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Innovation Inside LaunchStreet: Leading Innovators | Business Growth | Improve Your Innovation Game

Inside Launch Street is the innovation podcast where we interview top innovators out there shaking things up so YOU can innovate and differentiate and get further, faster in this crazy cluttered world. When you are ready to take your game to the next level, join the thousands of others that are upping their innovation edge on gotoLaunchStreet.com, the top online education, resource and community platform for innovators looking to use innovation to get measurable results.
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Now displaying: October, 2018
Oct 30, 2018

Have you ever noticed how we attach traditional milestones to innovation? As today’s guest points out, it’s like putting a fast fish on land and expecting it to still be fast. In this episode of Inside LaunchStreet, growth hacking and start-up junkie and CMO of valuer.ai, Taylor Ryan talks to us about how growth hacking is a way to innovate and why innovation advocates are important. We also delve into the mistakes we make around creating benchmarks and how to avoid them.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:22] Tamara opens today’s show by asking listeners to sign up for InsideLaunchstreet’s free weekly newsletter. It will help you stretch your innovator muscles.

[3:10] You might be surprised to learn that Taylor learned to hypnotize his friends in high school.

[5:47] Listen in to find out how Taylor defines growth hacking.

[7:21] Why is having growth tactics so important to business today?

[9:51] Taylor believes that incubators and corporate garages are getting smarter and using top-down approaches.

[12:04] Tamara and Taylor discuss why the C-suite need to be advocators of innovation. You must make the shift from only a few people innovating to leadership innovating.

[13:56] How do you set milestones so that the C-suite is comfortable allowing you to continue to play and experiment without giving up too soon?

[16:53] Tamara believes that sometimes we forget that the original idea took time. Seinfeld and Archie Bunker (All in the Family) took years before they actually caught on. Taylor and Tamara talk about if it’s counter to the standard, it’s a great indicator that the idea might work. Tamara talks about how Tough Mudder was counter to the standard when it first started.

[19:01] Taylor discusses his worst startup ever, Gluten-free VIP. The failure occurred because of the lack of user interviews.

[22:38] It’s so important to build those ideal customers profiles and find the customers that would actually get value out of your product. It’s easy to get blinded by the idea that you really want.

[25:20] Taylor reminds listeners that you have to be objective to even your best ideas. Sometimes even in the face of all that you know is right, you can be proven wrong consistently.

[26:07] What lessons has Taylor taken away from the failure of Gluten Free VIP?

Could the craziest of ideas actually work?

[29:15] Taylor talks about Valuer and why it works.

[31:34] Taylor shares the secret to what today’s young professionals are looking for.

[33:37] Tamara finds that if she invests in Millennials or X’s, they invest back. Taylor discusses choice anxiety and how that plays into the culture. They discuss old school benchmarks and how they hinder innovation.

[36:26] Connect with Taylor on his blog at Valuer and on LinkedIn.

[37:07] Taylor’s final piece of advice is to go where the puck is actually going. Not where it is right now. Tamara reminds listeners of the importance of looking into the future to find success.

[38:28] Tamara loved the part about having milestones and benchmarks for moving forward. She questions if you have the right benchmarks or if you are trying to put a fish on land.

 

If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Valuer Homepage

Oct 23, 2018

We all talk about how Amazon has become this global force that is changing how we shop for everything from books to now food. I wanted to dig a little deeper into the Amazonification of the world so I brought in Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and Adjunct Professor at NYU. She is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She knows the industry. We talk about Amazon from an industry and personal level. She takes us through the Amazonification that is impacting us all, even how we do our jobs. We talk about how your perception of change is even more important than the change itself. Why having a “figure it out” mindset helps you manage change and why today’s work environment demands an innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:43] You might be surprised to know that Penny considers herself a geek. She spent a lot of time in her dad’s shed learning how to take things apart and fix them. She loves technology.

[4:12] Penny considers herself an accidental entrepreneur. Listen in to find out how she started on her journey. One of the biggest things she’s learned is that a successful person must know how to turn the brick wall into a window.

[6:12] Penny was laid off multiple times. She shares that at breakfast, her friend celebrated her new found freedom and told her that she can now do what she was meant to do. This helped to open her window.

