Danny Warshay: Author of See Solve Scale & Executive Director of the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship at Brown University

Episode 335

Danny Warshay, Founding Executive Director of the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship at Brown University and the Author of the new book See, Solve, Scale: How Anyone Can Turn an Unsolved Problem Into a Breakthrough Success, shares his belief and wisdom on entrepreneurship, including how entrepreneurship is not a spirit or a gift restricted to business elites but rather a process that is open to anyone willing to learn. We discuss See, Solve, Scale, and the processes for building a company and scaling one successfully, which he shares in his book. I loved hearing interesting takes on entrepreneurship, including why not having the resources may actually be a benefit. This is a terrific and motivating episode that you won’t want to miss! On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time, can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. It’s Kara Goldin. And I’m here at the Kara Goldin show, I am so excited to have my next guest here, Danny Warshay. And he is the author of an incredible book called see solve scale. But he’s also the executive director of the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship at Brown University. He is just an incredible, very inspiring teacher, leader. Now author, I got a copy of his book that he wrote a few months back, and it is absolutely amazing. And this is coming from an operational entrepreneur, who’s seen it all, I really, really believe in everything that he’s talking about. So sea salt scale is sort of the short title for this book. And we’ll get into that quite a bit more. But he shares that entrepreneurship is not a spirit or a gift restricted to business elites, but is rather a process that is open to anyone willing to learn. So based on his beloved course at Brown, which you will recognize many of the people, hopefully he’ll share some stories about some of those people, which he shares in the book as well, that have taken this course basically turns that stereotype of an entrepreneur on its head and teaches people from all walks of life, all different industries or interests more than anything by the time they get to Brown, how to unlock the power of entrepreneurship. So during a time when millions of Americans are leaving their jobs and rethinking things, see soft scale really hold some really, really key insights. So prior to being recruited to teach at Brown, by the way, Danny was a serial entrepreneur. So I think it’s so great to actually have somebody who has had operational experience be the teacher of the class, because he’s been in it and can think from that perspective. So without further ado, Danny, welcome.

Danny Warshay 2:42
Thank you so much, Kara. Boy, if I could start my afternoon every day with that kind of pep talk. I would, I would love to do that. And very high praise coming from you, who is someone who is also an extraordinary entrepreneur, and also an author and media personality and teacher in your own right. So thank you. Thank you so much.

Kara Goldin 3:05
Thanks so much. Okay, so the million dollar question to start off, you’re ready?

Danny Warshay 3:10
Just a million.

Kara Goldin 3:11
Right? A billion, right? We’ll change right. Sounds good. Can entrepreneurship be taught?

Danny Warshay 3:17
You know, I always I always love that question. I also think it’s a little bit humorous. I know you’re saying it a little bit with tongue in cheek, because I’ve been teaching entrepreneurship at Brown and around the world for about 17 years. And so I always wonder, Well, I certainly hope it can be otherwise, what would I be doing for the past 17 years? Yeah, it is a it’s a fair question. You mentioned briefly, this phrase entrepreneurial spirit. I’m sure many of your listeners have heard that. I remember when I was asked to teach at Brown by a beloved professor of mine. I had to even wonder, can I teach something I had never taught anything. But then I wondered, what does it mean to teach entrepreneurship? And I realized, well, surely it cannot be that I’m being asked to teach a spirit. What would that mean? I my faculty position, I’m a professor technically, in the engineering school, brown doesn’t have a business school. And we can get into why I feel that that’s been a real advantage. But I thought, you know, could you imagine if we were to teach somebody how to build a bridge, you wouldn’t just say go out there and have the bridge building spirit. And if the, you throw up a bridge, and it collapses, and the trucks and the cars just fall down to earth, you wouldn’t say just go out there and have more bridge building spirit. That would be crazy. We wouldn’t be trusted to teach anything. And yet, I found as I was thinking about how do you teach entrepreneurship in dominantly, a liberal arts environment like Brown, people were saying, you know, it’s about entrepreneurial spirit. And I said, No, it can’t be that. And I realized, well, in bridge building, you can distill some fundamental On principles that every bridge has in common, there’s a beginning, a middle and an end to the process of bridge building, leaving lots of room for variation of all kinds of operational, aesthetic, functional. And I thought, there must be a similar kind of approach that I could take to teach a process of entrepreneurship, where we could distill some fundamental principles that every startup venture holds in common, again, with lots of room for variation, depending on the venture, whether it’s a beverage company, or a social enterprise, or a FinTech or ed tech or health tech company. And that’s where the title of the book comes from. It’s where the methodology that I’ve been teaching at Brown, and in, I teach workshop versions, and companies and startups, for PE and venture capital firms for nonprofits, government entities, all sorts of contexts around the world. And the definition that I devised, all those years ago for entrepreneurship is a structured process for solving problems without regard to the resources currently controlled. And I know that’s a mouthful, and we could take a whole semester and I do to unpack that, but the crystallized version, is these three steps in this book that I wrote, see, solve scale? What’s the problem? How are you going to solve it on a small scale? iteratively? And then how are you going to scale that solution so that you can have big, significant impact at scale?

