The Value Creators Podcast Episode #36: Bill Aulet Disciplined Entrepreneurship

Disciplined entrepreneurship refers to an approach to starting and growing a business that emphasizes rigorous application, methodical processes, and practical tools to achieve success. This concept, discussed by Bill Aulet in his book “Disciplined Entrepreneurship“, involves systematically identifying needs, customers, and markets, validating ideas and experiments, and executing plans with discipline and focus. It includes understanding customer needs deeply, developing innovative solutions, and creating value in a structured manner. By following disciplined entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of building sustainable businesses and navigating the challenges of the rapidly changing market landscape.

Bill Aulet and Hunter Hastings discuss various aspects of entrepreneurship, focusing on proven methodologies (Bill has multiple successful launches from the MIT incubator as case studies) and practical approaches to building successful businesses. They emphasize the importance of understanding customer value, rigorous market research, and adopting innovative business models tailored to customer needs.

Bill emphasizes the significance of a beachhead market strategy over traditional total addressable market calculations and he emphasizes that the primary challenge to entrepreneurs is to identify customers’ top priorities, fears, and motivations, aligning their value proposition accordingly.

The dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship in the digital era is characterized by the emergence of innovative pricing strategies, such as dynamic pricing and subscription-based models, which present novel opportunities for value realization.


Connect with Hunter Hastings on LinkedIn

Connect with Bill Aulet on LinkedIn


To Read, Sample, and Buy the Book on Amazon: 

1st Edition: Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, 1st Edition

2nd Edition: Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, Expanded & Updated

Show Notes:

0:00 | Intro
2:43 | The Big Picture Principles: What is a Mindset?
6:44 | Entrepreneurship as a Craft and Not a Science
9:06 | Learning Entrepreneurship: Can Entrepreneurship be Taught in Corporations?
10:54 | Can you Teach Google Enterprenerurship?
16:13 | Innovation in Business Education: Inside or Outside Academia?
18:21 | Breaking Down the Structure of Book: Disciplined Entrepreneurship
22:57 | Case Studies 
24:13 | Know the Customer
27:02 | Beachhead Market: Find your Beachead
28:37 | Concept of a “Full Cycle Use Case”
31:20 | Academia: How Customers Determine Value?
35:00 | Business Models
37:09 | Pricing
39:43 | Is America Still an Entrepreneurial Society?
43:50 | Wrap-Up

Knowledge Capsule

Entrepreneurship as a Mindset, Skill Set, and Way of Operating:

  • Entrepreneurship is not just a mindset; it also involves a skill set and a way of operating.
  • Mindset: It involves a mental approach to problems, discomfort with the status quo, and a willingness to challenge norms.
  • Skill Set: Entrepreneurship requires specific skills that are detailed in the book.
  • Way of Operating: Entrepreneurs operate in a distributed environment, seeking opportunities with resources that are beyond their control.

Entrepreneurship as a Craft, Not a Science:

  • Bill Aulet shares that entrepreneurship cannot be reduced to science due to its unpredictable nature.
  • Entrepreneurship is compared to a craft like pottery, where principles can be taught but mastery comes through practice and experience.

Corporate Entrepreneurship:

  • Bill emphasizes that teaching entrepreneurship within large corporations is challenging due to the constraints of existing structures and incentives.
  • Companies like Google need to balance entrepreneurship with efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Microsoft’s successful turnaround under Satya Nadella exemplifies the potential for corporate entrepreneurship.

Teaching Entrepreneurship in Academic Institutions:

  • Academic institutions like MIT play a vital role in fostering entrepreneurship, despite their inherent inefficiencies.
  • Taking a long-term view is essential for institutionalizing entrepreneurship within corporations and universities.

Disciplined Entrepreneurship Book Structure:

  • The book Disciplined Entrepreneurship offers a comprehensive guide with 24 steps and six themes.
  • It emphasizes rigor and practical application through case studies and exercises.
  • Bill highlights market segmentation as a critical initial step in entrepreneurship, ensuring a focused approach to problem-solving.

Beachhead Market Strategy: 

  • Start with one thing and do it well: Foundational strategy involves focusing on a single narrow market niche and excelling in it before expanding.
  • Expand gradually after nailing the initial offering: Once success is achieved in the initial market, expansion into additional markets becomes viable.
  • Geoffrey Moore’s concept of the beachhead market: Reference to Moore’s concept, emphasizing the importance of securing a secure foothold in a specific market segment before expanding.

