Components Of The New Management Paradigm.

The traditional methods and ways of thinking of strategic management are no longer viable.

They assume that exogenous causes and causal interrelationships can be shaped and utilized to produce objective factors of business performance. Superior management can result in superior performance through identifiable combinations of observable causal factors.

The modern science of complex evolving systems, represented by Austrian economics in social sciences, compels recognition that business outcomes are emergent rather than resulting from identifiable causal factors. Human action, by both customers and employees, occurs in complex interactions of dynamic interpersonal coordination, the results of which are unforseeable. It is the beliefs, perceptions, expectations, imagination and intentions of individuals that combine and interact unpredictably in business reality. Strategic business success is highly uncertain in this context and impossible to sustain.

A new strategic management paradigm is called for.  The components are:

The philosophy of subjective value. Human beings seek value, defined as an improvement in self-perceived well-being. They constantly seek a desired state to replace a current state that is deemed less than perfectly satisfactory. Businesses thrive when they are able to facilitate customers’ feelings and experiences of value. The performance of a firm, and any structure or methods it adopts, are 100% determined by the perceptions of its target customers. Any change in these perceptions will result in changes in firm performance. Dynamic business energy emanates from customers, not from strategy. 

Converting knowledge into value. It follows that customer knowledge and understanding are the vital, scarce resource of the business firm. There are no structural competitive advantages, but it can be the case that the combination of people in one firm share knowledge and understanding that is more functional for the task of conversion into value via innovation, service and relationship. The law of increasing functional information guides the market systems selection of the best value-facilitating firms.

Entrepreneurship (rather than management) is the business function for conversion of knowledge into new value. It is a non-linear, non-processual act of co-ordinated and creative imagination. It can be advanced and accelerated by identifying and continuously renewing insights into customers’ motivations, purposes and values, and composing and recomposing new value propositions for them to choose from. Entrepreneurial capacity consists of skill in designing business propositions and in stimulating customers’ choice of those propositions. During the act of designing the value proposition, the customer’s choice lies in the future, and so is unknown and unknowable. Entrepreneurial imagination is the cognitive connection of the present offerings and future choices. It does not result from traditional strategic management or planning.

Innovation is a necessary condition for business persistence. In the dynamic swirl of rapid change and inscrutable complexity, continuous innovation is required to stay relevant to customers and to stay coherent with the environment. This is continuous improvement in a value proposition to match continuously increasing knowledge on the customer’s part of what they can want and demand. There are opportunities beyond persistence – adaptive innovators can respond to the changing environment with new value propositions that exceed the expectations of customers, i.e. incorporate new knowledge before it’s widespread. And the truly evolutionary businesses can make leaps of innovation that introduce true novelty to the market. The market may select the novelty or reject it; successful new businesses and new products are those that qualify for selection. The market is always evaluating and always selecting.

Nothing in this process can be predicted or projected. Strategic planning is powerless. Discovery, not planning, is the dynamic of innovation in business.  Discovery requires the humility of relinquishing certainty and control, and the creativity of generating new ideas and combinations for testing and experimentation. There is joy in discovery, and we must learn to love feedback loops, the conduits from the customer and the marketplace that tell us how our experiments perform in evaluation. Humility and empathy are not the central focus of traditional strategic management. We hear much more about heroic business leadership and the intellectual superiority of planners and strategists. But discovery is not driven by intellectualism but by action – run lots of experiments, gather fast feedback, determine what works, and incorporate it into the next epxeriment, until a new value prososition emerges that is robust enough to commercialize.

Complexity is the overarching organizational metaphor. Complexity can’t be tamed or managed. Simple imagery fails to convey any meaning. For example, when there is discusion of market share, or growth rates, or 5-year total stock market returns, or even quarterly revenue, it’s meaningless in the context of complexity. Complexity is a swirl of ongoing interactions between people and their contexts, constrained by rules, norms, institutions, events and things, with emergent and unpreditable outcomes triggering new emergent responses which further accelerate change and make it even more chaotic. Businesses can’t snapshot the swirl of complexity, or choose just a few developments to respond to. They must act intuitively to find islands of order in the raging sea of chaos.

