pitch nights, networking events, and meet and greets by the international ecosystem builders. We realized that we had to write a book about the startup phenomenon and tell the stories of real entrepreneurs. Not with a myopic focus that was based in Silicon Valley, but something more about the worldwide movement. We went out to Europe and we went over a bunch of different trips in fourteen different countries. We interviewed hundreds of founders, and then we began to see that there are distinct types.
This is interesting because I do a lot of research where I categorize things or use factor analysis to see how things group into categories and things. You talk about ten individuals, the different profiles in your book, and their challenges, characteristics, how they approach things, or behaviors and all that. I’ve taught so much entrepreneurship. I’m thinking of solopreneurs or serial entrepreneurs, and I’m thinking of different things that you hear a lot about, but you don’t see this characteristic approach that you write about. I want to go through these ten types because it’s fascinating to get a little bit of background on each. I’m going to start with Jonathan. Do you want to go from the top with The Maker or is there a better way to look at this?
Yeah. Quickly before that, the reason we wrote The Entrepreneur’s Faces is there was Lean Startup, which is quite a famous business model canvas. They’re all either product or organization base. Coming from IDEO, I was schooled in this human-centric approach that starts with empathy and some emotional intelligence. We thought there was this stereotype of an entrepreneur and we saw entrepreneurial actions in corporations like intrapreneurs. We also saw them in what might seem to be small businesses. We wanted to expand what entrepreneurship means and what entrepreneurial doing means. You start with a great face, The Maker. Susanna here is a maker. Maker is an inveterate prototyper and this is the person you want on your team to be prototyping your app and your business model. It’s a classic Silicon Valley type. The cofounder of Apple was a maker, not Jobs.
The guy behind the idea. Not so much the person who’s the dynamic spreader of the word and that thing but the real thought behind it all.
Jobs was a hybrid visionary-evangelist. He was an amazing visionary but he’s also an incredible evangelist, another one of our types as well.
It’s interesting because I met Woz and they are completely different. One of the things that I thought was interesting about Woz was how much his father influenced his ability to think about how things worked. Susanna, if you are a maker, did you have that same influence from your family?
As I’m aware, my dad tinkered a bit but for me, it was my interest in technology. I started my career at Macworld Magazine. I was interested in computers, but then I quickly jumped over to Wired. I was at Wired leading the team that was building the social network there back in the day and the dawn of the internet. We were building one of the first websites in the world and developing some community around that. I went on to learn a lot more about technology and have done a lot of web development and things like that that come into play.
You had an interesting background. You also worked at PCWorld and Outside Magazine. Those are all big to-do, so congratulations. That would be fascinating. I had an editor-in-chief role at an online site for education once and it was not a big deal working for a big group like that, but I found it interesting to have that every day coming up with new ideas in a work situation. I liked it. It was fascinating.
Thank you. You mentioned education. That’s another one of my focuses. I stepped out of tech publishing for a while to get a Master’s in Education focused on policy, equity and social justice. When the startup fever caught on, I realized there was a renaissance back in the tech world. I stepped back in but I can’t stay away from the intersection of education and technology. I’m getting maybe a Master’s certificate at Harvard in instructional design and technology. It’s fun.
I’ve taught a lot of online courses and worked as an MBA program chair in a lot of curriculum development and design and that type of thing. It’s fascinating. I’m teaching a lot of different universities but one of them is a tech university and the student’s project is to come up with an idea and bring it to fruition. This thing is the thing I share in those courses because they want to know this. A lot of them love the technology and let me do all the programming, but they forget there’s a business behind this, which isn’t as fun to learn sometimes for them. I want this to be more interesting for them. I want to go through this list. We touched on The Maker. Let’s touch on The Leader.