Kara Goldin 6:40
I’m so curious what percent you’re, obviously you mentioned that this course is in the engineering school. So what percent of the students are actually engineers,

Danny Warshay 6:52
that’s the funny thing. You know, very few. You know, Brown has a good reputation for being very interdisciplinary. And that’s true at our center. It’s true in my courses, the students represented in the course come from every discipline, every concentration, every major, they study, all different kinds of things. They come from all different kinds of backgrounds, in terms of ethnicity, and nationality, races, religions, genders. And that’s the secret that I talk a lot about, and that I emphasize throughout the book, in terms of the successful team formation for successful ventures is diversity. And then we can also talk about the companion inclusion. But to answer your question, there are some engineers certainly, it’s just by virtue of the fact that Brown needed to place me somewhere and that there was a little bit of tradition in terms of teaching these kinds of principles at Brown from that same professor who had reached out to me Barrett Hazel team, that they put me in engineering, but I don’t know anything really about engineering. My father was a PhD chemical engineer. And he always thought that it was funny that I was technically an engineering professor, but really, I’m an engineer. I’m a entrepreneurship professor.

Kara Goldin 8:14
Well, and I think it really just speaks to entrepreneurs can come from anywhere. So it’s, in other not all business majors. And

Danny Warshay 8:23
no, in fact, as I say, brown doesn’t even as you know, yes, your daughter goes to brown and our daughters are roommates, which is how we originally got to know each other. But you know, brown doesn’t have a business school. And I went to Harvard Business School. And most of my career I’ve spent in business, I worked at Procter and Gamble for a little while in the food sector. In brand management, mostly I’ve spent my business career launching startups. Even when I was at Brown, I was a history concentrator. I’m a big proponent of liberal arts as a foundation for anything you might like to do, but especially entrepreneurship. And I fell into helping to lead a software startup that was launching my senior year. And we built that up with some support from Brown, I did an independent study with that same professor who later asked me to teach, and we eventually sold that company to Apple. This was in the late 80s. And I have to clarify with students our daughter’s age that there were actually computers in the late 80s. But but the idea that we don’t have a business school, I think, does illustrate one of the principles I teach in the book, which is the benefits of scarce resources. And that especially early in the launch and trajectory of a venture or a startup of any kind. It benefits you to have some constraints not to have abundant resources. And I talked about that with respect to some of the ventures that you alluded to before that have launched successfully. From the course, and from my students. And so for us, the idea that we don’t have a business school pigeonholing us, or narrow, narrowly defining entrepreneurship, as you know, a business incubator means that we can expand the definition the way that I mentioned before, and therefore attract a very wide range of students who by nature tend to come to brown because they’re interested in solving problems and improving the world. And now we’re providing them this structured methodology, see, solve scale, which is the basis of my teaching. And now the basis of what we teach more broadly at the Nelson Center. And as you generously point out, is the title of my book.

Kara Goldin 10:43
So you mentioned resources, and I loved that point in the book, or rather, how lack of resources can may actually be a super great thing. Can you talk a little about that, and how you’ve seen that maybe even with some of your students that have gone on to build great companies?

