Brian is the co-founder & President of Synapse, Florida's largest technology & innovation conference held in Amalie Arena each year. Before that he successfully escaped two large Fortune 500 / S&P 500 companies to be an entrepreneur himself. Brian knows innovation, he knows entrepreneurship and he came on the show to share his thoughts and ideas on how to survive and thrive in this challenging economy we find ourselves.
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Full Episode (YouTube): https://bit.ly/2AELfia
0:25 - Brian discusses how lucky he and his team were to have held the 2020 Synapse Summit in Tampa (Over 7,300 registrants, Sara Blakely keynote) considering the COVID-19 shutdowns that followed soon thereafter.
12:20 - Survivor-preneurship. This pandemic can give you that push and lead you need toward entrepreneurship. You don’t need to be a born entrepreneur to be a successful entrepreneur.
13:40 - Is job security real? People often talk about how risky it is to create a start up but working for someone else is risky as well. COVID-19 has shown us this with 20+ Million Americans filing for unemployment over the last couple of weeks.
16:15 - Brian discusses his time in the corporate world and how speaking his mind and taking responsibility for his mistakes siloed him from coworkers.
21:10 - Brian talks about why his first company went down in flames and how important that experience was for him.
22:15 - Brian talks about Popcorn Apps, one of his early startups.
26:50 - Entrepreneurship may not be what you think. Brian talks about how most people overlook how much work goes into being an entrepreneur.
31:20 - Opportunity only comes to those that are always seeking it and fighting for it. Sometimes it’s not the opportunity that you expected but if you are constantly looking for it, opportunity will find you.
36:45 - “I’d love to find a way to help” - Brian’s words to Jeff Vinik, resident Tampa Bay billionaire and owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, after cold walking up to Jeff after one of his talks and striking an unsolicited conversation. This bold step was the beginning of Synapse.
42:15 - Brian tells the story of how Marc Blumenthal, co-founder of synapse, and he met over barbecue to discuss innovation and connectivity in Tampa Bay.
45:40 - “What problem are you solving?” Brian talks about how the best businesses always solve a problem that customers have. What problem is your business solving?
48:20 - Brian, a 2006 World Series of Poker competitor, answers the question of luck vs. skill in starting a business through the example of poker. Some see poker as gambling/luck but with proper preparation/skill, you can put the odds in your favor in both poker and business to give you a better chance at success.
55:50 - This pandemic is one big cluster of problems. Find a solution to one of the many problems we currently face, and create a business around it. If you see a problem, you see a business.
1:03:40 - Brian discusses the two books that he always recommends to someone looking to start a business, ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries and ‘Made to Stick’ by Chip Heath & Dan Heath. The Lean Startup describes how to build a business on little to zero capital and Made to Stick discusses the importance of storytelling and how to make your business standout in the busy world of business.
1:06:10 - Brian discusses his experience with founding agreements and how important they are to the long term success of the business. You have to be willing to work together and fully trust your business partner - if you are having problems constructing your founding agreement, you most likely have deeper issues than the agreement itself.
1:11:15 - You (the business) are not the hero in the story of the purchase. You are the guide that helps the hero (the customer) overcome the problem that they are faced with. Too many businesses try to make themselves the hero. Seek to help, not to get the attention of your customer, and you will win their business.
1:19:30 - The rich get richer. But if you don’t have money to invest what do you do?... Invest in yourself. Use this time to dig your well before you’re thirsty and take action steps to create opportunities for yourself.
1:23:30 - The people who do the opposite of the rest of the world are the ones who usually end up being massively successful. When people are slowing down, that’s the time to speed up. Now is the time to speed up and get in on the ground floor of this new normal that we find ourselves.
1:26:00 - Should I reduce prices during a pandemic? Your discounted price is your true price. If you drop your price now, customers will expect the reduced price from now on.
Synapse Summit: synapsefl.com/summit/
Full Episode (YouTube): https://bit.ly/2AELfia