Winamp Logo
Starting Greatness Cover
Starting Greatness Profile

Starting Greatness

English, Finance, 1 season, 80 episodes, 1 day, 7 hours, 38 minutes
About
Host Mike Maples Jr from venture capital firm FLOODGATE offers lessons from the startup super performers—BEFORE they were successful—featuring interviews with some of Silicon Valley’s most legendary entrepreneurs and thought leaders, including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Nextdoor co-founder Sarah Leary, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger, and more.
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Nail Your Niche

Founders are naturally drawn to the tantalizing potential of their product reaching a vast market, but the route to victory starts with nailing a niche before going for the broader opportunity. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE calls on the lessons of Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek to examine how this is done: Identify a stronghold where you can dominate, deliver a Delta 4 experience, and do everything possible to create unfair advantages in your favor.
6/12/20239 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Daniel Ek: How Spotify Revolutionized The Music Business

When he was a little boy growing up in Sweden, Daniel Ek was obsessed with two things: the binary realm of computers and the artistry of music. As a young adult, he combined his love for both by co-founding Spotify, which became the global standard-bearer for streaming, Spotify now has more than 400 million users per month. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE interviews Daniel Ek to break down the importance of recognizing technology infections, securing the perfect niche to secure early product-market fit, and how creating something radically different changed the music industry while redefining consumer listening habits.
6/12/202347 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Crisis Reveals Greatness

Startup founders dealt with uncertainty, stress and trauma in the wake of the run on Silicon Valley Bank, but the most important lessons from this crisis never showed up in social media. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE calls on the actions of a variety of founders who showed incredible courage and competence to showcase three crucial lessons for founders for how to deal with another potential crisis: Scenario planning, financial agility, and crisis communication.
3/27/20239 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Untold lessons from the SVB bank run

The recent run on Silicon Valley Bank led to a variety of accusations, recriminations and finger-pointing on social media, but how can FOUNDERS actually learn from the crisis? And what lessons can we learn from the founders who crushed it under tough circumstances? In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr welcomes FLOODGATE co-founder Ann Miura-Ko on the show to discuss these topics. Mike and Ann also speak with SmarterDx CEO Michael Gao about how he handled a wild weekend for his company, and legendary marketing guru Christopher Lochhead stops by to discuss the best strategies for crisis communications.
3/27/202332 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Refuse Mediocrity

When we REFUSE to accept mediocrity, we can start building greatness. But how can you avoid the pitfalls of learned helplessness and help your company break through the arbitrary limits that impede progress? In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE calls on the lessons of Boom Supersonic founder Blake Scholl to examine three tips to help founders develop startups that change the future: Embrace the belief you can make radical change, find a big problem that speaks to your soul, and then get maniacally focused on the details.
12/15/202211 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Blake Scholl: How Boom Supersonic Took Flight

More than fifty years after the first Concorde took flight, consumer air travel is actually SLOWER. Blake Scholl and his team at Boom Supersonic are out to reverse this stagnation and change how we think about commercial aviation. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE interviews Scholl to learn more about the history of American aviation, the origins of Boom Supersonic and the challenges it faces now, and how tech founders are exploring unfamiliar spaces with great success.
12/15/202240 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mark Leslie: Silicon Valley Go-to-Market Legend (Part 2)

Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE welcomes back go-to-market expert and Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturer Mark Leslie for the second of their two-part interview, this time focusing on the role and responsibilities of a CEO and a deep dive into Leslie’s Compass, an essential set of heuristics for every startup founder. Leslie also discusses the value of founders focusing on a five-year plan for their startup, why it’s challenging to make meaningful change inside a large company, and why every founder should understand the relationship between their sales and marketing departments.
8/22/202236 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Leslie’s Compass

When a startup product goes to market, the two key muscles it can flex are marketing and sales. In nearly every facet of a startup product, marketing or sales takes the natural lead in getting the product to customers. But startups often pour resources into these two areas in unfocused ways, and the results can be disastrous. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses the work of Silicon Valley legend Mark Leslie and specifically the framework of Leslie’s Compass, a simple but essential set of heuristics designed to bring more clarity and focus to your startup’s strategy.
8/22/202211 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: The Sales Learning Curve

