David Kidder, How to Unlock New Growth and Start the Next Thing – InnovaBuzz 378
David Kidder, Bionic
In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, David Kidder, who is an entrepreneur and an angel investor in over 40 companies. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Bionic, a company that unlocks new growth for the world’s most competitive enterprises by leveraging the mindsets and methodologies of venture capital and entrepreneurship. Previously, he served as the co-founder and CEO of Clickable and co-founded SmartRay Network.
A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, David received Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. He is the creator and co-author of the New York Times bestselling series The Intellectual Devotional and The Startup Playbook. His latest book, New to Big, was published in April 2019.
In our discussion, David talked to me about:
- Knowing your proprietary gifts and the need you care most about
- Moving from a focus on Total Addressable Market Place to Total Addressable Problem
- An obsessive focus on caring for your customers and the solution to their problems
Rita McGrath in episode 341 introduced us to David.
Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Listen to the PodcastInnovation is not a question of talent or money. Innovation is a mindset and the systems that lead to growth. @DavidSKidder on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet
Show Notes from this episode with David Kidder of Bionic
Key points and takeaways from this episode include:
- Bionic works with many large organisations to help them ignite growth revolutions.
- Innovation is not a question of talent or money. Innovation is a mindset and the systems that lead to growth.
- Growth is moving from being linear to having a portfolio.
- Ideas that die very quickly reveal the ones that are actually commercially true.
- The needs of the world have radically changed, and some of these profound changes might be permanent. There are new needs and new behaviours. It’s the job of a company to solve them and to move with them as they change. You cannot do that with a fixed mindset. It can only come from having a growth mindset and growth tools to discover those new commercial truths.
- A proprietary gift often has to be learned and often through failure.
- A proprietary gift is a thing that is impossible to replicate that will end up solving the new need of the world.
- Being successful in disrupting your space, in many cases, has nothing to with you. You were there right on time, and no amount of money or market position can prevent that from happening to you if you don’t want it to.
- Any great disruptor views their life through the following 5 lenses:
- Proprietary Gift – why you and why now?
- Extreme Focus – one problem, one solution.
- Build painkillers not vitamins – solving chronic and malignant customer problems. You want to solve something that is not perishable, something that you can solve repeatedly and become the best at.
- Execution – over-invest in the one thing that creates 10x outcome.
- Create monopolies.
- If your idea, both by intent and execution, lives and survives through those 5 lenses in the first 3 years, you typically have a position that will scale. Not all businesses pass through those 5 lenses. You don’t need to, but the first 3 must be true.
- Focus. The more things you have, the more things you do, the more mediocre you become. You will never get to that pain when you have too many options.
- Success is a bad educator. You always learn 10x as much as you fail.
- Tear down your assumptions so you can reassemble them into what is possible.
- You have to discover the truth as opposed to making it true.
- Validation is a great toolset that allows you to iterate and experiment so that you can get a customer to reveal their intent.
- Experiments reveal your customers’ behaviours.
- The one thing that doesn’t lie is behaviour.
- If you are not horribly embarrassed by your first product, don’t invest in that.
- Assume that you have to quit most of the things you start. Get the signals as fast as you can so that you become less broken as you move forward.
- Behavioural signals can turn into an exchange of value that become indicators. None of these indicators are equal so you’ve got to find the one or two that matter, and use these as the actual metrics of the business that you scale.
- Competition is for losers. Stay obsessed with the problem that you solve and stop chasing your competitors. It is more viable to create a marketplace and pull people into it than chase other people’s marketplaces.
- Create a learning culture. Getting your business right means that you also have to set down old truths.
- The first revenue streams are often the wrong revenue streams. The first arc always looks like it is going to scale but it is really the second arc of revenue that makes a business work and grow the fastest.
- You can’t just solve part of the problem. You need to solve the whole problem.
- If you are able to keep 10% of the 100x returns or 10x return based on what your customers’ are paying you, you are indispensable.
- Whoever cares the most wins. Invest more, care more, and do more than anybody else.
- Is your organisation aligned with the need of the world – your customers’ needs? If not, then, focus on your need first. Figure out what you need to fix in your business or what you have to invent.
- Sometimes the outside forces are so great that you can’t affect them, but you can control the decisions you make.
- Companies that can adopt a growth mindset will end up with cultures and systems that are truly defensible going forward.
- Stop over-valuing what you know and under-valuing what you can learn.
- Rest is key. Know what you can control and leave the uncontrollable outside of those boundaries.
- Ask for things. Ask for the opportunity. Ask the universe for the outcome that you are looking for. There is so much power in asking for things that you want to experience. The universe cannot conspire to help you if you are not open enough to ask. It’s amazing how the ideas come and people come to make it work when you do.
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are David’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Have an abundance mindset.
- Best thing for new ideas – Begin and end your day in a place where growth can be experienced. Ask yourself – what are you grateful for? What surprised you today? And, ask the universe for what you want. Ask the universe for ideas.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Quora
- Keep project/client on track – Allow them to expand permissions. As long as the permission in them is growing, they are growing. Expand your thinking and start reimagining the permissions of what’s possible then work backwards.
- Differentiate – Focus on your proprietary gift. Completely ignore the competitive landscape and instead focus that energy to the deepest level into the problem that you solve.
To Be a Leader
In the absence of a map, there are only two things that can guide you – purpose and rest. You need to know why you are doing what you are doing, and you have to be able to start your day over again each day. You have to know yourself and your priorities to choose the next right thing. Make the right choices each day and begin the new fully rested into your purpose.
You can reach out and thank David through his website.
David suggested we have a conversation with Seth Besmertnick, founder of Conductor. So Seth, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of David Kidder.
- New to Big: How Companies Can Create Like Entrepreneurs, Invest Like VCs, and Install a Permanent Operating System for Growth
- The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs
- The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class
Cool Things About David
- He is a founding member and advisor to The Acumen Fund, Venture for America, and YPO Global One.
- He received ID Magazine’s International Design Award and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008.
- He served on the National Board of the Smithsonian