We have a great leader story in the book. We believe a lot of people can be leaders. The man we profiled was born in Chinatown, Allan Young, and he barely got through high school. He happened to wander into a hotel while he was ditching class playing hooky. He saw this speaker and he went up and asked the speaker, “How could I be like you?” The man asked him questions. When he found out how poorly he was doing in school, he said, “You’ll never be like me but you should join the military to study leaders.”
He was seventeen years old and it’s amazing that he joined the Marines. He did quite well in the boot camp, but he decided he didn’t want to be a military guy. He kept studying leadership. What we find in the people who are leaders is they study it with a passion. In his case, he then was the president of his college, and then while in college, he and a few others created a VC fund, a Venture Capital fund. How can you do that in college? It sounds impossible. They started asking for money and they got $1 million. Suddenly, all the banks gave them money and had $20 million.
He was meeting Warren Buffett. This young man went on to then study under Seth Godin, the famous guy, and he created one of the first great accelerators in San Francisco, which is in the Twitter building. When we see these leaders, they put everything into it. They read everything they can or they find unusual ways to study and learn from leaders. Seth Godin had his own MBA program and Allan was 1 of 9 people accepted out of something like 300 applications. That’s the thing that a leader does. They go out and find unusual leaders and leadership situations to grow.
I had Helene Godin on my show. She has a bakery business that she had created and it’s fascinating to see what these forms take. It could be a passion for something and it could be many different things. I love that you focus on all this, but sometimes, people fall into this by accident. Sometimes in a bakery, they go, “I can bake.”
I love the word you used because we have an accidental entrepreneur. That’s one of our types.
Let’s talk about The Accidental. This is a classic type of a person who is intensely passionate about an idea or a hobby, maybe it’s baking. They don’t start out with a plan to start a company. They only find out later that there are a market fit and demand for that. A famous example of this is Craig Newmark of Craigslist. He was living in San Francisco and he was a little bit lonely maybe in working at IBM and Schwab. He compiled a mailing list for events during this time, and then he added jobs category, and then he added apartment listings. This was all out of his own apartment, but then he left his job because it got big and he had to hire people and he had to build a team. He has twenty billion-page views a month and this all comes from a former hobby.
When you talk about a hobby, that’s a great example. It brings to mind a Woody Allen movie called Small Time Crooks. Have you ever seen that?
I think so.What we find in the people who are leaders is they study it with a passion. Click To Tweet
He’s going to rob a bank that’s a couple of doors down so they put up a fake bakery as a front while they’re drilling underground, but it turns out she’s such a great baker that they make more money in the bakery. That makes them into all multimillionaires and they never got to the bank. It’s great and it’s funny. If you ever get a chance, you’d appreciate that one. There are many things that people do to get into business. They either have a passion for something or sometimes, they want to serve people. I know the next thing was The Guardian. I’ve had a lot of people on my show thinking of Scott Harrison from charity: water and they’re trying to improve lives. Let’s talk about The Guardian.
The Guardian brings tremendous empathy to the task so that’s super important in guiding them on their path. They begin with a mission and a purpose and often, they’re setting out to reduce barriers and fight inequities. They’re seeking out people who are in pain and underserved. We tell the story of Karoli Hindriks, who is now the Founder of a site called Jobbatical. She started early on her quest as a guardian. As a teenager, she was Estonia’s youngest inventor.
What she did then was she created a company that sold reflectors so that people would not get hit on the road. It’s almost dark all the time in Estonia. This was a real pain that she set out to fix. She went on to a career at MTV and Fox network in the Baltic but she wasn’t fulfilled. She went back to social entrepreneurship. She went to Singularity University and that’s where she came up with this great idea. We follow her journey through all the trials of that in our book.
I had Gary Bolles from Singularity on the show. We talked about some of their success stories.
It changed her life, coming 9,000 kilometers from Estonia. She was going to maybe join an Estonian startup and it failed, and then she went to the Singularity. No one at Singularity liked her idea, by the way. She was such a tough woman. She was the second woman to get funding for a startup in the country. We don’t want to give away the whole story. Jobbatical is an amazing company. It’s all about equalizing opportunities around the world.