[9:41] Independent publishing was the first disrupter in the book market. Print on demand followed. Amazon followed shortly after. Books were how Amazon was built.

[13:24] How did Penny keep up with the changes and follow the domino pattern? Learn how to benefit from the changes. Tamara reminds listeners of the importance of leveraging change and harnessing change for an opportunity. You must have a mindset that you are going to figure it out.

[17:41] Tamara mentions HBO’s documentary, The Defiant Ones, and the transformation in the music industry. If you change your mindset, the change can be tremendous. She challenges listeners to ask how you can turn your walls into windows.

[19:11] How does Penny help clients?

[21:02] Indy Publish can help publish a book in thirty days. Short is the new long. Books no longer need to be 300 pages. If you are the expert, go ahead and get it out there.

[22:30] Tamara talks about her decline in book sales. She gathered feedback and found out that people aren’t wanting to read a whole book. People are looking for shorter reads.

[23:26] Penny wrote a really long book, Red Hot Internet Publicity. Because of its length, people were hesitant to commit to reading. In contrast, her book, 5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors, flies off the shelf, because the time commitment is five minutes. She encourages authors to think about the top five questions you are asked. That is what you should address. Address one major concern and write about it.

[27:39] Penny and Tamara discuss the importance of getting buy-in and hitting them with the value bomb, right from the start. Penny used to teach a class to help authors create an elevator pitch. The pitch should be one or two sentences. It must be clear and specific. Penny advises Tamara to break her book into smaller sections and re-release them.

[31:02] Tamara shares a personal experience with using a recipe on her phone. Consumers now want something that allows them to build and use it in the moment. She reminds listeners to think how the customer is absorbing it on the other end.

[34:06] Connect with Penny at A Marketing Expert or email Penny at penny@amarketingexpert.com.

[34:30] What is Amazon doing that the rest of us need to be doing? What kind of convenience can you offer to your customer? Sometimes you have to give a lot to get a lot.

[39:06] Penny leaves listeners with one piece of advice: take your content down to one idea and then expand it into big ways. People will keep coming back to learn more.

[41:37] Tamara believes that the perception of change is more important in many ways than the actual change. She challenges listeners to think about your perception of change. Do you feel like it’s happening to you? Can you identify the change of an opportunity?

 

If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

AME Homepage

Indy Publishing

Tamara's book, Think Sideways: a game-changing playbook for disruptive thinking

Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

Oct 16, 2018

You know what feels hard? Change. In this episode of Inside LaunchStreet, I interview Gabe Shaoolian, digital marketing, and business development expert who started an agency as a one-man show and grew it to a mid-size global digital agency with over 250 full-time employees. He works with clients big and small that are trying to manage change. We talk about how the hardest part of innovation and change is breaking old habits to create new ones. How it takes more than the change itself but constant reinforcement. In fact, that reinforcement should become part of your routine. We also dig into how sometimes you need to break away from the day to day just to get out of the weeds and see the bigger picture and how badly it sucks when your customers tell you they don't like what you are hawking.