The new form of organization for complexity is autonomy. In the new paradigm, firms gradually learn how to auto-organize, eschewing structure and hierarchy and management authority in favor of self-management by employees and team members. Teams self-assemble around functions like marketing and branding or operations and delivery or finance, and role map the collaboration that will optimize the combination of specialist talents in pursuit of a shared purpose. Purpose is the binding force, rather than position in a hierarchy or on an org chart or the authoritarian directives of management. 

Subjective value, knowledge conversion, entrepreneurship, innovation, discovery, complexity and orgnizational autonomy – these are the components of the new management paradigm. 

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #41 – Projjal Ghatak On Harmonization Via Collaborative Team Development

Teams are the new focal point of organizational design and organizational function. Motivation – quantified as “energy” by Projjal Ghatak and Onloop – is the key to team performance. Technology is advancing to the point where motivation can be monitored using AI, and self-reported feedback and other nuanced approaches to understanding and improving motivation levels are delivering real progress. Purpose portfolios can align individual motivations with organizational goals, capturing the role of purpose in driving productivity and engagement.

Projjal mentioned companies experimenting with holocracy and distributed flat organizations, although scaling such structures was noted as challenging due to inherent human tendencies to seek direction and guidance. The conversation also explored frameworks like RAPID (Bain’s Responsible, Accountable, Perform, Informed, Decide model) and spans of control, highlighting strategies for optimizing organizational effectiveness and managerial efficiency.

Projjal emphasized the importance of respect and trust in leadership dynamics, noting that effective leaders inspire motivation and engagement through their actions and guidance. The role of AI in augmenting managerial capabilities and increasing spans of control was also discussed, highlighting the potential for technology to enhance organizational structures and improve managerial effectiveness.


The Post-Managerial Era (Blog Post) 

Connect with Hunter Hastings on LinkedIn 

Connect with Projjal Ghatak on LinkedIn

Knowledge Capsule:

Changing Business Organization

Evolution of Management Concepts:

  • Traditional management concepts from the industrial age are thoroughly outdated.
  • The ideas of “managing” and “being managed” have no place in the 21st century business world.
  • Modern businesses use software for global coordination and collaboration.

Role of Managers:

  • Businesses face challenges in maximizing the potential of human resources
  • There are significant changes in managerial roles due to technological advancements.
  • We can reject the traditional definitions of management.
  • Think instead about a collaboration and coordination role.
  • And make the distinction between managers, leaders, and coaches, each with specific roles.

Managerial Challenges:

  • One of the problems of the management concept is bad management – the wrong people with the wrong relationships with others.
  • Many businesses lack effective managers, especially among first-time managers.
  • This issue is consistent across different regions, industries, and business sizes.

Collaborative Team Development Software:

  • Using technology to simplify complex problems in leadership and management.
  • Inspiration from the fitness industry: breaking down tasks into manageable parts.
  • Focus on motivation (energy), clarity on goals, and feedback.
  • Technology structures management tasks, making them less dependent on individual skills.

Origins of Onloop:

  • Personal experiences with inadequate tools led to the creation of Onloop.
  • Differentiation between talent-focused technology and HR-focused technology.

Performance Management:

  • Traditional performance management processes are inefficient.
  • Introduction of microfeedback to replace traditional feedback methods.

Automation and AI:

  • Use of AI to automate performance reviews (which, in their original form, are the worst management tools!) and synthesize feedback.
  • Focus on reducing friction around regular feedback and enhancing productivity.

Engagement Focus:

  • Employee engagement levels are dangerously low according to Gallup and other surveys.
  • Engagement can be enhanced through CDT product usage, increasing both motivation and  effectiveness.
  • Regular usage reviews to understand product performance and areas for improvement.

People Management vs. HR Management:

  • People management focuses on productivity and team performance.
  • HR management is more about compliance and administrative functions.

Hybrid and Distributed Teams

  • Hybrid teams traditionally mean a mix of remote and in-office workers.
  • Modern context includes geographically and functionally distributed teams.
  • Diverse teams require intentional management practices.
  • Structured cadences and rhythms are necessary for effective collaboration.