Danny Warshay 11:04
Yeah, happy to. And I love that, because it’s like several of the key principles in my teaching or in the book, or about what we espouse at the Nelson Center, that tends to be counterintuitive. And in fact, there are 11 cautions that I articulate, you may remember those throughout the book, which are cognitive biases, that we as humans just naturally have nothing wrong with us. It’s just the way our brains tend to work, where we think things are certain a certain way. And then you as I share the research, realize that they’re actually the opposite. And I know the bias of many people is that you need to be flush with lots of resources of all kinds. You have to know a lot about a topic in order to dive into it as an entrepreneur, you’re actually a good example, right? You are a tech executive. And you pivoted to being a food and beverage entrepreneur, and were super successful. And it might have been because you actually weren’t biased. By the ways you were supposed to start a beverage company. A good example of so the the two principles are the benefits of scarce resources, were the fact that you may know less, may not be trained as well. Maybe you don’t come from a certain background, maybe you have much less money and financial resources. In the early stages of a venture, I demonstrate how you’re much better off because you’re not biased, you’re not tied to a certain way of doing things that you might be if you were flush with abundant resources, you might not be then as conservative to protect those resources as you might be if you were in a well established company. Casper mattress is a really good example. Started by two students of mine, Luke Sherwin and Neil Pareek. I like to say that they knew nothing about the mattress industry, the only thing they knew is that you sleep on a mattress, and that the way you buy a mattress just didn’t make any sense to them, you have to go to a showroom, you have to lie on a mattress in the middle of the showroom with everybody watching, having a salesperson breathe down your neck, looking for a big commission, you had to have the thing shipped to your house in an awkward way, you had to commit to it, you know, many hundreds of dollars purchase, when you really aren’t sure of whether it’s going to be for you. And then there’s no way to return it if you’re unsatisfied. Well, Luke and Neil and his co founders turn the entire way you buy and commit to a mattress completely on its head. They had no money, they had no experience launching a company like this. At the time the book was published in March, they were doing over $400 million in sales. They had gone public as a public company, they had raised several 100 million dollars in venture capital, and they had completely revolutionized the way that you would buy a mattress. And that’s true among lots of the students coming out of my course, or ones that having learned the seesaw scale method are embarking on doing things when they not they may not be the obvious contender. Ben Chesler, who started with my student and started imperfect foods is another good example. Emma Butler who’s more recently started a an adaptive clothing company for disabled women. You know, no kind of traditional background, not even close to having you know, a business training background. But but took my class she she likes to say that she was visibly shaking when she walked into my class because she thought he or she was a A visual arts and French concentrator at Brown, no prior experience, but realized, hey, just as Danny says, this seesaw of scale method is something that she could learn, she could master it. And then she could apply it to a really consequential problem that 600 million women around the world are facing their disabled. And they are facing challenges of being able to dress themselves in conventional clothing, and so liberar A, the company that she started with help through this process, and through our center is now starting to scale and do an amazing job of addressing that fundamental problem. So that is, that’s one of the most surprising insights. And I share other examples in the book, as you recall, that you don’t have to have abundant resources. In fact, if you have abundant resources, for example, the incumbent mattress companies, they were worse off, because they had an established distribution channels supply chain brand way of doing business that they were trying to protect. And even though you might have thought, gee, they would have been the best group to innovate in that industry. No, it took two Brown students who knew nothing about the industry to do that, in a way that reflected their scarce resources, not their abundance.