It does show that there are a lot of people who have a vision and they think differently. Entrepreneurs sometimes have different things that motivate them. A lot of them seem fearless. I know you talked about The Conductor. You wrote about it. I’m thinking of people I’ve interviewed like Naveen Jain who’s wanting to mine the moon and do amazing things that I couldn’t even think of what he saw into that. He’s thinking big, undaunted by limitations.
There are lots of famous conductors. Marc Benioff of Salesforce got the biggest building in San Francisco and he’s got a big global platform. We picked an unusual person for this type, Carlos Muela. Partly, we didn’t want to have all tech founders. Carlos is the son of a Madrigano, someone from Madrid, and his father own two tapas restaurants in San Francisco but he didn’t want to follow in those exact footsteps. He went to the University of San Francisco, where I happen to teach and study entrepreneurship.
He saw this trend happening on food trucks quite some time ago and he realized there was no fixed place for food trucks. There were food trucks that would come to these festivals and things like that but there wasn’t a set place. He created the first fixed food truck park. It’s one of the first in the world, SoMa StrEat Food Park, which was booming from day one. There were huge obstacles to create this because it had never been done before. That’s something conductors and platform builders have to overcome.
They’re trying to go global, but often, in a new industry. Carlos now has two of these. The other thing about conductors, they have to have a lot of empathy for the people in their orchestra. In his orchestra, he’s got 300 food truck owners and those are his first customers. If he makes them happy about his parks, and he also sends trucks all over northern California, his orchestra essentially grows and everyone’s happy.
That’s such an interesting story, and I’d love to know unique ideas if somebody’s thinking in a unique way. A lot of success in entrepreneurship I found is if you have a sales background and you can paint a picture in people’s minds and have people go, “That would be cool.” Having worked in sales for decades, we were taught. Sometimes, people don’t even know what they want until you tell them. I’d like The Evangelist. I’m curious who you picked as your evangelist.
The Evangelist is a great salesperson. Founders would do well to attract evangelists to their team early on because they will often be able to sell your product for you before the product even exists. The example in our book is a gentleman named Uwe Diegel, who is a little older. He got his start a little older than some of the other characters in our book. He was 52 when we met him. He was pitching on the small stage at Web Summit, which is one of Europe’s biggest tech conferences. It’s happening online in 2020 of course, but at this time, in 2017, there were 60,000 to 70,000 people there.
He was pitching on a small stage of his product, which was a mini refrigerator to refrigerate medicine. He had a pain point of his brother who took insulin and almost had it frozen by the hotel where he was staying. He and his brother together developed this mini-fridge. Uwe was incredible at pitching. We knew this when we first saw him. He went on to win the entire pitch contest at Web Summit for €150,000 that he didn’t even know was coming. He is great at this whole sales process.
We’ve learned quite a bit from him. He incorporated a certain product before this in Switzerland. Partly because of the reputation of Switzerland for accuracy and medical excellence. The Evangelist is always thinking about the story. Uwe has told us many times that it’s about planting seeds for a story that might not come to fruition for months or a year or a couple of years down the road. They bring leadership and strategy to your story, which can not only win your customers but often, funding and other critical elements.
It is an interesting point about how sales play a position in all this, in business in general, leadership, teams, and different things. Your next category of people you profiled reminds me a little bit of Amy Edmondson, who has been on my show from Harvard talking about teaming, teamwork, and how it takes curiosity since I’m a curiosity expert. We talked about curiosity and how it ties into collaboration and how teams work well together if they have the curiosity to collaborate. Your next category was The Collaborator. I want to know a little bit more about that.
The Collaborator is a great example. They have the rare ability to put the team and the project above their own personal gain. They are always seeking to heighten the team’s emotional intelligence to reduce conflicts over ego or status. This person is the glue that holds people together and they can spot the people that you need to get on your team. They usually have a big network of people because they’re easy to get along with.