When a startup launches a new product, it's tempting to ramp its sales force too quickly. Often, this leads to a crash-and-burn scenario for companies that failed to learn what it took for the *entire organization* to achieve product-market-fit. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses how Mark Leslie's Sales Learning Curve framework helps startups keep themselves honest about their progress toward product-market fit, rather than falling into the trap of wishful thinking that usually leads to disaster.
8/1/202211 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mark Leslie: Silicon Valley Go-to-Market Legend (Part 1)

During the 1990s, Mark co-founded Veritas Systems, which he piloted from nothing to 6,000 employees and $1.5B in revenue in a decade. Now a lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Leslie is one of the foremost experts in go-to-market strategy in Silicon Valley, and in the first of this two-part series with Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE, Leslie discusses what strategies he used to make Veritas a runaway success, and the origins for the Sales Learning Curve.
8/1/202245 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: The Infinite Game

We’re taught from a young age about *finite* sporting games like baseball, basketball, and soccer. Or board games like checkers or chess. Or academic games like grades and test scores. Or status games like credentials and university degrees. In these games, we know the rules and how to determine who scored the highest, according to rules set by someone else. But what about *infinite* games, where the rules and players are changeable, and the primary goal is to keep the game going? In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses how Shopify founder Tobi Lutke exemplifies the advantages of playing the Infinite Game and how to tell when business leaders have fallen into the trap of finite games at the expense of achieving their mission.
5/16/20226 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tobi Lutke: A Startup Founder Arming The Rebels Against Amazon

Growing up in Germany, Shopify co-founder and CEO Tobi Lutke was never quite comfortable with people telling him to do things because that's the way they're done. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE interviews Lutke to discuss the origins of Shopify, the difference between finite games and infinite games, and the reason it's important for startups and companies to always question assumptions imposed by "experts."
5/16/202240 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: The Artistry of Startup Breakthroughs

Too many people mistakenly believe that being a good entrepreneur comes from simply talking to customers and solving their pain. But the most impactful companies are built for aesthetic reasons - think of Twitter, Lyft, Apple, and Medium - and those companies serve as expressions of what their founders thought the world needed. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses the success of Pandora’s visionary founder Tim Westergren, and offers three tips for founders looking to bring a more aesthetically beautiful future to the world.
2/28/20228 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Tim Westergren: How The Band Kept Playing At Pandora

Tim Westergren maxed out 11 credit cards, racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and was rejected 348 times for a second round of funding for his revolutionary idea for a music streaming platform. But like any true artist, Westergren remained committed to his vision of creating an aesthetically more beautiful future with Pandora, and now the company boasts more than 6 million monthly subscribers. Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE interviews Westergren to discuss the company’s humble beginnings, why it took an act of Congress to keep the company alive, and why both men believe the best founders are artists who can sell their vision.
2/28/202241 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: “BIG D" Design

Lots of people think about design from the perspective of how a product should look and function. But design can be applied to greatness on many more levels than most realize. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses how you can design your opportunity, your team, your market, your category, your culture, and even your own life. "Big D" design is about understanding that you have the chance to be more intentional in more areas that contribute to success than most realize.
12/20/20217 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Qasar Younis and Peter Ludwig of Applied Intuition: A Startup Designed to Win

Qasar Younis and Peter Ludwig both grew up in the backyard of American automotive giant General Motors in Detroit, but didn’t cross paths until their days as product managers at Google. Since then they’ve pooled their affinity for cars and technology as the co-founders of Applied Intuition, a fast-moving startup that has already achieved greatness with their advanced simulation software for autonomous vehicles. Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE interviews Younis and Ludwig to discuss how the company has made its mark so quickly, and  the value of being highly intentional about what will drive success from day one.
12/20/202137 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: How to Defeat "We're F*cked, It's Over" (WFIO) Moments

Your startup will face multiple WFIO moments on the path to greatness...COUNT ON IT. But that doesn’t mean you should let these moments get inside your head. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE discusses how every startup team MUST be prepared to take the initiative in the crucible of the WFIO moments they will inevitably face. The bright side? You can use these horrible situations as defining moments to show everyone that your startup is destined to defeat the impossible.
11/15/202112 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ben Horowitz: “The IPO From Hell” and Other REAL Lessons from the Startup Crucible