Full Cycle Use Case: 

  • Understanding the entire journey of the customer – from recognizing a problem to finding an alternative new option and ultimately paying for it and experiencing the solution – is crucial for business success.
  • Significance of the user experience: customers installing and using the product to realize its benefits and value proposition fully.

Value Learning Cycle: Customers go through phases of learning, comparing, buying, using, and evaluating the value provided by a product or service.

  • Predicted value assessment: Customers assess the anticipated value or benefits of a product or service.
  • Relative value comparison: Comparison of the perceived value against existing alternatives or solutions.
  • Exchange value (purchase decision): Customer decision-making process regarding whether to purchase the product or service.
  • Experience value (product usage): Customers’ evaluation of the product’s effectiveness and utility during usage.
  • Evaluation of expectations met: Reflection on whether the product or service met the customers’ initial expectations and needs.

Customer Value Determination: 

  • Understanding customers’ top priorities, concerns, and fears is essential for identifying triggers that lead to product adoption.
  • Identifying triggers and incentives that prompt customers to take action, such as purchasing a product or service.
  • Ensuring that the product or service addresses customer pain points and aligns with their desired outcomes.

Business Models: 

  • Creating and extracting value from customers through business models involves understanding the value created, identifying target customers, and selecting appropriate revenue-generation methods.
  • Choosing appropriate revenue models that align with the perceived value of the product or service to customers.

Pricing Strategy: 

  • Pricing should be determined after understanding value creation, customer needs, and competitive landscape, followed by iterative testing to find the optimal price point.
  • The iterative process of testing different price points and refining pricing strategies based on customer responses and market conditions.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #36 Aberrant Capitalism: The Decay and Revival of Customer Capitalism

Capitalism fosters widespread prosperity. But we must acknowledge a set of emerging hazards associated with corporate management practices, and take proactive measures to mitigate such risks.

The hazards that have transformed capitalism over time are vividly described in Aberrant Capitalism: The Decline and Revival of Customer Capitalism, authored by Hunter Hastings and Steve Denning and published by Cambridge University Press. In this episode of The Value Creators podcast, Hunter shares capitalism’s journey from an external orientation, where customers and their needs were the focus of business activity, to a more internalized orientation, where management processes, methods and measures became the focus. The customer-centric approach of the first great corporations of the nineteenth century reflected the vision and purposes of owner-entrepreneurs using their own capital. But over time, these entrepreneurs left, and a debt and equity finance model took over in the twentieth century. Success became synonymous not with happy and satisfied customers but with stock market performance and shareholder value. This shift represents an undermining of the original animating spirit of capitalism. However, Hunter expresses guarded optimism about the emergence of new business models in the twenty-first century, embodied by companies like Apple and Amazon, which prioritize direct customer engagement and long-term growth over short-term financial gains. 

Despite this optimism, the conversation acknowledges the challenges and risks associated with contemporary capitalism, including dehumanization of labor, data privacy concerns, social media’s impact on mental health, and the rise of monopoly power. Hunter emphasizes the importance of preserving the positive aspects of capitalism while addressing these issues, calling for a reassertion of the values that underpin the system. 

Hunter concludes with a call to action for readers to engage with the ideas presented in the book and work towards a capitalism that prioritizes customer value, innovation, and societal well-being while remaining vigilant against its potential pitfalls.


Connect with Hunter Hastings on LinkedIn.

Check out the book Aberrant Capitalism.

Buy the Book on Amazon: Aberrant Capitalism (Elements in Reinventing Capitalism)

Aberrant Capitalism on the Cambridge University Press


0:00 | Intro

02:40 | Why Hunter Hastings Wrote Aberrant Capitalism?

5:35 | Journey: Customer Capitalism to a Distorted Managerial and Financialized Capitalism

08:06 | Mass production: What was the Breakthrough?

09:35 | Beginning of Customer Capitalism

11:25 |  Myth: Robber Barons as Exploiters and Unethical Businessmen

14:32 | Value Creating Companies: Nineteenth Century Set Stage for Economic Boom

17:38 | How the Objectives of Entrepreneurship and Management Different

19:07 | Dominance of Management Over Entrepreneurship.