It was interesting to talk to Amy about teams versus teaming. You don’t do teaming for a long time. You just all get thrown together and then it’s a task, and then you’re done. She uses the Chilean miner disaster as an example. All these people had to come together to get these people out from underneath this rock. To work together, they had to be curious and collaborate. It’s an important skill. Also, there are a lot of aspects that I teach in business. When I teach either leadership or event management courses, we talk about the differences between a leader and a manager and some of the tasks and things they do. One of the things that a lot of people bring up is that a leader is strategic. Your next category was The Visionary. You’re seeing that as a strategic type of role. Let’s talk about that.
We have an interesting guy that we profiled for this, Risto Lähdesmäki, and you might guess he’s from Finland, which is far away, and also dark and cold in the winter. Early on, he saw the potential of the iPhone and long before that, the potential of designing for the web. There are a lot of fans who grew up completely on computers in their famous Finnish tech companies, even though it’s a tiny country. He early on saw that was his future in design, but he was quite constrained by Finland. It’s a tiny country and generally, your ambitions bump up against the reality of this small market when we talk about sales, for instance.
He did something visionary, which is he pretended to be living in Palo Alto, California. Another thing a visionary does is they anticipate the future. He saw what was happening back around 2010 to 2011 on a visit here and he realized this was his place. In fact, it is a street right near University Avenue. He wanted to be right by the street, which of course, there’s a huge famous Apple store there. For a year, he pretended to be living in Palo Alto because local companies wouldn’t take you seriously if you were just in Europe.
He would travel back and forth to a hotel there, and he got so much business that within a year, he was able to bring his small company over right by University Avenue. In fact, every time Apple had a new phone, the line would go in front of his door of this little house that he rented for his company. The next visionary thing he did is he knew he should take a risk and do inexpensive jobs for hot startups. He was strategic about which companies, and he picked about 3 or 4. He’s only doing $500,000 in revenue a year and he picked a few of these companies.
Soon from one reference, from one startup, he had $10 million in revenue. His company grew from 10 people to 50 to 150, and then a couple of years ago, it was purchased for a lot of money by Capgemini, one of the world’s largest IT firms. What we see with these visionaries is they are always looking to the future and they’re making bets on the future. They usually have a particular focus. His focus is creativity and curiosity and talent, and how to scale that. That was his excellence.
It’s interesting to see where curiosity plays a role. As you brought that up, I was thinking about talking about the next category of The Outsider because I had talked to Naveen Jain, who’s the billionaire behind Moon Express and Viome. These companies that are completely going from your normal flora in your stomach to mining on the moon, which are different. When I talked to him about his next idea, he said he would like to reinvent whatever industry. He doesn’t care what it is and he doesn’t want to know about it because he gets and learns from scratch. That’s what The Outsider does, right?
Exactly. Famous outsiders are founders of Airbnb and Uber. It’s an advantage to know absolutely nothing about the industry that you’re hoping to disrupt because you don’t bring the chains of thinking and clichés. We had an interesting outsider. A good portion of our book revolves around Stanford Launchpad, which is an amazing college accelerator. The founder and also this student. He was the first law student to get into this accelerator at Stanford, which is a one-semester class. It’s turned out to have about $500 million worth of exits in several years. He was studying law at Stanford and he realized, “There’s nothing like the stuff I see in tech and other interests in the law that’s all word-based and it’s all tech-based.” It’s old.
There was a big company that controls this, LexisNexis. Until he had this crazy idea to create a visual graphic system for how you research judges in legal cases. It’s the other cool thing about an outsider. He had no idea how to do this and he had no experience as an entrepreneur. He could program anything, and he made a lot of mistakes but then he did some smart things that created a partnership with Harvard and all steps. I don’t want to give it away. The Outsider is one of the most popular in the Silicon Valley models. We have some great success stories because there’s this ambition and arrogance. There’s this idea that there are old industries that can be vastly improved.