Startups are romanticized AFTER they win. But it takes extraordinary grit to have what it TAKES to win. Ben Horowitz, the co-founder of Andreessen-Horowitz, is the perfect guest to tell it like it is, as he has for many years in his books "the Hard Thing About Hard Things" and "What You Do Is Who You Are." Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE interviews Ben to discuss the ups and downs of dealing with "the struggle," and why the best startup leaders are often the ones who simply refused to quit.
11/15/202144 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: The future is DESIGNED, not predicted

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel understands that the task of a revolutionary startup is to manifest a radically different future, and not merely settle for a marginal improvement. But how did he make that future a reality with messenger RNA Therapeutics, and how can you do it with your startup? In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE goes in-depth on the three strategies to designing a future where your startup achieves greatness: Play offense with risk, use the Backcasting method, and connect the future to the present.
11/1/202113 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Stephane Bancel of Moderna: $5B and 10 years on the path to changing humanity

What’s it like to run a startup that has achieved its goal of impacting humanity at a time of desperate need? Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel joins Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE to discuss the power of taking offensive risks to seize unlikely futures with massive upside, sometimes with the result of changing the odds of life itself. For founders seeking greatness, the conversation also teases out many of the enduring lessons of how we can increase the odds of creating massive breakthroughs.
11/1/202145 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Apply Game Design to Business Software

Rahul Vohra shows us how game design can be used to make business products far more engaging and contribute to a state of flow. Since future success in business software and services is increasingly driven by product-led growth and bottoms-up adoption driven by end-users, mastering game design is vital for startups seeking greatness. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples, Jr talks about the specific and actionable steps you can take to harness the power of game design in your products.
9/21/202110 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rahul Vohra of Superhuman: How to create business products people *enjoy* using

Rahul Vohra of Superhuman has adopted some of the most cutting-edge approaches to making a business product people *want* to use, rather than have to use. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of FLOODGATE talks to Rahul about how any startup founder can apply the principles of game design to their products, and why this is becoming increasingly important in a world where users (rather than IT) increasingly decide which products win.
9/21/202137 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: The Myth of TAM

The conventional thinking is that a big total available market (TAM) is one of the most important factors in startup success. But Julia Hartz's success at Eventbrite shows the limits of this thinking. In this Lesson of Greatness, Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate talks about the difference between available markets and potential markets and offers heuristics for determining the potential market for future breakthroughs.
8/23/202110 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Julia Hartz: From Zero to One to IPO and Beyond

Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz didn't start out life thinking she would be a tech founder, but she has achieved a feat that's very rare: Starting a great startup and going the distance, even past IPO. She also navigated one of the toughest setbacks in recent tech history when the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardized Eventbrite's entire business. In this episode, Mike Maples Jr interviews Julia Hartz to discuss what founders seeking greatness can learn from her varied experiences and choices along the way.
8/23/202143 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Price Before You Build

Most startups postpone pricing decisions until after the product is developed. They HOPE they can make money rather than KNOW they will at the outset. In this Lesson of Greatness, pricing guru Madhavan Ramanujam shows us that without a price, you literally don't have a product. Therefore, we should follow some of the best practices aligned with having the willingness to pay discussion early and in the most effective ways.
8/2/202111 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Pricing Guru Madhavan Ramanujam: How Smart Startups Design Their Products Around the Price

New startups fail for many reasons. Perhaps the most obvious is they can't get people to pay the necessary price for their products. Madhavan Ramanujam's book Monetizing Innovation, is the foremost guide in the industry for startups who want to make pricing a core part of their success rather than an afterthought. In this interview, Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate talks to Madhavan about the key success factors as well as mistakes to avoid.
8/2/202135 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Find your wave before your market

The best startups almost always ride a wave that represents a sea change. Such waves give the founders the power to show up with a radically different idea that changes the subject -- and the future. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples Jr talks about how the example of Jerry Yang and David Filo at Yahoo illustrates this perfectly and how you can leverage this insight as a founder seeking your own path to greatness for your startup.
7/19/202113 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jerry Yang: How Yahoo went from a hobby to the early King of the Internet