Challenges in Hybrid Teams

  • Informal feedback loops are disrupted in remote settings.
  • Leaders need to adapt to structured communication tools like Zoom and Slack.
  • Leaders accustomed to in-person interactions struggle with remote management.
  • There’s a need for intentional rituals to maintain clarity and motivation.

Rituals and Cadences:

  • Regular all-hands meetings to build relationships and rapport.
  • Structured one-on-one conversations using frameworks like CDD (energy, goals, feedback, skills).

Calendaring Everything:

  • Scheduling all important activities to ensure they happen.
  • Emphasis on intentionality in scheduling to maintain productivity and team cohesion.

Collaborative Team Development:

  • Shift from traditional performance management to continuous feedback and goal setting.
  • Using technology to automate and simplify performance reviews.

Reducing Bias:

  • Replacing manual reviews with automated summaries to minimize bias.
  • Focus on observations and work outcomes rather than subjective ratings.

Bias in Traditional Systems:

  • Eloquence bias and gender disparity in leadership roles.
  • Extroverted, assertive individuals are often rewarded over more reserved team members.

Equal Outcomes through Technology:

  • Using machine learning to ensure fair assessments and reduce bias.
  • Focusing on objective performance metrics to support diversity and inclusion.

Self-Reported Metrics:

  • Currently, motivation is self-reported as a “battery level” (full, empty, or in between).
  • This data is visible only to the manager to maintain psychological safety.

Potential for AI:

  • AI is not yet capable of accurately detecting motivation through behavior or dialogue.
  • Future potential for AI to infer motivation from observations and interactions.

Integration of Well-being and Performance

  • Well-being (referred to as energy levels or motivation) is crucial for productivity.
  • Addressing anxiety and mental health as part of performance management.
  • Reframing “wellness” as “energy levels” to increase engagement and acceptance among leaders.
  • Regular energy checks are popular and help gauge team motivation.

Defining Purpose Portfolios:

  • Employees should have clear purpose portfolios that align personal and professional goals.
  • Activities should support these purpose pillars, enhancing motivation and fulfillment.

Future of Work with AI:

  • AI will push humans to focus on uniquely human attributes, such as purpose and service orientation.
  • Emphasizing service to others as a core component of motivation and leadership.

Impact of AI and VR:

  • AI and immersive virtual reality will significantly change the nature of work.
  • Countries like the Philippines could see economic growth by leveraging these technologies.

Rethinking Workforce Strategy:

  • Developed countries need to adapt to a future where AI and VR redefine competitive and cost-effective labor.

Challenges in Current Structures:

  • There is a desire to eliminate traditional hierarchies and silos within organizations.
  • Future discussions to explore how firms can adapt and restructure to be more efficient and inclusive in a technologically advanced landscape.

Hierarchical Structures and Human Nature:

  • Humans are wired to follow direction, as seen in parental guidance during childhood.
  • This inclination often translates into a preference for hierarchical organizational structures.

Challenges with Holacracies:

  • While holacratic structures like Hire exist, they face scalability issues.
  • Humans’ inherent need for direction makes fully flat, networked structures difficult to implement effectively.

Frameworks for Organizational Management:

  • Bain & Company’s RAPID framework (Responsible, Accountable, Perform, Informed, Decision-maker) offers a structured approach to organizational management.
  • Optimal spans of control (4-8 direct reports per manager) can enhance managerial efficiency.

AI’s Role in Management:

  • Advancements in AI enable managers to handle larger spans of control by delegating routine tasks to AI systems.
  • This allows managers to focus more on strategic decision-making and less on routine operational tasks.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #39: Dr. Elias Aboujaoude: A Leader’s Destiny

Leadership is not what the business schools and coaching industry tell you it is.

A Leader’s Destiny” challenges conventional notions of leadership, offering a thought-provoking exploration into the complex interplay of psychology, culture, and society. Written by Elias Aboujaoude, the book delves deep into the modern leadership landscape, dissecting prevalent trends and highlighting the need for a paradigm shift in how we perceive and cultivate leaders.

