How to Think Like an Entrepreneur
Panel Discussion for GE Leaders and Executives
About the Panelists:
Megan Reamer is the co-founder and CEO of Jackson’s Honest, a healthy foods company. Jackson’s Honest makes potato chips, tortilla chips and grain free puffs all cooked in organic coconut oil. Their son’s autoimmune disease defined the types of foods he could eat but they couldn’t find the foods they needed so they made them all from scratch. Megan and her husband Scott started Jackson’s Honest as a way to share their son Jackson’s story and the delicious snack foods they made for him. They’ve since had their products featured on the the shelves of Whole Foods all around the country and have impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands da of people around the globe. You might have seen Megan on Shark Tank where her company received a $1.25 million shark tank deal.
Patrick Vlaskovits is an entrepreneur and 2 time New York Times bestselling author. His writing has been featured in the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal, and he speaks at technology conferences worldwide. He is founder and CEO of Superpowered Inc, a TechStars funded startup that is the leading interactive audio development platform for desktop, mobile, IoT and embedded devices.
Bret Boyd is the CEO of Knoema, a software platform for data access and discovery. At Knoema, Bret and his team build tools to help public and private-sector organizations make better decisions with data. Bret began his career as an infantry officer in the US Army. Bret has published numerous articles on technology, strategy, and change management and is the coauthor of “Catalyst: Leadership and Strategy in a Changing World.
Sequence of Questions and Topics:
Question for Megan #1. Megan, you entered a marketplace that is hyper crowded, and where the competition is composed of multi-million and billion dollar companies. How did you differentiate a new product in a competitive, crowded marketplace?
Question for Bret #1. In your book “Catalyst” you talk about the nature of business cycles, and how these are compressing across time. Can you explain what this means for businesses and their leadership? And can you share how you implemented these ideas in your own startup?
Question for Patrick #1. Mobile audio seems like a challenging industry, and you didn’t have any experience in this industry before you started Superpowered, correct? So how did you perceive and evaluate this pocket of opportunity? And how did you decide where in the value chain to focus your effort?
Group question #1. How do you approach partnerships? We know no organization, no department, can thrive on its own that strategic partnerships are critical…how do you approach this problem? Brett, how did you do this with Knoema (or Grayline before this)? Megan, with Jackson’s Honest? Patrick, with Superpowered?
Question for Megan #2. How do you approach the creation and roll-out of new products? How do you conduct market research? What would keep you from rolling out a new product? Any examples of products you killed before you launched?
Question for Bret #2. How do you position a business for growth? And specifically, how should you organize your organization to profit from this growth?
Question for Patrick #2. How do you think and act like an entrepreneur as a member of an organization? How do you instill that thinking in your team (how must you organize your team, or rewards, etc. to achieve entrepreneurial action)?
Group question #2. How do you find, hire, and retain top talent? Im talking rockstars who can drive a business and organization forward? What Seth Godin calls linchpins?
Group question #3. How do you deal with employees who are under performing? And perhaps a good place to start is: how do you properly measure performance so you know if someone is genuinely not pulling their weight?
Remainder: Audience Q&A.