Before Google or Facebook; prior to the days of snapping, tweeting, and texting....Yahoo was the original King of the Internet. But in the early days, Jerry Yang and David Filo weren't sure if it was even a valid business. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of Floodgate interviews Jerry Yang about what it was like to learn that what started out as a hobby was destined for business greatness.
7/19/202137 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Hire like your life depends on it

Many startup founders would agree that team building is the most important part of startup success. But very few startups actually live it. The founders of Cloudflare offer key lessons in how to start with the right founding team, how to collaborate more effectively, how to design a company culture....and most importantly, how to make hiring the very best your top priority...for real.
6/28/202112 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Matthew Prince and Michelle Zatlyn of Cloudflare: How to build a better Company as well as a better Internet

It takes a lot of effort to build a breakthrough product. It's perhaps even rarer to design a company that endures. In this interview, Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate interviews Matthew Prince and Michelle Zatlyn of Cloudflare to highlight what we can learn about how to get a startup's foundation right, along with recruiting, hiring, and company design.
6/28/202144 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Why you must master risk-taking to seize greatness

Most people think that risk should be avoided. But Vinod Khosla teaches us otherwise...Risk is something people *take* when they create breakthroughs. This lesson of greatness talks about the key frameworks for why this is the case as well as how to take risks intelligently to tilt the odds in your favor.
6/1/202110 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Vinod Khosla: Your willingness to fail is what will let you succeed

Vinod Khosla is a Silicon Valley legend, having achieved greatness as a founder with Sun Microsystems and as one of the best venture capitalists of all time. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of Floodgate talks to Vinod about why it's wrong for breakthrough builders to play it safe and how to turn the odds in your favor when setting out to build a massive breakthrough.
6/1/202132 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Design your category

Startups change the future so they MUST be different, rather than better. Christopher Lochhead shows us how category designers realize that different is believable from a startup, but better is not. Any powerful startup idea pre-supposes an exponentially different future, which means your startup MUST change the way the people think about the future rather than incrementally improve on the products they already use. Different forces a choice rather than a comparison. And different sticks, while better gets lost in the noise. In this lesson of greatness, we cover the specific steps involved in applying category design to your startup.
5/17/202112 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Christopher Lochhead: Why Legendary Startups create Categories

Christopher Lochhead is a bestselling author, #1-rated podcaster, and one of the best marketing minds of our time. As one of the co-inventors of category design, Christopher offers valuable insights for startups wanting to stand out in an ever noisier world. In this episode, Mike Maples Jr talks to Christopher Lochhead to clarify what category design is and why it’s vital for founders determined to create something legendary that changes the future.
5/17/202138 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: DESIGN for network effects

Many founders claim their startups contain network effects, but many of these claims only scratch the surface. Networks that achieve greatness are designed, with many trade-offs and factors in mind regarding the "nodes," how interactions take place, what causes people to stay engaged, and the types of relationships that get created. Anu Hariharan shows us the specific decisions and trade-offs we can weigh that startups often overlook.
5/3/202111 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Anu Hariharan: How to think about network effects for your startup, from the beginning

Anu Hariharan from YCombinator's Continuity fund is one of Silicon Valley's top experts on network effects and how they can be applied to all types of different businesses. In this interview, Mike Maples of Floodgate talks to Anu about how a raw startup can design network effects into its business as a core strategy from the very beginning.
5/3/202136 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Start a Movement; not just a business

David Sacks demonstrates how the best startup founders talk about causes much bigger than themselves or the companies they're building. Google was about organizing the world's information. Tesla was about moving the world to sustainability, not just selling cars. These startup leaders saw a world that they wanted to create and built a movement around their visions. Sacks shows us how great startup products aren't just selling a product that solves an immediate problem; they are selling a vision of a better world that people can buy into. By doing this, they create MOVEMENTS; not just businesses.
4/19/20217 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

David Sacks: Legendary Startup Product Expert

David Sacks, known as one of the best startup product strategists and operators of the last 20 years, discusses key lessons learned from his tenure in the PayPal Mafia, where he was head of product, along with key takeaways as founding CEO of Yammer and what he learned from working directly with industry greats like Peter Thiel and Elon Musk.
4/19/202136 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Be a Learn-it-All; not a Know-it-All

