Wharton Professor Ethan Mollick | Combating the Dangerous Myths That Hold Back Startups, Founders, and Investors

Show Notes

Wharton Professor Mollick combats the dangerous myths that hold back startups, founders and investors.

Background – 

Award-winning researcher and Wharton professor Ethan Mollick has spent his career working with and studying startups and, especially given our new global reality, appreciates and understands their value more than most. He knows firsthand how radically a successful startup can improve a founder’s socioeconomic status, how even dire circumstances can breed remarkably innovative ideas, and how entrepreneurs are often the most nimble and capable at solving public problems during a crisis. Because of all this, Mollick has made it his mission to democratize entrepreneurship and – by championing an evidence-based revolution in the study of the field – bust the myths that exist around startups in an effort to encourage a more diverse group of people to create their own work.

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing Ethan Mollick…Ethan, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show! How are you sir?!
  2. Ethan Mollick, what inspired you to write your new book, THE UNICORN’S SHADOW: Combating the Dangerous Myths that Hold Back Startups, Founders, and Investors (Wharton School Press; June 23, 2020)?
  3. Ethan Mollick, I understand that in your book you reveal the latest scientific findings (his own and his peers’) on start-ups? What kind of knowledge bombs can our listeners expect to find within your book?
    1. In the form of an accessible, concise, and invaluable book for all budding entrepreneurs and the people who watch them closely.
  4. In your book, The Unicorn’s Shadow you write that the average age of a founder is 42 (according to a study that looked at every founder in the US)? In your mind, what is this important for readers to know?
    1. In fast-growth companies – the kind that Zuckerberg and Gates founded – the most successful founders are ages 45-59. Founding a start-up is most certainly not only a young person’s game.
  5. I know that you’ve had a ton of success at this point in your career, but I would love to start off at the bottom and the very beginning of your career. What was your life like growing up and where did you grow up?
  6. When did you first figure out what you wanted to do professionally?
  7. When did you first feel like you were truly beginning to gain traction with your career?
  8. Ethan Mollick, in your book you write that “Innovation isn’t easily won”…tell us more about what your research has shown you?
    1. NOTE: (those “aha” moments are rare and often ideas are brainstormed and refined over months or years), but it can thrive in a crisis. Psychological experiments have shown that when people have limitations on the ideas they can pursue they are often, paradoxically, more creative. 
  9. Ethan Mollick, in your book you write about the most proven methods for identifying and developing a start-up idea…I’d love it if you could break down a few of those concepts for our listeners?
  10. You come across as a very proactive person…so how do you typically organize the first four hours of your and what time do you typically wake up?
  11. What are a few of your daily habits that you believe have allowed you to achieve success?
  12. Ethan Mollick What mentor has made the biggest impact on your career thus far?
  13. What has been the biggest adversity that you’ve had to fight through during your career?
  14. What is your favorite old school jam?
  15. What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
  16. Why do you believe that everyone should pick up a copy of your new book THE UNICORN’S SHADOW: Combating the Dangerous Myths that Hold Back Startups?
  17. You are super successful, but what do you struggle with the most…what is your weakness…what is your kryptonite? 
  18. You’ve got the mic, what is one thing that you want to share with the Thrive Nation before you drop the mic?
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