Key Takeaways:
[1:52] You might be surprised to know that Gabe still feels like he hasn't been successful and hasn’t achieved enough.
[3:24] Gabe started Blue Fountain Media and ran it for thirteen years. He sold it to a Fortune Global 500 company. He left Blue Fountain Media to start a product-based website. A few months after launch, he had to change the business plan. He was heartbroken that his original vision wasn’t going to come to fruition.
[5:04] Gabe talks about his original vision versus the shifted vision. He built Design Rush and realized he needed to look at the big picture after receiving some feedback from his users.
[9:00] Tamara reminds listeners that you can’t fight your audience or the feedback and that it’s often good to break away from the weeds to even see what’s going on. Gabe and Tamara discuss the importance of doing a test marketing pilot program.
[11:05] What other lessons did Gabe learn along the way? Tamara and Gabe discuss the positives and negatives of belonging to a remote work team. Tamara loves the vibe and energy of her shared workspace.
[16:20] Gabe's definition of a change agent is someone that helps you review, strategize, improve, and define your business goals. Change agents identify what can be improved to make it more efficient or more effective.
[18:27] Gabe identifies implementation as the biggest hurdle after the change is identified. Effort, time and a big executive push are needed to make the change. Listen in as he describes how to successfully begin making the change. Employees need to understand and execute the change.
[20:30] Gabe shares his experience about being trained while working at The Wiz electronics store in New York City. At first, he followed all processes and procedures exactly and was very successful. His fellow teammates weren’t doing it and so he quit. He wasn’t nearly as successful after he quit following the processes and procedures. Gabe reminds listeners that processes must be documented and enforced. They must be monitored every week by managers.
[25:32] Listen in to find out why change is so difficult. Gabe compares change to a commitment to going to the gym.
[27:28] Why is change harder for large companies?
[29:37] What does Gabe see as the next big game changers coming to the big companies?
[30:32] Tamara shares a personal story proving that mass advertising doesn’t work. Her boys were trying to bypass the commercials on TV. The commercials affected the boys in a negative way, instead of enticing them to buy the product.
[33:17] Tamara questions why aren’t the companies prepared for the ‘I want what I want when I want it’ movement? She thinks that large companies miss the mark in testing and validation.
[37:00] Gabe shares his two-minute blueprint for getting your business off the ground. Why is a fast loading site so important?
[41:00] Connect with Gabe at Design Rush.
[41:24] Gabe's final piece of advice is to be ready for an adventure.
[42:43] Tamara asks listeners to think about the one habit that’s holding you back. Then, think about the new habit you want to form. Finally, create an action plan for reinforcement.

If you are ready to:
get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea
be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change
foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...
Join us on LaunchStreet — gotolaunchstreet.com

Mentioned in This Episode:
Design Rush

Oct 9, 2018

Have you ever wondered why some businesses are so complex? And if they even need to be? I mean, is that complexity even necessary? Me too. And so did Matt Scanlan, CEO, and co-founder of Naadam. They make cashmere sweaters and apparel. He took an amazing journey to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert and purchasing 40 tons of cashmere with $3 million cash packed in plastic bags. His company pulls out the complexity or as he’d say the unnecessary fat. He didn't create a disruptive product, he created a disrupted business. As you listen to this one I want you to think about where in your business or industry you can do what Matt did in cashmere. It’s incredible.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:56] You might be surprised to know that Matt is a through-and-through natural homebody. He doesn’t like traveling.

[3:25] Listen in to find out how Matt and his co-founder, Diederik Rijsemus, withdrew $3 million in plastic bags to buy 40 tons of cashmere.

[6:46] What inspired Matt to go on this amazing journey to buy cashmere?

Why did they end up staying in the Gobi Desert for a month with the sheepherders?

[12:34] Matt and Diederik felt like the herders were being taken advantage of. They were not making the profit they deserved. Matt and Diederik disrupted the market by buying all of the product. They were then able to control their pricing on material and in turn, increase the price others were paying for the cashmere.

[13:41] Matt started cutting out the middleman and went straight to the sheepherders. He offered them a fairer price for the cashmere that resulted in an unparalleled degree of transparency. This allows him to continue to improve the quality of the product.

[15:36] Matt explains how transparency leads to a better product. He monitors the product through the entire process.

[20:03] Naadam is a Mongolian festival that celebrates the people. We are here as a company to celebrate people and places.

[20:31] You might be shocked to learn that the biggest resistance Matt has faced in disrupting the industry is convincing people that he is driven by a real passion and sense for what makes him happy.

[22:18] What did you do to get customers to get over the hurdle? Matt says they are still trying to get over it. We are always testing ways to communicate with the customers. Building that trust takes time.

[23:56] Real trust is never earned overnight. If I ever lack consistency in my message, people start to lose faith in the message.

[24:41] Matt talks about why you don’t need to take everyone with you on the journey. He shares who it is you must take with you.

[26:47] The early adopters are susceptible believers. Matt knows that you have to align the price first. The younger generations are more adaptable to this type of thinking.

[29:16] Tamara reminds listeners that it takes profit to make a change. She reminds listeners that money does matter.

[30:10] How did you figure out your milestones and benchmarks? What predictors did you follow?