Maybe you've struggled with needing to seem in charge or on top of a challenging situation, even when you're unsure of what to do. If so, you've likely heard the siren song that tempts you to be a know-it-all. But Matt Mullenweg shows us how the learn-it-all is most likely to achieve greatness. Check out Mike’s interview with Bob Metcalfe (of Metcalfe’s Law) where he also discusses leadership lessons.
4/5/20218 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

Matt Mullenweg: How a modest empire builder powered a huge chunk of the web

Wordpress CEO Matt Mullenweg talks with Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate about his early successes, setbacks, and what founders can learn from his continued growth as a manager and leader.
4/5/202140 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: ALWAYS know your competitive edge

Mark Cuban shows us that it's not enough to play by the rules as they are defined. If you are going to achieve greatness as a startup, you need to find your EDGE...which means you have to outmaneuver your competition before they even engage with you on the competitive battlefield. You have to change the rules to your advantage and not just play by the rules as they are given to you. Never fall into the trap of not anticipating how a giant competitor will try to run you out of business someday...because it will happen every time if your startup matters in the first place.
3/22/202111 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mark Cuban: You only have to be right once...if you take big enough swings along the way

Mike Maples of Floodgate talks to Mark Cuban about a wide range of topics with a common theme...you have to go after opportunities where the stakes are high enough that when you win, you can win BIG. And as a corollary, you have to anticipate that giant competitors will try to stop you because otherwise, you are thinking too small.
3/22/202144 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Thinking in Bets

Annie Duke shows us that making high-quality decisions is one of the most important skills we can build for improving our odds of success in startups and in life. It's also a skill that can be sharpened and improved over time, regardless of how uncertain the circumstances. By adopting scientifically-proven frameworks from her books "Thinking in Bets" and "How to Decide," we can make better predictions and choices more often and with more confidence.
3/8/202112 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Annie Duke: Decision-making Secrets from a World Series of Poker Champion

(04:51) - Explaining what makes a decision good or bad (6:36) - On how memory creep impacts our view of Hilary Clinton’s 2016 campaign (11:30) - On the use of a knowledge tree to inform decision making (16:59) - Looking at Pete Carrol’s controversial decision in the Super Bowl   (26:16) - On founders falling into a trap around pricing their product (38:08) - When to make informed decisions and follow a process
3/8/202138 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Get REAL

Tim Ferriss' success shows the value of building real things for real people rather than creating abstract approximations that represent what's real. The lessons of getting real apply directly to startups who want to avoid the trap of unshaped work and indirect understanding of what customers are truly desperate for. Check out Mike’s interviews with Steve Blank for more learnings on product-market fit.
2/22/20219 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Tim Ferriss found product-market fit for “The Four Hour Workweek”

(2:47) - Tim looks back at the origins of the 4-Hour Workweek and early incarnations of the book (9:30) - Mike and Tim discuss the idea of talking to real customers and of “getting real” to increase the chances of your startup’s success (12:41)  - Tim offers his thoughts on category design and the importance of creating a category, as well as working in categories where there were few competitors (18:02) - Tim discusses the marketing ideas behind the 4-Hour Workweek and finding product-market fit, and offers ideas for book promotion (31:05) - Mike and Tim share their ideas on the role of a startup advisor, and how to pick the right advisor for your company (36:44) - Mike and Tim discuss the risks of negotiating with high-conflict people, and Tim reflects on his failures as a startup advisor (40:27) - Tim stresses the importance of a quality product over public relations and personal brand
2/22/202143 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Welcome to Season 2!