It highlights how leadership has been oversimplified into formulaic steps and mnemonic devices, creating an illusion of quick mastery. This reductionist approach fails to capture the complexity of human behavior and context, lacking empirical support. Instead, Dr Aboujaoude proposes a shift towards viewing leadership as a state of mind, emphasizing psychology over pseudoscience and recognizing individual uniqueness. This reframing calls for a departure from the business school model of leadership, advocating for a more personalized and nuanced understanding rooted in psychology and character.

Dr. Aboujaoude’s  Value Creators podcast discussion with Hunter Hastings delves into the often-overlooked role of followership, critiquing the prevalent focus on grooming leaders at the expense of valuing followers. It emphasizes the importance of acknowledging followers as essential components of effective leadership and calls for a more balanced perspective that appreciates their contribution. Additionally, the conversation touches upon the significance of empathy and humility in leadership, advocating for emotionally intelligent and empathic leaders who understand the role of luck and serendipity in their success. Overall, the discourse prompts a critical reflection on current leadership culture, urging a reevaluation of conventional wisdom and a renewed focus on psychology, individuality, and genuine concern for both leaders and followers alike.


Connect with Hunter Hastings on LinkedIn

Connect with Dr. Elias Aboujaoude on LinkedIn

To Read, Sample, and Buy the Book on Amazon: A Leader’s Destiny: Why Psychology, Personality, and Character Make All the Difference

Show Notes:

0:00 | Intro
0:18 | Leadership Industrial Complex.
2:56 | Supply Demand Analysis: How Did Leadership Manufacturing Start
4:44 | Crisis: Leadership Demand Mismatch
8:59 | Attention Economy: Impact on Leadership
11:52 | Redefining Leadership: Psychology Perspective
17:34 | Leadership: Moving Beyond Formulaic Approaches
20:12 | Leadership Challenges: Left Hemisphere Dominance
22:45 | Individual Uniqueness vs. Formulaic Approach
24:46 | Charisma
30:05 | Fostering Effective Followership
32:18 | Distributed Leadership
34:42 | Leadership-Free Concept: Network Structure
35:40 | Culture 
40:38 | Cultural Reflection: Emphasizing Empathy
43:34 | Luck and Serendipity
46:34 | Whether Elias is Optimistic OR Not?
49:00 | Wrap-Up: A Leader’s Destiny Book

Knowledge Capsule

Leadership Industrial Complex

  • Elias Aboujaoude explains that society’s obsession with leadership establishes an exaggerated demand that the leadership industry supplies.
  • Society sends toddlers to “leadership academies” and prefers leadership titles.
  • Leadership is marketed as a science, making it seem universally accessible. This creates an inferiority complex in individuals who feel inadequate without leadership roles.

Evolution and Crisis of Leadership

  • Humans naturally seek leaders due to evolutionary tribal needs.
  • Society today resists hierarchical structures, creating a conflict with our innate desire for leadership. This leads to seeking leaders in inappropriate places.
  • Despite extensive leadership education and resources, inspiring leaders are scarce.
  • Leadership failure persists in academia, corporate culture, and politics. The crisis stems from minimizing the importance of psychology and character in leadership.
  • The conveyor belt approach to leadership allows unsuitable individuals to rise, often favoring narcissists and sociopaths.

Psychological Foundations of Leadership

  • Modern leadership culture often ignores psychological aspects.
  • Executive coaches, lacking formal psychological training, exacerbate this issue.
  • Studies show personality traits remain stable over decades, challenging the notion that leadership qualities can be quickly developed through training.
  • Genuine personality change is a long-term process, contradicting the idea that brief coaching sessions can effectively transform individuals into leaders.

Formulaic Approach in the Coaching Industry:

  • Dr. Aboujaoude highlights that the coaching industry often promotes a formulaic approach with specific steps like the “four C’s” and “9 proven steps”.
  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative: He points out the industry’s tendency to favor quantitative methods over qualitative, more personalized approaches.
  • He emphasizes the difference between these formulaic methods and the non-formulaic nature of psychological understanding.