21:39 | Transition: Central Planning to Private Industry Planning

24:21 | Post-War American Companies Success

26:01 | Big Twist: Financialization 

30:08 | Current Corporate Landscape: Is There Any Hope for Future Change?

33:29 | Conclusion: Hopeful OR Fearful about Corporate Capitalism

35:56 | Wrap-Up: Warning

Knowledge Capsule:

Overview of “Aberrant Capitalism”:

  • Hunter Hastings explains the book’s title: the capitalism we know today, characterized by dominant corporations whose behavior is often questioned for its ethics and benefit to society as a whole, is an aberration of the original system.
  • A major concern that results from this aberration is the decline in young people’s confidence in capitalism.
  • Analysis indicates that the real target of young people’s criticism is not capitalism itself, but today’s corporations.

Evolution of Capitalism:

  • Historical journey from “customer capitalism” to “managerial and financialized capitalism.”
  • Examination of capitalism in the eighteenth century focused on companies like Wedgwood and Bentley.
  • Introduction of limited liability corporations and their role in scaling up businesses.

Customer Capitalism in the Nineteenth Century:

  • Hunter shares characteristics of customer capitalism, focusing on innovation, customer orientation, and individual entrepreneurs with examples of successful entrepreneurs and their contributions to improving customer lives.

Misconceptions about Nineteenth-Century Entrepreneurs:

  • Debunking myths of “Robber Barons” as exploiters and unethical businessmen.
  • Hunter shares examples of entrepreneurs like John D. Rockefeller and Henry Crowell who contributed positively to society.
  • Their purpose was to improve lives for as many customers as possible.

Contributions of Nineteenth-Century Capitalism:

  • Discussion on how nineteenth-century capitalism led to economic growth, improved lives, and lowered prices.
  • Transition from entrepreneurship to management and its impact on capitalism.

Shift to Managerial Capitalism:

  • Explanation of the shift from entrepreneurial orientation to management control and managerial efficiency.
  • Introduction of central planning techniques during wartime and their direct migration to corporations after the war.
  • Negative consequences of central planning on customer orientation and market responsiveness.

 Success and Decline of Post-War American Corporations:

  • Hunter shares how the initial success of post-war American corporations was due to central planning and capital investment.
  • Challenges faced by these corporations include competition from Japan and failure to adapt.


  • The rise and eventual dominance of the financial sector and the emphasis on maximizing shareholder value further shifted focus away from customer capitalism towards short-term financial gains, leading to concerns about the impact on long-term value creation and societal well-being.
  • Corporations now work to serve the financial sector not the customer sector.

Hope for Change:

  • Despite the challenges, the discussion points to the emergence of new business models driven by digital companies like Amazon, and Tesla, which have a direct connection to customers and the potential to revive customer capitalism.
  • Hunter Hastings warns about the continued dangers of bureaucratic management, accelerating financialization, and government entanglement.
  • There’s a need to resist forces that distort the true purpose of capitalism, by reasserting the customer value focus that brings societal well-being.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #36. Maisie Ganzler: You Can’t Market Manure At Lunchtime

Sustainability in the food supply chain has become a vital consideration for the resolution of food chain risk. It’s also become a mission for some food producers and distributors and for some food brands, it’s become a marketing mandate. 

Maisie Ganzler has been orchestrating the critical alignment required for the pursuit of sustainability in the food supply chain and articulating the crucial alignment between marketing and operations. Maisie perfected the concept of organizational support for sustainability, highlighting the creation of specialized roles like the “forager” to facilitate local sourcing initiatives and overcome procurement obstacles. She introduced metrics and tools to track sustainability goals using tools. 

Passion supplies energy but it’s ineffective without leverage, pointing to procurement decisions and organizational culture as key leverage points. Flexibility and adaptability – versus ideology – are essential traits in responding to evolving challenges and opportunities in sustainability efforts. Maisie Ganzler delves into the relationship between personal health and sustainable dietary choices, highlighting the alignment between whole foods consumption and planetary health goals.

By integrating marketing, operations, and organizational support, businesses can navigate challenges, build strong relationships, and drive meaningful change toward a more sustainable future.