In this opener for Season 2, Floodgate Co-Founder Mike Maples, Jr talks sets the agenda for a new season of Starting Greatness and plans for taking the show and content to the next level.
2/22/20218 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: You are Yoda, not Luke

Nancy Duarte emphasizes that storytelling has been one of the most compelling tools of persuasion for centuries. But founders embracing the storytelling form often make a crucial mistake: They cast themselves as the protagonist in the hero's journey, rather than the specific people they intend to persuade. Getting storytelling right means the founder is the mentor of the story (ie Yoda), rather than the hero (ie Luke.) This is true whether the audience is the customer, future employees, investors, journalists, or the audience at your next TED talk.
7/27/20208 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Nancy Duarte: Why storytelling is vital to entrepreneurship

Nancy Duarte has helped people like Al Gore tell an inconvenient truth, as well as some of the most important tech execs, get their stories told. She has cracked the code in applying story patterns to business communication. In this interview, Mike Maples, Jr of Floodgate asks Nancy for the most important ways that founders can leverage storytelling to turn their movements from ideas to reality.
7/27/202038 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Why the world needs breakthrough builders; How it can be you

The future doesn't happen to us: It happens because of us. In this Lesson of Greatness, we introduce backcasting as a tool for entrepreneurs or people in any field who want to create a future that is meaningfully better and doesn't just bring forward the baggage of the past.
7/6/202012 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mike Maples and Shane Parrish: How to create a Breakthrough

The present has stopped working. Now, more than ever, we need breakthroughs that put us on a better trajectory. In this episode, we flip the script and Shane Parrish from the Farnam Street Blog and Knowledge Project interviews Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate about tools available to people who want to build a better future.
7/6/202028 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Don't Just Be Resilient: How to be Anti-Fragile

Everyone knows a fragile team is more likely to fail. But an anti-fragile team is more than just resilient....it's more like a Hydra: When you cut off one of it's heads it grows two back in its place. Anti-fragile teams actually get BETTER when the environment around them is high-pressure and chaotic. In this lesson of greatness, we drill down into what it means to be anti-fragile and how you can apply the concept to your own startup team.
6/10/20206 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Manny Medina: From Hell and Back to the Threshold of Greatness

From his surprising beginnings as a shrimp farmer with Communist parents in Ecuador to his death-defying pivot from a failed startup idea to what is now Outreach, Manny Medina's story is both colorful and compelling. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of Floodgate discusses Manny's unconventional journey and his struggles and triumphs on the path to greatness with Outreach, now valued at more than $1 Billion.
6/10/202039 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: You have to take the Initiative

Commander John Boyd was a fighter pilot who changed the art of war in the late 20th Century. He offers a vital lesson of greatness, especially in times of massive uncertainty: Decisive leaders take the initiative, ALWAYS. This episode describes why that's the case and how the philosophy of taking the initiative can help you achieve greatness in what matters to you.
5/11/202010 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Steve Blank: How to turn the tables on COVID-19

Many startups face difficult choices when it comes to overcoming COVID-19. In this special episode, Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate interviews Steve Blank about techniques founders can use to shape circumstances rather than be shaped by them. Steve has a unique vantage point since he's weathered every dislocation affecting startups since 1978, including the 1987 crash, the dotcom bubble burst, and the 2008 financial crisis.
5/11/202031 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Don't Mess with Metcalfe's Law

Bob Metcalfe has traveled in many orbits, but most recently he has been a professor at the University of Texas....so it seemed only appropriate to honor the unstoppable power of Metcalfe's Law in this lesson of greatness. Mess with it at your peril :)
4/4/20205 minutes
Episode Artwork

Bob Metcalfe: Co-inventor of Ethernet. Tech industry legend and Polymath.

Bob Metcalfe has lived in the future since the late 1950s. And lucky for the rest of us, he has brought us along for the ride. In this interview, Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate talks to him about the origins of networked computing as well as the birth of "Metcalfe's Law."
4/4/202039 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Distribution, Distribution, Distribution

Many say that in real estate, the key to success is location, location, location. A key lesson of greatness from Reid Hoffman is that for consumer products and network effects businesses, a key to success is distribution, distribution, distribution. In this Lesson of Greatness, Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate builds on this by outlining specific strategies founders can learn from Reid Hoffman to get distribution for their startup ideas.
3/2/20208 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Reid Hoffman: The Network Philosopher King

Reid Hoffman's success as a founder of LinkedIn, investor in Airbnb and Facebook, and charter member of the PayPal Mafia have a common thread - an intense passion for creating valuable networks with people at the center. In this episode, Mike Maples, Jr of Floodgate talks to Reid about key approaches for building valuable business and consumer networks from the ground-up.
3/2/202035 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Why You Need to Nail a Niche before Going Big