Kara Goldin 16:22
Yeah, no, I totally agree, I thought of two things when I was reading that first, you know, sometimes resources can actually fool you too, because you use it in ways that maybe you’re going to acquire customers, but you are not necessarily going to have a customer that sticky, right, you’re gonna go out and get somebody and then you know, maybe give him a great deal. Maybe you’ve got all this cash that you can go out and do that. But you know, they’re not going to stay with you. And I think that that’s where it can really, you can really run into problems with it. And then the other thing that I thought of, you know, people will come up with reasons why they can’t do something. And and resources is sort of that, you know, the number one thing that I hear from entrepreneurs that I talked to that, I’m like, Look, you need to make sure that you really believe because if you don’t believe no one else will, so you shouldn’t even bother going out to get resources. I mean, resources, you’re

Danny Warshay 17:19
absolutely right. And you know that very well as an experienced entrepreneur. It’s one of the challenges that I see quite often, which is that even if you start with some clarity about the problem you’re solving, and I don’t assume you would I teach you how to do what I call bottom up research, which was influenced from the consumer branding training I got at p&g, the least entrepreneurial place, probably I’ve ever been. And I never dreamed that that kind of training would echo back in my own entrepreneurship and my own teaching, I’m sure you’ve used that kind of approach a lot in your own brand development. But I teach in the book, and in my workshops, it’s probably the workshop that’s most in demand. It’s called bottom up research. And certainly in my courses of Brown, how to find and validate an unmet need. Once you do that, the next step is not scaling. Remember, this is a three step process. And the one mistake that I often see people make is they try to leap from the C stage to the scale stage, just as you’re saying, which is they start to attract resources and deploy them in a direction prematurely. And the second step of the process is so critical. Once you know the problem you’re going to solve. And again, that’s not trivial. That’s the most important part. The next stage is to solve it iteratively. And I share all sorts of interesting and fun and creative and very effective, effective backed by research approaches to solving the problem, recognizing that you’re not going to get the solution right the first time or maybe even the third time. And you don’t want to lavish lots of resources at that stage, because you’re going to probably waste them instead, do it in a frugal way. And once you do know the solution that you’re going to approach, then it is important to attract other resources, money, other talent on your team and other things that you can use to scale that solution. But it has to be a three step process, not a two step process.

Kara Goldin 19:29
So starting with the first step, see, I’m so curious. I mean, I guess first Could you define it for everybody? What is see, the obvious is probably there a little bit, but I I’d love to get some clarity, clarity on that. And then part two of that question really is how do you know that you should go from sea to solve there might actually be some cases where you don’t right,

Danny Warshay 19:57
you’re right. Yeah, really, really good. Um, question and insight. And, you know, I’d say, the thing that the C stage is trying to do mostly, is to help you avoid being what I call a solution in search of a problem. And I see that quite a lot in the tech world, not only but remember, I’m my faculty appointment is an engineering. And so I’m surrounded by really smart tech people who think they’ve got a solution to something just because they dreamed it up in their lab. And so I teach you how to do what I call bottom up research. It’s being an anthropologist, it’s observing and listening to people behave naturally in their own environments without looking to intervene or change their behavior at this stage. So that you can find and validate an unmet need. So you can really understand the problem that you’re then going to pursue a solution to. But the biggest problem I see across the board and entrepreneurship is that there’s a lot of solutions in search of a problem. Yeah, it teams that just don’t know how to be an anthropologist how to listen really well, how to keep your eyes open, keep your mouth shut. And I go through several examples, including one from a student team now called pre mama, that wanted to do something in the nutrition space. I had them go do some bottom up research, observe people in the nutrition aisles, that whole foods. And they discovered an insight that they never would have discovered otherwise, which was that women hate taking prenatal vitamins. They didn’t even know what a prenatal vitamin was. They learned. And they discovered that women hate them because they’re big, tough to swallow, they exacerbate their nausea, they make them constipated. They’re obvious when they’re toting them around as these big bottles. And they instead they learned that there was a different way to deliver this prenatal vitamin, I put them in touch with some product development people, they raised well over $10 million. They’re now among the leaders in the field of prenatal vitamin, having reformulated them into powders that you can dispense into any beverage of your choice. Tastes good, not hard to swallow doesn’t make you nauseated or constipated. You can use them discreetly and not broadcast to the world that you’re looking to get pregnant or already get pregnant. That form of bottom up research was the basis of that first insight that helped them discover the problem. And it also became the basis of a whole range of line extensions that they’ve done through the years to learn what especially women are facing at different stages of their lives. And they’ve figured out solutions to address those problems. But there’s no way they would have known those problems. If they had just dreamed up some kind of prenatal vitamin in a in a lab. They had to figure out what the problem was first,