I’ve met a lot of people who represent that and we need those. As I was going through the list, I was trying to put which category I could see myself in. I might be The Athlete.Entrepreneurship is a journey, and there are stages. Click To Tweet
That’s my type.
You should take our quiz and find out for sure.
I definitely might do that. I write all my assessments, so I’m all into assessing. Tell me about The Athlete.
I would love to tell you, but Jon wants to talk about it.
The first thing is you don’t currently have to be an athlete to be an entrepreneurial athlete. I happen to have been one and still try. We think of these types as meta types. We’ve talked about some of them. Some of them are what we call navigators and leaders we’ve talked about, a conductor, guardian, leader. The Athlete is one of those doers. We talked about an outsider, who is a person who comes up with brilliant breakthrough ideas. Athletes get stuff done, and they love it that it changes and they have an impossible deadline at 3:00 PM.
You should have multiple athletes at your company and more than one on it on a team. If you were to ask a growing startup as they start to build from 10 to 20 to 50, they want a lot more athletes because they don’t need everyone to be an outsider or an accidental. They need a lot of people who will understand that there are a lot of risks and there’s a lot of ambiguity. Athletes love that. That makes it more challenging.
The harder, the better sometimes because it’s like, “Do you think I can’t do that? Let me show you.”
Athletes love modulating their training and learning from other athletes.
My daughter gave me a t-shirt. It was for my birthday and it said, “Underestimate me. That’ll be fun.” I thought that was a cute shirt. Having been in sales my whole life, I’m super competitive and I was always in sports as a kid. I was a swimmer for one thing, and I’m curious about what kind of athlete you were.
I played soccer and international football at UC Berkeley. Let’s talk about sports. We think a lot about how our model parallels what’s been understood in sports for a long time. In baseball, every position is a specialist position. There are nine players but there are about fifteen because you have specialist pitchers. You have four different pitchers. If we were to say a shortstop, a shortstop is a collaborator who touches the ball more than anyone. My sport is arguably the most popular sport in the world, soccer.
The biggest revolution in football has been the overlapping skills in the interactions of players. In other words, players used to be taught separately that you stayed in a box. About 25 years ago or so, they started realizing that you could overlap roles. In other words, a defender could certain times come forward and vice versa. The game of soccer is by passing. Passing always beats dribbling, another thing that goes to teamwork. We, of course, see this in basketball. It’s another great expression of this.
To bring it back to entrepreneurship too. You need to have diversity on your team. You don’t have to have everybody be played in the same position. If you have this supportive team, your venture will have better success. Why wouldn’t you want diversity and precision on your team with people who specialize in different things?
Bringing it to softball because my daughter has played softball and you mentioned certain players. What would a first pitcher be on here?
You could argue the first baseman could also be a collaborator. Everything has to go through them. It doesn’t automatically apply to every position. Our key understanding is that you don’t want a team full of people swinging for the fences. That’s not going to work. There are strategic times. We haven’t talked about another part of our book, which is entrepreneurship is a journey and there are stages. If you go to softball, there’s a certain time when you are supposed to bunt and you’re doing this for the team instead of coming up and swinging for the fences, and then getting out and loose.
When you talk about the different teams being diverse, it makes me think of years ago when I used to train a lot of people on Myers-Briggs in different types of personality assessment. We would not want, of course, to have teams to be all the same in those training courses. If you gave the team Legos and had them build a house, and they were all in the same personality types, they’d all build a boring house. If you had a mixed-up team, they would build you a castle, moat, and cool stuff. With that diversity comes challenge though. Having this ability to understand not only yourself but others is the key thing of personality assessment, in my opinion, because I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence. I’ve created these assessments on curiosity and perception. I was fascinated that you have some quiz. I want to know more about this quiz.
I built the quiz. It’s posted on the website, TheEntrepreneursFaces.com. It’s a simple and quick quiz. You answer four different questions and it will spit out an answer for you. You put it in delicately.