Use of Mnemonics in Leadership Teaching:

  • Dr. Aboujaoude discusses how mnemonics are widely used in leadership teaching as part of the “Leadership Express” approach.
  • Simplistic Tools: These tools are sold as easy-to-remember hacks and tips that supposedly guarantee successful outcomes.
  • Dr. Aboujaoude criticizes the oversimplification and lack of substantial data supporting the effectiveness of these mnemonics.

Leadership as a Pseudo-Science:

  • The industry promotes leadership studies as a STEM field to give it credibility and reduce criticism.
  • Commercialization of Leadership: Leadership is marketed as an easily attainable science, which supports the business of leadership training.
  • There is no substantial data to back the claims that these leadership methods are universally effective.

Hierarchical vs. Subjective Approaches in Leadership

  • Hunter mentions Ian McGilchrist’s concept of left hemisphere dominance, emphasizing lists, plans, and strategies over human values.
  • Born Leaders vs. Circumstantial Leaders: Hunter notes that leadership can be contextual, depending on circumstances rather than just inherent traits.

Individual Uniqueness in Leadership:

  • Leadership should be about individual uniqueness rather than fitting into predefined traits.
  • The current trend of branding leaders with checklists of traits undermines true individuality.

Mystique and Charisma in Leadership:

  • The value of natural leaders is somewhat inscrutable, allowing followers to project their aspirations onto them.
  • The trend of oversharing on social media diminishes the mystique and reduces the effectiveness of leadership.

Concept of Charisma:

  • Historically, charisma is seen as a gift, not something that can be taught.
  • Elias Aboujaoude criticizes the idea of teaching charisma through courses, equating it to playing god.
  • True charisma is unique and cannot be reduced to steps or tips.

Role of Followers in Leadership:

  • The current leadership culture often ignores followers or sees them only as potential leaders.
  • Dr. Aboujaoude emphasizes the importance of appreciating followers for who they are and their role in supporting leaders.
  • The push to turn everyone into leaders can give followers an inferiority complex.

Distributed Leadership:

  • Hunter discusses the concept of distributed or democratic leadership, where leadership roles are shared among team members.
  • Elias notes that while democratic leadership can enhance morale, it can also be inefficient in times of crisis.
  • He questions whether true leadership can exist without some degree of hierarchy.

Cultural Challenges to Leadership:

  • There’s an increasing aversion to hierarchical structures, making traditional leadership roles more challenging.
  • The lack of privacy in the digital age compromises leaders’ ability to maintain a mystique and manage perceptions.
  • Persistent biases, especially against women, limit the pool of potential leaders and affect leadership culture.

Empathy in Leadership:

  • Emotional Intelligence: Empathy, as part of emotional intelligence, is a crucial trait for effective leadership.
  • Current Leadership Traits: The focus on traits can result in narcissism and sociopathy; there’s a need to shift towards nurturing empathetic leaders.
  • Cultural Shift Needed: A cultural shift towards valuing empathy and emotional intelligence in leaders is necessary.

Role of Luck and Serendipity

  • Great leaders often benefit from being in the right place at the right time, a factor not commonly acknowledged.
  • Many scientific discoveries are serendipitous, suggesting that leadership success can also involve elements of luck.
  • Recognizing the role of luck can bring humility and a more realistic approach to leadership development.

Optimism for the Future:

  • Dr. Aboujaoude is cautiously optimistic, believing that a deep cultural reflection can address the current leadership crisis.
  • Drawing parallels from changes in technology and psychology, he sees potential for a similar shift in leadership culture.
  • Despite the optimism, significant challenges remain in transforming the leadership industry.

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 #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.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #31. Christian Sandstrom: How Entrepreneurial Initiatives Beat Government-Backed Missions

In this episode of the Value Creators Podcast, dive deep into the classic battle between market-driven innovation and centrally planned industrial policy with our esteemed guest, Christian Sandstrom, a leading voice for individualism and free-market solutions and author and professor at Jönköping International Business School and the Ratio Institute in Sweden.