Kara Goldin 23:00
definitely. So is that really? I mean, it almost crosses over into the solve section. Right? What you’re talking about? I mean, is that,

Danny Warshay 23:07
yeah, I covered kind of both. The first question was, what’s the problem, and they discovered that women hate taking prenatal vitamins, that was the problem. And then once I gave them access to some product development people, I know, they iterated and iterated is the right word, by the way, and you’ll be an expert in this far more than I will. At first there, the name of their product was going to be pre water. And they were going to bottle beverages that contained prenatal vitamin elements, then they did some more research, they bounce it off of consumers. And they realized, for a variety of reasons, all of which I’m sure you know, better than I, it was a terrible idea. Logistically, it was going to be very hard and expensive to bottle, the beverages that we’re going to break on shelves, no reason to impose on a young woman who was getting pregnant or pregnant, to carry around a bottle. Instead, they they created these little now patented powder packets, that you can, again, dispense into any beverage of your choice. But they that wasn’t their first solution. Their first solution was one that was just not ideal, or maybe not even viable. They didn’t layer a lot of resources on that first one, they created a few prototypes. And it was only in that iteration, in that solve stage that they realize bad idea. And I always say it’s so much better to realize you’ve got a flaw in the blueprint stage or in the model stage of building a house than once you’ve built the house and put a lot of effort and time and money into it. And and so that’s what they did. They found the problem through bottom up research. They iterated through a number of the techniques that I share nominal group technique which you enables you to incorporate insights from both introverts. And extroverts different personality types, deliver lots of different kinds of approaches, a different approach called systematic inventive thinking, all of which I cover in detail in the book, as you know. And then they got to the scale stage where they raised, you know, again, over $10 million in venture capital, and they’re starting to dominate some of these niches. But pre Mama is a good example of all three. And I know you wanted me to focus on the first and to me, it’s a really good example

Kara Goldin 25:34
of all three stages.

Danny Warshay 25:37
Yeah, but but sensitive, especially to the idea of the C stage to figure out what problem to solve in the first place.

Kara Goldin 25:44
Well, you touched on the scale section, you also touched on in the book where entrepreneurs often have a hard time thinking big. Why do you think that is? I mean, here they are, they’ve they’ve got all the research. I mean, it’s it’s a confidence issue, right? Or maybe they’ve, you know, learned that it should be another way or something. And then, but it really boils down to confidence, don’t you think?

Danny Warshay 26:09
I think part of it is that yeah, and part of it is, let’s face it, if you’re, you know, in my class, at least an 18 to 22 year old, the idea of a big company might be a cafe, yeah, you know, just to join in campus, right? I mean, that’s big, you don’t know any better, nobody has stretched your mind, I talk a lot. And I guide you through some exercises here to break what’s called mental fixedness, where your mind is set on a certain approach with bias based on our life trajectory to that point. And so it’s no one’s fault. This is again, one of these cognitive biases that I warn you against. And I’m so in my class, at least, to break your mental fixedness. I require you in your business plans to do research that can credibly project, a venture doing over $100 million in revenue in year five. And that really does break your mental fixedness. So some of it is confidence, just like you say, some of it is you just don’t know any better. You don’t know that. It’s you’re capable, like Casper or like imperfect foods. At the time that I wrote the book. In fact, I had Ben Chesler, my student, founder of co founder of imperfect foods, right, that section in the book, because he would know it better. You know, they they had raised over over $200 million in venture capital, they had over $250 million in annual revenue. They had 43 states represented, and they had 1500 employees. His favorite stat is that they had saved over 100 million pounds of food that would have gone to waste. Yeah, Ben, in my class, I think did learn that he was able to stretch his mind, probably, as you say, with more confidence, but also breaking that mental fixedness in a way that he wasn’t biased to think, Oh, well, a big company does a million dollars. No, a big company for him was doing quarter of a billion dollars. And they’ve gotten to be even bigger and have merged with another company. So it’s really important to think big. Why? Well, we’re talking about solve, identifying and then solving very consequential problems. Like Emma Butler, I mentioned with liberar a solving fashion issues that are besetting are plaguing women who have different shaped bodies, health problems, there’s a company that came from our center called perennial that was just featured on the front cover of Time, that is helping farmers all over the world, optimize carbon sequestration, and help solve issues related to climate change. They’ve raised $25 million in a Series A just recently, it’s important to think big, because these problems are big, consequential, and we need people more than ever to solve big problems. And so it’s not just because I care about, you know, bragging about these students who’ve done great by the numbers, but it’s because we need them. And we need all the people who might read this book, to figure out how to identify big problems, and then how to go solve them.