It will tell you which of these ten types that you are just based on four questions.
We are building more complex things because of Susanna’s work. Susanna should tell you though. She had a whole background of Myers-Briggs, so she should quickly tell you.
What’s your type?
I’m not entirely sure. I was an INTJ, but here’s the story. My father was a yogi scholar. He loves the twelve archetypes like the gesture, sage, innocence and outlaw. My mother also loved archetypes and she loved the Myers-Briggs test, so she was certified to give the test. She gave me that test when I was a teenager dozens of times. I was an introverted teenager, so I was always trying to trick it. This is why I’m not sure which one I technically fall into because I was always trying to trick it to become the extrovert. For me, I do enjoy being pigeonholed, so I had a little bit of an issue with that test. That’s one of the reasons that we created this model that’s more holistic and allows you to embrace your different types. You can be different types at different times along the path as well.
We also feel you can be a hybrid. You can be more than one type. A big part when it comes to teams is awareness. Hopefully, I have good strength as an athlete. I’m not a leader though. When you have this awareness about the value of these other types, we think you’re more inclined to realize, “I need this person on my team. I need to partner with them.” There’s a certain humility that comes in parallel with the emboldening fact of your strength.
When you’re talking about the hybrid, I see myself as The Maker as well because I create these things and I visualize things. That takes the person who loves to sell it more to the evangelist, which even though I’ve been in sales, maybe it’s not my favorite part of it. You see what you love, and then you gravitate towards those aspects.
We’ve started to do workshops. We did a couple of workshops back when there were human beings in the same place. We have continued to do workshops online and we find people get inspired about finding out who they are. They also get more inspired about who they want to grow into in the next months.
What else is important is learning who you’re not. With Myers-Briggs, that was the thing I found the most useful. I know it gets a lot of criticism for how great it is or isn’t, but what it helped for me when I went through that training was, of course, I know what I am. I’m always surprised when people are shocked by their self-assessments and I’m like, “You filled it out, remember? This is what you said you are.” We know who we are. Most of us do, but we don’t understand the opposite preferences. When I was in the training course, I remember they would separate you into the Fs and the Ts on each side of the room and they’d say, “Who here likes to bake cookies and give them to people?”Knowing who you are and what you lack is important. Click To Tweet
All the Fs would be like, “Yeah.” I’m a T. I had zero F. I’d look at them like, “Why would you want to do that?” I would go, “That makes you feel good about bringing people cookies.” Now I had an appreciation for people where before, I would take the cookies and go, “Thanks,” and toss them when they left because I don’t want cookies. I would bake cookies for those people because I realized that what made them feel good was to get the cookies because they valued giving cookies.
It’s a great example of empathy.
That’s why I studied emotional intelligence for my dissertation because I think empathy is critical. I talk about this a lot when I talk about curiosity and perception. If we don’t develop that sense of wanting to know more about other people, it leads to problem.
I want to underline a part of my work and also Susanna’s work within IDEO is about product empathy and customer empathy. What we’re doing with the entrepreneur space is starting with your personal and individual and team empathy. That’s where you’re most likely to build that team or build that capability to hopefully create better products and better services that in the end, have more empathy for their customers and those markets.
I always think about a company I’ve worked for where they gave us this one personality test. They had us list our results in our cubicle. I’m thinking, do you put on your cubicle, “I’m The Maker. I’m The Leader. I’m The Accidental.” We learned about everybody’s preferences and what they were good at and what they didn’t like, or whatever through looking at this color that we had on our cubicles. I thought it was weird to type people like that at first and I don’t know if I’d recommend doing that. I learned a lot from it in terms of knowing what you aren’t and how other people like to be related to. What your book does is explain that there are all these different types and they all lend a specific thing to the overall company and idea. We can’t be all of these things and some people get frustrated that they can’t be all these things, don’t they?