To connect with Maisie: Maisie Ganzler
Find out more about Maisie Ganzler:
Get the book: You Can’t Market Manure at Lunchtime
Get the book on Amazon: You Can’t Market Manure at Lunchtime

Show notes:

0:00 | Intro
01:57 | You Can’t Market Manure at Lunchtime: Maisie Ganzler Defines Sustainability
04:38 | Consumer-First: Flavor as Key Benefit
05:26 | Mission is Actionable Steps
07:02 | What Purpose is About?
08:27 | Bon Appétit Management Company: Business Side
10:31 | Who is Your Customer?
12:25 | Subjective Values
14:54 | Tradeoffs: Most Challenging
17:29 | Pick One Narrative 
19:34 | How Do We Get Our Stories Straight?
21:29 | Marketing is Communication
23:08 | The Forager: Deeper Relationship
25:33 | Scaling Corporation
27:26 | Measurement in General 
31:18 | Passion 
32:34 | You Can Make a Difference: Empowering Through Collaboration
35:47 | Adaptability: Don’t Be Rigid
38:07 | Safety: Eat Lancet Report
39:41 | Wrap-Up: When Will the Book Be Published?

Knowledge Capsule


  • Sustainability can be defined as a multifaceted approach that encompasses environmental responsibility, ethical sourcing, and social impact within business operations
  • It goes beyond mere rhetoric, requiring concrete actions and operational changes across all facets of an organization, including supply chain management, procurement practices, and employee engagement.

Consumer Focus:

  • Consumers must be the first focus. They seek flavor as their key benefit before anything else.
  • Maisie emphasizes that marketing narratives must align with tangible actions and operational changes. This ensures that consumer expectations are met, fostering trust and authenticity in the brand.
  • Organizations are urged to prioritize transparency in their supply chains, supporting local vendors and sustainable practices. This not only meets consumer demands for ethically sourced products but also strengthens relationships with suppliers and enhances product quality.

Mission and Purpose:

  • Creation of a mission or dream to establish an emotional connection and guide company direction.
  • Purpose as the driving force behind brand identity and employee alignment.

Business Aspects of Sustainability:

  • Maisie shares her point of view that leveraging sustainability is a business differentiator and revenue driver.
  • Integration of sustainability into business operations and decision-making processes.

Customer Perspective:

  • Dual customer focus in B2B food service: decision-makers and end consumers.
  • Creation of value for suppliers deep in the supply chain through enhancing their brand with sustainable practices.

Tradeoffs and Strategic Focus:

  • Prioritization of sustainability initiatives and avoidance of resource spreading. Focus is key. Don’t try to do too much. Stand for something specific.
  • Balancing cost-saving measures with investments in quality and sustainability to drive revenue.

Pick one narrative :

  • Before communicating sustainability initiatives, organizations must first implement tangible changes in their operations and supply chains. 
  • This approach ensures authenticity and credibility in the narrative, aligning with consumer expectations for a genuine commitment to sustainability.
  • Crafting a clear and consistent sustainability narrative to communicate complex concepts to stakeholders effectively.

Getting the Story Straight:

  • Practicing and refining sustainability messaging within the organization to ensure accuracy and credibility in communication efforts.

Marketing as Communication:

  • Marketing goes beyond branding and advertising; it involves actions that align with promises made.
  • Operations should precede marketing; actions should match the narrative.

Organizational Support for Sustainability:

  • Creating new positions, such as “forager,” to support sourcing locally and building relationships with vendors.
  • Overcoming barriers like complex purchasing systems by offering support to local vendors.

Empowering Middle Management:

  • It’s possible to make a big difference from the middle.
  • Middle managers play a crucial role in driving sustainability initiatives within organizations.
  • Sustainability initiatives can provide fulfillment and creativity for employees at all levels.

Measurement and Accountability:

  • Implementing measurement tools like the “red-yellow-green tracker” to monitor sustainability commitments.
  • Continuously improving and adapting based on progress made in moving metrics from red to green.

Passion with Leverage:

  • Passion for sustainability must be paired with leverage to implement meaningful changes.
  • Leveraging procurement budgets, hiring decisions, and organizational structures to drive sustainability efforts.

