Steve Weinstein, How to Build a Mission-Driven Company – InnovaBuzz 380
Steve Weinstein, BMNT
In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Steve Weinstein. With a background that spans technology, product development and entertainment, Steve Weinstein is an innovation expert, entrepreneur and educator who enjoys building products or teaching others how to build companies using Lean Startup techniques.
Steve is Senior VP of Strategy at BMNT Inc, helping to create pipelines of innovation that companies, government agencies and other large organizations can use to stay competitive. A former C-level executive at a number of startups, he teaches entrepreneurship classes, including Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad course, as well as Hacking for Defense and its sister courses, Hacking for Social Impact and Hacking for Oceans, at multiple major universities including U.C. Berkeley and Stanford.
Before joining BMNT, Steve was founder and CEO of Motion Picture Laboratories, the Silicon Valley-based R&D center funded directly by the six Hollywood major studios. He was CTO of Deluxe Entertainment; guided the transition from physical technologies to e-commerce at Rovi Corporation; and at Vicinity, a mapping company acquired by Microsoft in 2002. He was also a founding executive and Chief Strategist and Technologist at Liberate Technologies, an interactive television software company.
In our discussion, Steve talked to me about:
- Creating value beyond the dollars in profit
- The impact of consumer perception on brands
- What a mission driven organisation is and how they behave
Peter Newell in episode 345 introduced us to Steve.
Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Listen to the Podcast
Show Notes from this episode with Steve Weinstein of BMNT
Key points and takeaways from this episode include:
- Creativity is a form of entrepreneurship. It is a form of innovation.
- Mission-driven entrepreneurship is all about being driven in such a way that you can marry entrepreneurship with social impact.
- Mission-driven entrepreneurs are people who have a mission for the social good and they have the creative streak to do it by bringing new technology to the market or by changing public behaviour.
- Entrepreneurs are driven by passion. Entrepreneurship is a calling. You are driven by the creation or by change.
- The first step to becoming a mission-driven entrepreneur is you have to want to change the world and create an impact.
- Some people are best to start a company. Some are best to join a company, whilst others are best to be independent of a company.
- When you build a brand that is changing the world, that brand becomes more valuable. You feel better about your brand and you can attract people who have a lot more integrity. Your team will be driven in a way that they are willing to put in the extra hours and not willing to run off to the next shiny startup.
- Success should be measured by impact and not by how rich you become.
- An ideal combination is something that is desired and has a social good.
- Be driven on the goal.
- It’s universities’ responsibility to have courses that bring together any sort of entrepreneurship for social impact.
- Mission-driven entrepreneurship brings a more diverse group of people. It allows universities to bring a bigger community together that hopefully solves some of the bigger issues.
- You want to solve a problem yourself. You can’t force people to want to solve the problem.
- A company is more than just a product. It is everything from a brand to customer support to sales to channel to distribution to partners and to key technologies. You have to have a clear plan for each of them, otherwise, you will get diverted.
- Everybody has an impact they are trying to make and it doesn’t matter if it’s investable.
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are Steve’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Give yourself the time and set a goal. Realise what you bring to the party and team up with somebody that brings what you lack.
- Best thing for new ideas – Giving back and working with students. Be with people who look at the world differently. Be intellectually curious.
- Favourite tool for innovation – My network of friends – trading ideas with others.
- Keep project/client on track – Realise that no startup or project failed because they were too focused. Go deep fast. Stick to your goal and only change directions when you have real evidence not real opinions.
- Differentiate – Understand the value you create that others don’t. People don’t buy things because they have function or a feature. They buy it because of the value it creates for them. If you can differentiate your value, then, you can differentiate your product or innovation.
To Be a Leader
If you have spent the last few years wishing that you are making a difference, think about going to your local community. Start small. Think about the one thing that you can make an impact on and figure out if there is someone locally who has it.
You can reach out and thank Steve through his email.
Steve suggested we have a conversation with innovator and visionary leader Radhika Malpani, technology expert and author Ann Mei Chang, and founding director of the Common Mission Project in Australia Jamie Watson. So Radhika, Ann Mei, and Jamie, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Steve Weinstein.
Cool Things About Steve
- He studied at Vanderbilt University.
- He started his career at Naval Research Laboratory in the area of advanced signal processing, computer language design, and real-time OS development.
- He served as CTO of Deluxe Entertainment, a 6,000 person post-production house.