That’s why knowing who you are and what you lack is important. If you’re a conductor and you’ve built this great platform, you might look for an outsider’s exploratory mindset to help create something genuinely new in that network. When you’ve built it, you’re relying on what you know about your network. The Outsider can be helpful to The Conductor. The Evangelist is a key player on a maker’s team because we’ve seen this all over the world we go to. You go to any tech conference and you see makers all over the place that they’ve created something and they love it. They’re all geeking out on it, but they don’t know how to get it to market. The Maker needs The Evangelist to help get that product out there.
Our travel helps. For instance, we went to Warsaw. Google has a campus in Warsaw. They only have eight around the world. Why Warsaw? It’s because the technical talent, the brilliance in math, and computer programming, and AI is excellent. We went to a lot of these startups and it’s astounding. They’ll be in an almost Soviet bloc apartment building. You think, “How can there be a company you walk in with three floors and they have all this talent and they have no capability when it comes to sales and marketing?” They’re limited and they end up working with large companies and being underpaid for what they’re doing. You see this quite starkly and we see, for instance, other countries like Portugal where there are a lot of guardians, social entrepreneurship, and flowering in that area. You see this international variety when you get out of the San Francisco bubble.
I was interested in both of your backgrounds. I was looking at Jonathan. You have ten books, and five of your works are options for films and you’ve been in Playboy. I’m looking at some of the things where you’ve been. I got to know a little bit more about what showed up in Playboy and I have to know which films. That’s the curiosity in me.
We give a lot of talks. I wrote for Playboy, not about sex. I wrote about sports and it goes to my athletes. My secondary type is the athlete outsider and Playboy had me play that role. I was one of the world’s experts on steroids and sports, and I wrote major stories not just for Playboy, but for other folks about Gary Bonds you might remember and Rod Stewart. They were unusual stories so they ended up being illegal stories because there were all legal cases and so forth.
I went almost undercover at the Masters Golf Tournament on what the experience is of being a fan at the Masters. I spent years hanging out with crazy ticket hustlers back in the day when we had sports fans going to big sporting events. Ticket hustlers on a higher level would do this amazing hustle and could make $100,000 to $150,000 on the Masters or the Super Bowl. I would go to the Super Bowl and carry the bag, which once had $250,000 in tickets and cash. It helped train me. I was this outsider.
It’s funny we were talking about types. The ticket hustlers named me. People like types call me Poet. Since I was a writer, they had to identify me. These people in these different worlds have ways of identifying. I’ve had this fun experience there. I did write many books and five of them have been optioned. None of them have been made but one of them was made based on another book. It’s a long story, but they stole my book when I did quite well. I did have to sue a guy named Harvey Weinstein. It turned out well. That’s a whole other show.
You have interesting backgrounds. Everybody would like to know more about how to follow you, get your book, and all that. Is there something you’d like to share?
The book’s website is TheEntrepreneursFaces.com. That’s where you can also take that quiz that I mentioned. You can find that link on the website or just go straight to Amazon, The Entrepreneur’s Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed. We’re both on LinkedIn. You can find us under our names, Jonathan Littman and Susanna Camp. You can find us on Twitter, @JonLittman and @SusannaCampSF.
Diane, you’re a creative and curious person. We know this and there are fun things happening. We got people who were sending us pictures of the book and sometimes themselves. We’ve already gotten from Italy, Portugal, and France. The book itself has a creative cover that if you look at it, it has two profiles.
I like that from my perception.
We have a handsome Frenchman who put the book up on his French profile and created an image of that. We have some fun things that are building as people get excited about this idea of archetypes and who they are.
You’re onto something important and a lot of people can learn a lot from this. I enjoyed our conversation. Thank you, Jonathan and Susanna, for being on the show.
Thank you, Diane. It’s a great pleasure.
Great questions. Thanks, Diane.