Adaptability and Flexibility:

  • Maisie acknowledges that science, social norms, and cultures are constantly evolving.
  • Being flexible in decision-making, even if it means taking risks, to stay ahead and lead in sustainability.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #34. David Kong’s Entrepreneurial Voyage from Finance to Fine Glassware

David Kong discusses his transition from Finance to Entrepreneurship and the process of building a supply chain for a product with exclusive features, such as thin, and handcrafted glasses. He explains how he searched for manufacturers, tested samples, and addressed production issues. Despite challenges with finding warehouses and improving packaging, Kong emphasizes the importance of creating value for customers. He shares insights on the emotional value of Glasvin stemware, its impact on the drinking experience, and the evolution of consumer preferences in the wine industry. Additionally, Kong discusses his direct-to-consumer (DTC) model, marketing strategies, and the significance of inbound sales for Glasvin.

Throughout the conversation, Kong underscores the value of efficient operations, strategic partnerships, and customer-centric approaches in building and scaling a successful business like Glasvin.


Database and Analytics company: SOMM.AI
Glasvin (Manufacturing company)
David Kong on LinkedIn


0:00 | Intro: Origin Story and Entrepreneurial Mindset
02:12 | Origin Story and Entrepreneurial Mindset
05:05 | Idea of Somm.AI Came From Experience
06:19 | How Did Personal Interest Evolve into a Business?
09:18 | Value Proposition for B2B Users: Benefits and Analytics
10:47 | Big Claim: Largest Updated or Updating Database of its Kind
12:49 | Attracting High-Price Point Luxury Wines
13:43 | Global Database
14:28 | Glasvin: Origin Story
19:07 | Building a Supply Chain
23:03 | What’s The Emotional Value of Glasvin?
25:36 | Evolution of Desired Experiences is Fascinating
27:26 | How Did Packaging Evolve
29:25 | Direct-To-Consumer Model
30:44 | B2B Business: Selling to Business Customers
34:45 | Conferences: Getting in Touch with Restaurants
37:53 | Wrap-Up

Knowledge Capsule

Origin of Somm.AI (Wine List Aggregator):

  • Initially conceived as a personal tool to find rare wines.
  • Evolved into a software business after experiencing success with user engagement.
  • Adapted business model from B2C to B2B due to changing market conditions and opportunities.

Value Proposition for B2B Users:

  • Offers benchmarking capabilities for restaurants to assess performance and competition.
  • Provides analytics and insights to identify trends and target opportunities in the market.

Market Dynamics and Competition:

  • David Kong shares that Somm.Ai targets on-premise wine data, serving a niche yet valuable segment.
  • Faces competition from established players like Nielsen but focuses on unique data sets and pricing strategies.
  • Recognizes challenges in entering the market due to technical complexities and limited entrepreneurial interest.

Global Reach and Expansion:

  • Capable of expanding database globally based on client demand.
  • Acknowledges regional variations in wine list availability and penetration rates.

Transition to Glasvin (Glassware Business):

  • Explored entrepreneurship opportunities beyond software due to the time-to-revenue constraints.
  • David shares how he identified the market gap in affordable, high-quality wine glasses and opted to start his own brand, leveraging importing experience and existing demand.

Challenges and Opportunities in E-commerce:

  • David Kong recognized e-commerce as a viable business model with the potential for success.
  • Found opportunities to offer quality products at competitive prices.
  • Successfully launched Glasvin as an e-commerce venture in 2020, capitalizing on market demand and personal interest in wine accessories.

Product Development and Supply Chain:

  • David reached out to multiple manufacturers via email to find one willing to produce the desired glasses.
  • The process involved requesting samples, evaluating quality, and addressing production issues.
  • David shares the initial challenges included finding manufacturers capable of meeting specific criteria, such as glass thickness and weight.

Value Creation and Marketing:

  • David emphasizes creating value for customers through product quality and pricing.
  • Packaging and branding were initially less polished but did not hinder sales due to the product’s perceived value.
  • David Kong’s primary focus was on enhancing the drinking experience, making wine taste better with thinner glasses.

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Model:

  • Glasvin sells primarily through its own website powered by Shopify.
  • The decision was made not to sell on Amazon due to potential mismatches with the target customer base.
  • Inbound sales, driven by word-of-mouth referrals and brand reputation, are a significant aspect of Glasvinl’s sales strategy.

Restaurant Sales:

  • Glasvinl targets restaurants as a marketing channel, gaining exposure and credibility through partnerships with prestigious events like La Paulée.
  • The company provides glasses for rental at events, leveraging its association with high-profile wineries and events to expand its reach.