Kara Goldin 29:23
Well, I think what you’re speaking about too, is that you’re giving them these tools. And I bet when they run into challenges along the way, that they come back to see solve scale, right? And so it’s not just a one way road, right? They come back to it, especially when they hit those hurdles. And that’s what I loved about this toolkit.

Danny Warshay 29:45
You’re absolutely right. You know that from your own operational experience. I know that too. And then these students learn it, which is yeah, it’s not a fairy tale. It’s not linear. This is I’ll use that word again. Iterative again. You know, pre mama realizes, Oh, pre waters bad idea up, did they give up and throw in the towel? No, they iterated and they figured pre pre Mama’s powder packs might work. If you ask the CASPER founders, it’s not a fairy tale. Casper was about their fifth try in launching something liberar re which used to be called something else, because they had pursued a different business model approach. Yeah, this is a, like your way of saying it a toolkit that you will come back to and hold to your side and reference. And that’s the intention. That’s the intention behind my teaching. I’ve now had over 3000 students, and they’re all part of an innovation network that one of my former students put together and they come back to me all the time, I would say, it’s rare that a week, maybe even a day goes by without my hearing from them. And that’s from Brown, but it’s also from my teaching in Israel and in Palestine, and in Jordan, and China and Bahrain, and all over the world. And it’s a pleasure to be in touch with them because they’re pursuing opportunities to change the world. And they’re doing so recognizing that it is not easy. But the the subtitle of the book, I think, is important to mention. It’s the soft scale, how anyone can turn an unsolved problem into a breakthrough success and underscores anyone because the idea is to empower people, just like you said before, as you were making that very kind introduction, that don’t necessarily conform to the stereotypical entrepreneur that many of us had been led to believe, was the only people who could do entrepreneurship. And yet we know the numbers are pathetic. Only 2% of venture backed startups are women, only 1.5, or Latin X founders, only 1% are black founders. We have a long way to go to empower all types of entrepreneurs from every different kind of background. And that’s part of the mission of my teaching of the Nelson Center, and of this book, to empower anybody to turn an unsolved problem into a breakthrough success.

Kara Goldin 32:12
Yeah, definitely. Well, I absolutely love that. And there’s so many other things in the book. I mean, you talk about having diversity on teams, which is huge, and not just diversity as we know it, but also diverse thinking and being able to have challenges along within your team, I think is absolutely critical. And I loved that you included that what would you say is kind of the thing that you hear the the entrepreneur of the future, I feel like you’re in and sort of the hotbed, what do you feel like they’re looking at right now as kind of categories that are sort of the ones that they want to go in, disrupt improve in the world?