I’d like to thank Jonathan and Susanna for being my guests. We get many great guests on the show and I know there are more than 1,000 of them. I’m sure you’ve probably missed a lot of the different episodes, so if you’re interested in catching up on past episodes, you can always go to DrDianeHamilton.com. If you go to the blog, you can read them there. You could also listen to them there. We’re on all the podcast stations and AM/FM stations that we list on the site. There’s great information on the website.
If you’re interested in learning more about curiosity or perception, it’s all there. I’m happy to hear from you. If you read the blog, you can tweet some of the tweetable moments. We’d love to see what resonates with you on Twitter. If you have questions in general about speaking or training or any of that information, it’s all on the site. Also, if you’re interested in becoming an affiliate, please scroll down to the bottom of the page. There are a lot of links down there and one of them is the affiliate link and testimonial page. There’s more at the bottom so make sure you take a look. I hope you enjoyed this episode and join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- The Entrepreneur’s Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed
- Allan Young
- Helene Godin – past episode
- Scott Harrison – past episode
- Karoli Hindriks
- Naveen Jain – past episode
- Carlos Muela
- SoMa StrEat Food Park
- Uwe Diegel
- Amy Edmondson – past episode
- Risto Lähdesmäki
- The Entrepreneur’s Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed – Amazon
- Jonathan Littman – LinkedIn
- Susanna Camp – LinkedIn
- @JonLittman – Twitter
- @SusannaCampSF – Twitter
About Jonathan Littman
The Entrepreneur’s Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed, my new book with Susanna Camp, is the culmination of my deep knowledge and passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. It’s my tenth book, and I believe it will usher in a new human-centric model for entrepreneurs and professionals seeking purpose in our new digital reality. I collaborated previously with IDEO on two major bestsellers, including The Art of Innovation (over 650,000 books sold worldwide). Today, with Susanna Camp, I deliver a full suite of digital (and physical) offerings to groups from all over the world, from innovation, design thinking and entrepreneurship seminars, to executive courses. We work a lot with groups from Europe, Portugal, Brazil and Asia.
Creativity, Innovation and Applied Design is a dream graduate class I teach for international students at the University of San Francisco. I am also an Entrepreneur in Residence with the Paris-headquartered global consultancy, Schoolab. My eight works of non-fiction published with major NY houses include two true crime books on notorious hackers, The Fugitive Game and The Watchman (translated into more than fourteen languages and optioned for films). My IDEO books are considered Innovation classics, and remain popular and relevant to a new generation of entrepreneurs. For many years I was a contributing editor at Playboy, and five of my books and articles have been optioned for films.
Clients include Estee Lauder, Sony, Lululemon, Gillette, Leadership Business Consulting, Silicon Innovation Center, Gap, Deckers Brands, Outglocal, Idean, USF and the Haas School of Business.
Keynote speaker in the U.S., Europe, China and Canada on subjects ranging from innovation to entrepreneurship and startups.
Winner of New York Press Club Award, and Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism.
Specialties: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Startups, Storytelling, Writing, Pitching, Editing, Publishing, Branding, Naming, Design.
About Susanna Camp
-Principal, SUSANNA.CAMP (https://susanna.camp)
-Co-Author, The Entrepreneur’s Faces (https://theentrepreneursfaces.com)
-Entrepreneur in Residence at Schoolab SF
-Ghostwriter. Write and post thought-leadership articles and social media posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium and elsewhere for CEOs and executives looking to build their voice and reach.
-Editor-in-Chief of SmartUp.life: The Innovation Hub
Speaker, Moderator, Workshop Leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, and ethics
Career highlights include:
• Wired Magazine, where I helped launch the website and was an early community leader.
• The GUILD, a professional women’s networking site, where I led the creation of a unique voice on entrepreneurship and the startup scene.
• Outside Online, where as Director of Production of Technology, I brought the print content online, managed production staff, built the website and won a Webby award for the subsequent redesign.
• SFSU, M.A. in Education with a focus on equity and social justice & public policy
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