In this conversation, we unpack the government’s grand “moonshots” and “missions” which claim to solve societal challenges but always miss the mark due to bureaucratic inefficiency and a central planning approach that negates the potential of market dynamics.

Learn why centralized missions such as the cancer moonshot or the war on homelessness can become drains on public funds while failing to deliver meaningful progress, and the importance of fostering an entrepreneurial society where markets create value and select the best solutions organically, rather than imposing ‘one-size-fits-all’ government-led directives.

This episode is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the interplay between innovation, the economy, policy, and technological advancement!


Christian Sandstrom’s Books:
Moonshots and the New Industrial Policy
Questioning the Entrepreneurial State

Episodes Mentioned:
Christian Sandström: Why Governments Can’t Act Entrepreneurially

Show notes:

0:00 | Intro
03:09 | Mission Economy: MOIP
05:16 | Attraction Perspective: Is the Mission Economy Same for all Governments?
06:33 | Book: Behavior of Economics
08:26 | Three Broad Headings: Sequence
10:50 | Public Intellectuals: These Are Not Serious Economists, These Are Celebrities
13:48 | Empirical Evidence Defined
17:04 | Apollo Mission: Examples
19:20 | Example: Home Building Challenge
21:07 | Alternative: Aim for Entrepreneurial Society 
27:26 | Challenge: Separating the Entrepreneurial Component from the Bureaucratic Government Entangle Component 
29:46 | Technology Can Decentralize Economic Activities
31:33 | Moral Beliefs and Imperatives 
34:04 | Entrepreneur Ecosystem
36:13 | Books Campaigns: Spreading Word Beyond Books
39:40 | Wrap up: Christian is Optimist OR Not?

Knowledge Capsule:

  1. Entrepreneurial Society vs. Mission Economy:
    • Societal goals are achieved when Individuals take personal responsibility,, translating abstract ideas into actionable steps.
    • Decentralized, bottom-up approaches are always superior to top-down, government-driven solutions.
    • Professor Sandstrom advocates for minimizing government restrictions and regulations to allow markets to evolve and find solutions organically.
  2. Challenges with Mission-Oriented Policies:
    • Complex problems (sometimes called “wicked problems”) can’t be solved by government-led missions.
    • They require decentralized, collaborative solutions rather than centralized control.
    • There is always the problem of government officials pursuing self-interest or being influenced by interest groups, leading to inefficient and muddled outcomes.
    • Mission-oriented policies can distort competition, neglect opportunity costs, and fail to address root causes of issues.
  3. Empirical Evidence Against Mission-Oriented Policies:
    • Historical case studies and literature review show limited success and unintended consequences of mission-oriented policies.
    • Examples like the Apollo program and the atomic bomb highlight engineering successes rather than entrepreneurial ones.
    • Such policies often fail to address systemic issues effectively, such as homelessness or economic revitalization.
  4. Role of Public Intellectuals and Behavioral Economics:
    • Public intellectuals often simplify complex economic concepts, leading to oversimplified policy prescriptions.
    • Behavioral economics can criticize markets but sometimes overlooks biases and inefficiencies in government decision-making.
    • There is a need for a more nuanced understanding of economic principles and policy implications.
  5. Alternative: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Technological Advancements:
    • Technological advancements enable smaller-scale entrepreneurship and decentralized economic activities.
    • Focus on building collaborative, complementary networks across firms and technologies for innovation.
    • Markets are seen as collaborative ecosystems rather than purely competitive arenas, emphasizing the role of cooperation and innovation in achieving great outcomes.
  6. Moral Beliefs and Imperatives in Policy Making:
    • Public perception often drives policy decisions, creating what are seen as moral imperatives for government action.
    • Balancing these supposed moral imperatives with practical, market-driven solutions is crucial for effective policy making.
    • Need to consider unintended consequences and trade-offs of policies driven by moral beliefs.
  7. Optimism for the Future:
    • Despite challenges, there is optimism that technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems can drive positive change.
    • Global interconnectedness and creativity offer opportunities for entrepreneurial solutions to societal challenges.
    • The potential for decentralized, collaborative problem-solving gives hope for addressing complex societal issues more effectively.