Evolution of Business Opportunities:

  • Participation in La Paulée led to the development of a rental program for the glasses, diversifying revenue streams beyond direct sales.
  • David identifies market gaps and opportunities, such as the demand for alternatives to Zalto glasses, and offers tailored solutions to meet customer needs.

Future Growth:

  • Despite current success, David emphasizes the importance of continuous adaptation and improvement to drive future growth.
  • The pursuit of growth involves remaining competitive, evolving the business model, and meeting evolving customer demands.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #33 Mike DeKock on Building Competitive Advantage

How do the value creation principles of subjective value, entrepreneurship and creativity apply in a highly technical rules-based environment like SOC Compliance audits. These are objective validations of data security measures based on customer-defined criteria similar to traditional financial audits but more specific and subjective.

The answer lies in the understanding of customer needs. Mike DeKock, CEO of MJD Advisors, an SOC auditing firm, has the insight: the customer seeks confidence – a feeling that they can approach their own clients with the assurance of providing the data security that they demand. Trust, reliability and commitment are the underlying values – emerging from technological rigor, at a much higher level of human need.

Mike discusses the evolution of compliance services and the changing landscape within the industry, and explains the importance of continuous compliance and how his company aims to provide ongoing support and guidance to clients throughout the year, for continuing reinforcement of the client’s feeling of confidence.

He recognizes the value of building relationships with clients, helping them navigate compliance challenges, and fostering organizational improvement. He sees value in creativity, curiosity and collaboration, and the need for continuous learning and adaptability in a rapidly changing industry. At MJD Advisors, there is a passion for helping clients find simple solutions to complex problems, emphasizing the satisfaction derived from making a meaningful difference in their businesses.


MJD Advisors:
Mike DeKock on LinkedIn:


0:00 | Intro
02:13 | SOC Compliance: Mike Shares His Business Field Growth Journey
03:21 | Regulatory Audit Requirement is Optional
05:09 | Client’s Confidence is Subjective Essence
07:51 | Value Proposition
10:08 | Confidence Area: Empathy-Driven Insight into Client Needs
12:09 | Confidence Meter: How to Measure it? 
13:49 | Trust Measurement
15:16 | Data Security
18:05 | Business Model: Client-Centric Excellence 
20:01 | Trust and Confidence: Some Companies View Audits as Mere Costs
22:08 | MJD Advisors: Exceeding Client’s Expectations 
23:07 | Hiring: Interesting People VS Hard Stats
25:27 | Helping Clients Find Simple Solutions to Complex Problems
27:32 | Future Unpredictability Adds Complexity
29:20 | Entrepreneurial Ethic
30:40 | Wrap-Up

Knowledge Capsulse:

Importance and Application of SOC Compliance:

  • SOC Compliance is a customer-driven business: the regulatory audit requirement is optional but often required by larger enterprises during due diligence processes both internally and on suppliers.
  • SOC Compliance is commonly used by small growing startup software companies to meet enterprise needs – required to cross an eligibility threshold.
  • The field of SOC Compliance is constantly changing as a result of increased awareness and education about data security.

Focus on Providing Confidence to Clients:

  • Mike emphasizes that the continuous compliance approach helps clients navigate compliance challenges.
  • Building trust and relationships through understanding and solving client needs.
  • Any company in a supplier relationship can act with confidence in communicating the robustness of their own systems.

Measuring Success and Impact:

  • There are challenges in quantifying subjective values like confidence and trust.
  • Success is measured through client feedback, reviews, and business outcomes.

Impact on Client Image and Credibility:

  • Compliance reports serve as a mark of approval and credibility.
  • Mike DeKock shares that firms can build credibility and reputation through compliance efforts.

Tremendous Growth in Compliance Space:

  • Compliance tools and support for initiatives have become more accessible and affordable. Previously, smaller companies couldn’t afford compliance measures, but now it’s more feasible.
  • Raises expectations and sets accountability throughout organizations, providing various benefits to the ecosystem.

Business Model Approach:

  • The approach focuses on becoming an extension of the client’s compliance team.
  • Embraces a continuous compliance approach throughout the year, providing guidance and assistance

Complex Problems Simplified:

  • Mike shares how his company celebrates the beauty of simplicity in solving complex problems and how they help clients find simple solutions to complex problems.
  • At MJD Advisors, a collaborative approach is used, focusing on asking probing questions and learning from clients.
  • Compliance is a shared process.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #32. Jeff Amerine on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Jeff Amerine and Hunter Hastings, discuss the detailed process of building startup ecosystems and fostering entrepreneurship. Jeff Amerine, emphasizes the role of entrepreneurs in spearheading ecosystem development, suggesting that successful ecosystems are entrepreneur-led initiatives. 