Danny Warshay 32:54
Well, you know, I have the pleasure of interacting with good people like that all day long. And it’s why I’m forever grateful to that former professor of mine, Barrett Hazel tiene for that unexpected tap on the shoulder. I mean, who knows what else I might have been doing along the way, but mostly, I’ve been teaching for the last 17 years. And, and also, I’m what’s called a professor of the practice, so I continue to practice and I’m continuing to, you know, help launch things and advise them, I’m probably not full time in any of them. What’s amazing to be able to do this at Brown, and I see this in all the workshops I do around the world is that there’s a strong thirst to solve consequential problems. And, you know, there’s, it sounds like you’d like me to target a, a handful, but it’s hard to do, because there’s a very wide range, whether it’s some of the obvious ones that we desperately need to be solved, like climate change issues, issues related to health care, issues related to systemic anti black racism, you know, we could easily make a long list of the obvious problems. But sometimes it’s interesting to see the non obvious problems that students by nature of their passion and interest are pursuing. In fact, you know, that’s the that’s one of the principles of the book that I hear about a lot that people are resonating to, which is this Japanese word, iki. Guy, and if you’ve heard that phrase, but it was actually Maren, my daughter who turned me on to it, she was doing some training for being a counselor at a camp and she learned this word iki guy and came to me and said, Dad, I think this is a principle that you’ve been teaching, even if you didn’t know the word iki guy is a Japanese word that means living the life of purpose of meaning. And it has these four principles, and I try to guide my students and anyone else I talked to you about this. The four principles are, do something you’re really good at. You might call that drive, do something that you really love to do. You might call that passion, do something that’s going to add purpose. meaning to the world, we might call that purpose and then do something, yeah, that’s going to pay you fairly for the value you’re adding. And so I tried to be a little bit agnostic about, you know, favoring particular areas or industries or problems. I think it’s really important for any entrepreneur and I share some examples of this, where people didn’t follow this, and pursued opportunities that were a little bit more academic, and didn’t succeed. And it’s really, when you have a combination of all four of those ikigai elements that I think you’re more likely to succeed as an entrepreneur or as anyone else, do something that you’re really good at, do something that you’re really going to love to do, do something that’s going to add meaning or purpose to the world. And yeah, do something that’s going to pay you fairly. And that will vary by individual or by groups, no matter where you come from what you’ve studied, what race or gender or personality type you might be, the whole point of my teaching, is to empower a much wider group of entrepreneurs who’ve been ignored, or neglected or in some cases discriminated against. And so I tend to dodge that question a little bit. Because it’s really not up to me to guide those students toward a particular field. You know, the pre mama founders, it turns out, were four guys, four athletes, and they knew nothing about prenatal vitamins, they were certainly never going to be a consumer of them, at least as far as I know. Eventually, they diversified their team in a way that I think I talked about in the book, but it was so great for them to be turned on to a problem that they knew nothing about. And again, benefits of scarce resources. I think it’s because of that, that they were able to see potential solutions to those problems in ways that the people who were real experts in them had lots of money and all sorts of other abundant resources weren’t. So I love seeing students from all different backgrounds and types, pursue what they really are good at what they care about, what’s going to help improve the world, and what’s going to make the money. Yeah, definitely.

Kara Goldin 37:08
Well, I think that is such great advice. And for sure, everybody pick up this book, it’s definitely your gift to entrepreneurs, because it’s unbelievably valuable, and really helps anyone think about how to go launch something for so many people that I mentor that, you know, just don’t really have the confidence to go do something or maybe aren’t sure whether or not something should become a product just to really take your book. And, you know, it’s like I said, I think it’s a toolkit, and it’s really, really valuable. So

Danny Warshay 37:43
the only two last quick things I’ll mention is there’s a lot of guidance for people who are in big organizations to like big companies, big nonprofits, government agencies, universities, who desperately need to know how to identify, solve and scale a problem, and may be burdened by their abundant resources. So it’s not only for, you know, the pure early stage startup. And then I’m agnostic about whether it has to be a company a business. There’s lots of examples in there about researchers, and again, people from all different walks of life. And what’s been gratifying is I’m hearing from all of them. I was on a military podcast. And that’s attracted interest from the Air Force, where I’ve recently done some workshops, some big companies who’ve asked me to do workshops, I didn’t necessarily expect it would resonate so clearly and closely with people at that end of the spectrum, but it’s gratifying that they are. And I’m eager to learn more about the ways that it is. It’s a pleasure to interact with you again, somebody who is such an expert in your own right. And I’m honored to have been asked to be on your podcast today.

Kara Goldin 38:56
Amazing. Well, thank you so much, Danny. And we’ll have all the info in the show notes so you can reach Danny and hear more about it and also the book details too. So have a great rest of the week. Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. Please give us a review and feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin and if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen or pick up a copy of my book on daunted which I share my journey including founding and building hint we are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Thanks everyone for listening. Have a great rest of the week and good bye for now. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with Bam head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book.com and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time, you’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight? Send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening