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Midtown Manhattan campus ​so I'm not really sure when I miss like the rock paper scissors to get in the lineup because apparently I I lost and I got to go after everybody else and so you know being entrepreneur to I decided I wasn't going to title my talk so that way I could change things while I was listening to everybody else so we're just going to do this and see count of what happens and you know when we run out of time so you know what I wanted to talk to you about today was about innovation and failure and so one of the things that obviously you think about a lot when you're thinking about innovation is how many of you are there out there and there's actually a lot more than you think the thing that everybody you know whenever you talk about how many people there are out there you've always got to talk about China and India right so looking at how many people there are in these two countries there's essentially eight people in those countries for each one of you that's your competition right there those are the people that we need to think about and me as an entrepreneur I think about when I'm trying to do things that are innovative but expanding that even further if we took at the look at the world overall outside of the US there's 21 people out there for each one of you you might sit in class and you might think you know the people in your class or the competition for that job or whatever you're doing it's actually a lot more than that and I forgot to ask show of hands real quick who's a student here yeah there's a lot of you but there's a lot more than just those in this room that you're competing against and this is not the ancient theorem Ken's already gone that joke is not useful he's gone um these are the kinds of things that your competition are thinking about and learning this is actually from a Chinese thesis paper 10-15 years ago to me I was an electrical engineer I can't make heads or tails out of this anymore it's been too many years since i was in school maybe some of you can make heads or tails of it but probably nobody can know yeah nobody's shaking their head yes but that's okay that's okay and I'm going to tell you why because we look for change we do a lot of things here about change and thinking about change and innovating and we're going to talk about some of the things and why that is here in the US so let's talk about the revolution yeah our history goes back that far yeah it's not that far when you're coming from other countries but our history of innovation goes back that far think about this in the country when we were 2.8 million people half the size of Atlanta all these people went off to war at the end of the war 50,000 people were either killed or injured one out of a hundred out of ever 112 people were impacted by the Revolutionary War and why do they do it because they were looking for something better they wanted to change they wanted something better for themselves and for the people that were coming after them let's think about the pioneers let's pack up all our stuff let's stick it into a wagon let's go across the country it doesn't take five hours to get there it takes four to six months to get to the other side of the country half a million people did this journey ten percent of them died on the way and even though you they knew that they still kept doing it they still kept going all across the country looking for a better opportunity looking for a change looking to innovate the assembly line one of the great stories I think of innovation we've had challenges in the automotive industry but looking back at what Henry Ford did with his plan he went from 12 and a half hours of building a car to an hour and a half that had a phenomenal impact on this country in terms of being able to get these cars into everybody's home and the the one great story I think actually about about Henry Ford and his innovation of the assembly line that I really love especially in our times now is that when he came up with this innovation other people started copying that same innovation and more importantly his competitors other car companies started copying this innovation so he had the opportunity to sue all of these folks but instead of suing what he decided was that it was more important to expand and grow this fledgling industry and so he didn't sue he let his competitors copy the innovation that he had created that made him successful it's really interesting because nowadays we see so many companies sue has kind of their first line of defense you've copied my innovation I'm going to sue you that's not what he did they became successful so there is clearly another way the space race what another great point in our time of innovation that we've created Paul 11 getting a man on the moon for the first time but stepping back from that even just a little bit on Apollo 1 if you know your history a little bit we lost all three astronauts when they were still on the launch pad because of a fire and after Apollo 11 we probably seen the movie right Apollo 13 almost didn't get to the moon they were able to recover them come back and yet we still continue to do all of these things very fortunately they did come back on Apollo 13 because otherwise we wouldn't been able to send Tom Hanks to him Island didn't talk to a you know volleyball in all those kinds of things that is how wet right pretty sure that's true and these two guys does anybody know who they are vint cerf and Bob Kahn there were the two guys that invented tcp/ip these two guys are part of the reason why you've got internet access a lot of you


probably sitting here with access to the Internet it's interesting earlier today we were talking about al gore and how he said he embedded the internet and funny is that Vince Seraph actually wrote a letter about Al Gore's impact on developing the internet apparently he never did say that that was just kind of a story made up but Vint Cerf did say that he was so supportive that the internet really developed the way that it did because of Al Gore support when he was a politician the other great thing that obviously this is done is that now all of us can receive emails about helping some Widow in some other foreign country get money out I've gotten a lot of those and I'm just waiting for my check I don't know about you guys so what should you do we have a lot of feet people that have created innovative things maybe they're aberrations maybe they were just lucky I'm not sure I believe that though let's talk about this guy this is anybody know who is ah some people actually know Thomas Edison inventor probably one of the greatest American inventors over 1,000 patents to his name 1093 patents to be exact and many more internationally now of course we know Edison for one thing right we know him for the light bulb but what people don't think about is all the effort and energy that it took to get into the point of building a successful light bulb a light bulb that you know now we take his commonplace he didn't do it on the first try it took effort it took perseverance and it took a lot of failure so let's talk about that failure you know today is actually a pretty interesting day when I was building up the slide deck and thinking about this talk especially being here at Emory as you probably know the history of Emory is very intertwined with coca-cola company all right 26 years ago today was actually the introduction of new coke and I think we can all say that was a pretty spectacular failure 77 days from when it was introduced it was pulled off the shelves but in hindsight looking back to that failure you can see that the coca-cola company actually had a resurgence because of this introduction of new coke that's a great failure and looking back to Apollo 13 which we just talked about NASA called Apollo 13 a successful failure and I'd say New Coke was probably a successful failure as well he revitalized the country got people interested in drinking coke again they started regaining market share as well so I'm going to tell you a couple of stories from from my past as an entrepreneur as well so 1999 I started up this company called digital envoy and some of you are going to be upset with me about digital envoy in just a minute once I tell you what it is I came up with the idea of doing ip-based location so when you go on the internet now you see those ads based on where you're located yeah I'm sorry about that when you go to Netflix and you can't get streaming stuff because you're not in the US yeah sorry about that it affects me too so that's the technology I came up with the 99 so we started the company and we raised a little bit of money about a million and a half dollars at the end of 99 beginning of 2000 when we found out about a competitor the competitor was out on the west coast had raised 10 million dollars 10 million dollars to our million and a half these were people that had already started a company before internet company they'd successfully exited so we decided you know what which we should talk to these guys because you know well clearly outgunned maybe we should do something with them so CTO comes to Atlanta come swaggering in we do the meeting on a Saturday so none of the employees know about the meeting comes in says you know what we just raised 10 million dollars on a fifty-million-dollar of money about pre-money valuation we're going to raise 50 on a 250 so you're come with us join us or we're going to crush you it's basically the gist of the meeting so he leaves me and my two other co-founders we sit down kind of scratch our heads you know I don't know these guys have done it before maybe it's a smart thing to hitch our wagon to that we go back and forth for a while and eventually decide you know we're going to go in on on our own and we decide to just do what we're doing and just beat him down and back then you know if you do if you know the song CeeLo Green's forget you there's an on radio version that's kind of what we were thinking and so we move forward we move forward and later that year in two thousand we started fundraising again we were looking to raise three to five million dollars and so we get to this point where we've signed a term sheet with somebody so when you're an entrepreneur you've signed a term sheet what happens is in this dance you're not allowed to talk to any other investors so you sign this term sheet and then about a month and a half into due diligence this venture capital firm calls us up and says so here's the thing we didn't find anything wrong with you guys we don't have any money so we're not going to be able to do this investment now the problem here is is that all the other investors that we talked to at this point we told them we're done we signed a term sheet and now to go back to them and say we're actually not done we need to try this again they're all going to think that there was something wrong with us and that's exactly the decision that we had to make and it was a pretty easy decision for us we had 15 employees at that point they were all relying on us to pay the bills to pay their mortgages to have health care do all those things that people expect you to do so we moved around for probably I don't know 45 minutes and said let's get back to it and so we did we got back to it and after 10 months of pitching all told from when we started and pitching over 200 VCS over that 10 months we closed the 10 and a half million dollar round of funding and we did that just a few months before nine eleven and so we were extremely lucky because after nine eleven here in Atlanta nobody got funded for about nine months so there's definitely an element of luck to this but there's also an


element of being willing to fail because had we not accepted the possibility that we'd fail in doing this but we were going to try our damnedest to make sure that we didn't fail we wouldn't have accomplished any of this stuff fast forward in the story 2007 the company has been acquired I haven't been there for quite some time now six years at this point but the company continues on in it you know stymies all of us that try to watch hulu and netflix and things like that outside of the country and so this is these are some of the kind of things that you can do when you're willing to fail and you're willing to persevere a little while ago we actually saw a clip of this movie see if you've seen the movie up by Disney this is actually not from the movie this is actually from a show that's coming out I think this fall from the National Geographic Channel that's a real house with people inside of it because they wanted to see if they could do the same thing that you saw in the movie they were willing to fail clearly at some of them were willing to risk their lives to i don't i don't know if i would have signed up for that job but these are the amazing things that you can do if you're willing to fail so the thing i'll leave you with is when you're thinking about the things that you are trying to accomplish are you trying to do just the easy thing so you know you'll succeed or are you doing the things that you might fail at because you're going to learn a lot more from those failures than you will from the successes and if you ever think that the failure is too risky i challenge you to think about the 56 guys that sign the Declaration of Independence because had they failed they would have been caught tried for treason and executed now i can say probably for most of us the downside of anything that we do in terms of successful failure are probably never that severe so take the chance at employ you're trying to do and it's okay if you fail thanks for listening Lower Manhattan at 60 West Street (main campus).

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