Leveraging available tools and resources, including AI and cloud computing services, has democratized entrepreneurship, making it more accessible and efficient than ever before. Jeff highlights the significance of engaging universities in the ecosystem, tapping into the talent pool of students, and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset from an early stage.

Despite the challenges of scalability and trust-building, Jeff discusses the expansion of his organization’s footprint beyond Arkansas, aiming to bridge international venture ecosystems. The long-term commitment required for ecosystem development, emphasizes the transformative potential of entrepreneurship in driving economic growth and societal change.


Startup Junkies Consulting Website:

Startup Junkies Book:

Show Notes:

0:00 | Intro
02:31 | How Jeff Defines Enterpreneurship?
03:55 | Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: 4 Pillars
06:53 | Entrepreneurship Not Only a Mindset But Also a Talent 
08:34 | Cultural Perspective: Assessing Startup Ecosystem Readiness
13:40 | Capital is Hard to Break into for Startup Ecosystems: Capital Pillar
15:58 | Early Capitalism: Self-Funded Growth
16:32 | Community Engagement: Local Bank Support for Startups
18:58 | Startup Junkies Could Be Economic Developers
20:40 | Access to AI Tools Simplifies Startup Initiation
22:12 | Universities Play a Vital Role in Startup Ecosystems
24:33 | Operational Side of Entrepreneurial Support Organization
27:18 | Funding Process and Events
30:19 | Networking Defined 
32:45 | Time: Sow Seeds, Be Patient
36:05 | Systemize OR Stay Entrepreneurial?
38:00 | Wrap Up

Knowledge Capsule

Entrepreneurship as a Mindset:

Jeff Amerine shares his views that entrepreneurship is a mindset that prioritizes problem-solving and a propensity to challenge the status quo. It transcends stereotypes and focuses on individuals who see challenges as opportunities and are driven to innovate and create change.

Pillars of an Ecosystem:

  • Talent: Cultivating entrepreneurial talent through education and training.
  • Capital: Ensuring access to funding at all stages of venture development.
  • Culture: Fostering an entrepreneurial culture through events and engagement.
  • Community Engagement: Involving various stakeholders for support and collaboration.

Catalysts for Cultural Change:

  • Investors and leaders play a pivotal role in driving cultural change by investing in and supporting aspiring entrepreneurs. Their belief in the potential of entrepreneurial talent and willingness to take risks contribute to creating an environment conducive to innovation and growth.
  • Investing in visionary entrepreneurs involves providing financial resources, mentorship, and guidance to promising ventures. This approach fosters a culture of entrepreneurship by empowering individuals to pursue their ideas and realize their potential.

Capital Accessibility for Startups:

  • Challenges in Accessing Capital:

Many small or local entrepreneurial ecosystems struggle to access capital.

Traditional banking options like local branches of larger banks often need more support.

  • Diverse Funding Sources:

Startups rely on a variety of sources such as angel investors, friends and family, and government grants.

Non-dilutive funding options like Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards offer alternatives to traditional venture capital.

 Early Capitalism for Business Growth:

  • Jeff emphasizes that we need to shift our thinking and build businesses through customer revenue rather than solely relying on venture capital. 
  • Jeff encourages exploring professional services and securing revenue traction before pursuing large-scale platform development.

Community Engagement and Networking:

  • Community events like startup crawls and networking gatherings facilitate connections and collaborations.
  • Events provide platforms for creative collisions and idea exchange among entrepreneurs and stakeholders.
  • Jeff advises that we need to engage large corporations involving targeted efforts to demonstrate the benefits of engagement, such as mentoring and knowledge sharing.

Impact of Technology and Universities:

  • Technological Advancements:

Democratization of tools and resources, such as AI and cloud computing, lowers barriers to entry for startups.

Access to flexible teams and efficient AI-driven processes enhances productivity and innovation.

  • University Engagement:

Universities serve as vital sources of talent, education, and entrepreneurial support.

Entrepreneurial programs, accelerators, and partnerships with universities foster innovation and provide resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.