Inside LaunchStreet Michael Wolfe

Find Out Why NOT Innovating is the Riskiest Thing You Can Do Today

Sometimes being an entrepreneur or innovator feels like signing up for a grueling event day after day. So why do it? And how do you do it in a way that feels rewarding and like you are making an impact? That’s exactly what I asked seasoned serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Gladly, Michael Wolfe when he came by Inside LaunchStreet. I think you’ll find his comments about why he keeps coming back for more and how he takes “breaks” between fascinating. Also, listen for how he talks about the mindset behind taking risks, adding value and driving success. It might give you some insight into how you tackle your next big, messy project or business.

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Key Takeaways:

[1:27] Mike shares that he’s unusual in that he keeps coming back for more! He has five startup companies, making him the ultimate serial entrepreneur! Listen in to find out his secret for success.

[3:00] How does Mike stay connected when he’s on “break”?

[5:23] Tamara challenges Launchstreeters when taking a break from the daily grind to take the opportunity to learn things that are outside of your category. Then, come back and apply the things you learned.

[7:10] Listen in to find out what motivates Mike to keep coming back for more.

[9:42] What is the difference between the startups that work and those that don’t work?

Why is it less about luck and more about timing? Get introduced to the term founder-market fit.

[13:16] Tamara shares the success story about Tough Mudder and how most people didn’t believe that it was a good idea.

[14:29] Gladly is selling mostly to B2C companies, anyone that has millions of consumers they’re supporting. The first question Mike asks is: Does your company have good customer service? Second, can consumers talk to you? (by mobile app, text, Twitter, Facebook?) Gladly is bringing all of the essential communication together.

[19:02] Consumers are comparing you to their experiences at other companies. If you have a customer service issue, it ends up in the media and spreads quickly. The bar continues to go up in customer satisfaction.

[20:13] Find out what lessons has Mike learned along the way trying to change legacy systems? Mike shares some things to look for when companies are demonstrating readiness to change.

[22:54] Startup companies and large companies can benefit from each other in a variety of ways. Mike talks about how to cross this bridge and meet in that gray area.

[27:11] Big companies tend to think of large capital investments. Everything is BIG! Innovation happens with lots of experiments. Often, the experiments don’t cost a lot.

Mike challenges Launchstreeters to deliver some small project today. Try a few things. Don’t wait until someone gives you a budget and permission to innovate. Prove it by doing something!

[30:04] Legacy thinking is all about getting the project done. The innovation is more about discovering what the project should be.

[30:38] What’s the role for the human factor in technology and innovations? Is the human factor more or less important today?

[33:49] Humans bring added value because they are the problem solvers. When technology is helping your industry, it probably means you’re in a growing industry where you are learning. Mike challenges listeners that no matter what career you are in, embrace technology.

[36:48] Connect with Mike at

[37:09] Mike explains that the riskiest thing you can do is NOT innovate! It all starts with a mindset. Your personal mindset and your organization need to realize that change is going to continue to occur. Technology never ‘uninvents’ itself. You don’t have a choice to be innovative or not to be innovative.

{40:13] Tamara reminds listeners that being an entrepreneur is a way of thinking about where the gaps in the marketplace exist and then filling in the gap.



Mentioned in This Episode:


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