[33:24] It’s important in today’s economy to have a purpose and cause. Technology has allowed people to access large amounts of information. It shows them what the right way should look like. A purpose and cause is a predictor of value.

[35:20] Matt took the IQE assessment and his innovator archetype is instinctual fluid. Instinctual thinkers see and create patterns. The fluid thinkers create innovation in ambiguity and fog. They are good at creating all-new paths. He feels like his success is less about connecting the big points but more about connecting the things that really matter. He really values and relies on his team. Tamara reminds listeners of the importance of listening to others’ opinions.

[42:05] Matt believes that having an opinion is really relative. It’s a really fluid thing. His humbleness comes, in part, from being in special classes in school.

[44:30] Connect with Matt at Naadam.co.

[45:05] Matt’s final piece of advice to Launchstreeter’s is to allow other people’s perspectives to develop your own. Be humble enough to listen rather than talk all day.

[45:47] Tamara challenges listeners to think about how the industry you work in is built. How would you take the complexity out of it?

 

If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Naadam's Homepage

Oct 2, 2018

Early adopters. They are the ones that are willing to try your new-to-the-world idea and if they like it, they spread it in their communities like wildfire. No one knows this better than Apu Mody, CEO of Lenny and Larry’s. Have you had one of their high-protein delicious cookies? On Inside LaunchStreet, Apu and I talk about early adopters, why success isn’t an overnight phenomenon and how you need to train your customer when you have a breakthrough product. He also shares something that I think is actually killing innovation at big companies — it's the “I’m not the consumer” mindset.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:59] You might be surprised that Apu’s first job was selling books door to door.

[3:56] Listen in to learn how Lenny and Larry’s was born. Benny and Barry created sweet treats with protein out of personal need. Some of the greatest ideas come from personal needs.

[6:00] What was the initial reaction? Barry says that it was the longest overnight success. How was a fire in the bakery a turning point?

[9:49] What is the importance of early adopters? How much of an influence do they really have?

[12:52] Tamara shares her experience of taking the birthday cookie to the gym to share. She received a bunch of feedback that her friends had gone to buy the cookies. Apu believes that people trust the early adopters. They become the experts.

[15:34] The cookie/bar is a crowded market. Lenny and Larry’s have found that context in the store matters. Apu talks about being in the cookie/protein bar market. Part of the hurdle was pinpointing which shelves to best market the cookies.

[21:01] What roadblocks or points of resistance did Lenny and Larry’s overcome? Apu gives an example of switching from whey to soy and then again to plant-based proteins. Consumers provided them with feedback and direction to change the product.

[23:12] Apu shares that they are always trying to lower the sugar. The body is suited to process pure sugar versus sugar alcohols. Feedback is getting gathered and then the product is adjusted. It’s a constant dialogue that is occurring, not just a point-in-time exercise.

[27:02] There are two components to making sure the feedback conversation is continually happening. First: The employee base must believe in the products they are making. They are actively involved in making decisions. Second: You have to have an army of brand ambassadors. They get free t-shirts, discounts, free products. They provide honest feedback and help steer the direction of decisions.

[32:35] Who exactly is the consumer? Why is the mindset so wrong about consumerism?

[34:52] What is in the cards for Lenny and Larry’s future?

[36:32] Three things contributed to the exponential growth Lenny and Larry’s experienced. First: the cookie became the star and was the focus. Second: A couple of early adopter retail partners came on board. Third: We switched packaging and this allowed us a longer shelf life.

[39:23] Tamara reminds listeners that the focus on the cookie is so important. Too many options work against you. First, you have to have the driving force behind you.

[40:50] Connect with Apu on Linkedin and on the Lenny and Larrys homepage.

[41:42] Apu leaves listeners with a few words of advice. First: Be persistent and be focused. Second: Find a few fans to get feedback from. Build a strong relationship with one or two retailers to go deep with.

[43:00] Apu’s favorite product is the soon to be released apple pie cookie.

[43:40] Tamara invites listeners to check out the new website at InsideLaunchStreet Discover your innovator archetype and many other tools to start innovating today.

 

If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Lenny and Larrys Homepage

 

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