In Crossing the Chasm Geoffrey Moore clearly lays out a very important idea: you need to appeal to a niche of visionaries, before pragmatists—or your startup will usually fail. In this Lesson of Greatness, Mike Maples Jr of Floodgate builds on this by showing that to get big, you have to start small. The episode contains specific strategies for founders to consider when nailing their early niches on the way to massive success.
2/18/20208 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Geoffrey Moore's Crossing the Chasm is a must-read for Ambitious Startup Founders

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moores is the most influential book on technology go-to-market ever written, and for good reason. In this episode, Mike Maples Jr from Floodgate talks to Geoffrey Moore about how startup founders can apply its core principles to building great startups, as well as how to avoid critical mistakes.
2/18/202031 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Why Finding Undiscovered Talent is the Winning Mindset

Great Startup Recruiting is surprisingly similar to great Startup Ideas: Just like you have to find undiscovered opportunities to start a great startup, you need to find undiscovered talent to build a great startup team. In this Lesson of Greatness, we discuss how to find great undiscovered talent and five key factors to look for.
2/3/20208 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Keith Rabois: Key lessons from Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, and Jack Dorsey

Few people in the history of startups have seen more examples of excellence than Keith Rabois. Not surprisingly, Keith is also one of the best investors in Silicon Valley, having achieved great success as an Angel and now at Founders Fund.
2/3/202029 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Why Great Ideas Won't Wait

It's tempting to start a company when it meets the conditions of your "master plan." But sometimes you realize that an idea has visited you and it is now or never...you must either plunge in and take the chance NOW, or watch from the sidelines while someone else makes it happen.
1/21/20206 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Todd McKinnon of Okta believed (even when he sometimes didn't) in the inevitability of breakout success.

Todd McKinnon co-founded Okta when most around him thought it was a bad idea. And soon, he started to wonder if they were right. Was he cut out to be a startup company builder? But eventually, he proved to everyone (and most importantly to himself) that he was right to believe from the very start.
1/21/202029 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: How to Get Customers to Hire Your Product

What job should a desperate customer hire YOUR product to do? Answering this question is key to unlocking a key lesson of greatness. Here we discuss how the Instagram founders illustrate this lesson perfectly and how you can apply it to your own success as a startup founder.
1/13/20207 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

How Instagram Delighted 1 Billion Users....but Almost Didn't

Find out how Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger trusted their instincts and overcame rookie mistakes on the way to building Instagram, which now gets close to 100 Million photos uploaded a DAY.
1/13/202040 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: How You Can Tame the Startup Rollercoaster

The Startup Rollercoaster is not fun, but it's a reality of startup life. The great founders learn to manage it rather than be overwhelmed by it. In this lesson of greatness, Mike Maples summarizes key lessons from Kim Polese's success at this, as well as specific techniques to stay grounded through all of the inevitable ups and downs.
12/30/20196 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Kim Polese: Building the Early Web with Java and Marimba

Kim Polese, the founding product manager for Java at Sun, as well as co-founding CEO of Marimba, talks about how Java almost didn't come to be....as well as her experiences riding the startup rollercoaster as a high-profile, and ultimately successful startup founder.
12/30/201932 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Find your inner MacGyver

If you want find greatness, you have to improvise to beat impossible over and over again. There is no course or framework to teach you how to do this. Instead, you must never surrender to any fear or obstacle you face.
12/23/20198 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Osman Rashid: “How did Chegg find a way through?”

Osman Rashid, co-founder and original CEO of Chegg, talks about how Chegg’s startup team of misfit rebels navigated through a crazy sequence of near-death experiences…one day at a time…and lived to tell the tale of achieving greatness.
12/23/201944 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Living in the Future

William Gibson, the cyberpunk novelist has said “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.” This perfectly describes a key lesson of greatness from Marc’s Netscape experience.
12/16/20196 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Marc Andreessen: “Was Netscape an Overnight Success?”

Mike Maples, Jr talks to Marc Andreessen, Co-founder of Netscape—the startup that launched the Internet era. What it was like when Netscape was about to blow up? What does he wish Netscape had done differently? -- and what lessons from its success are not fully understood?
12/16/201943 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Real Artists Get Out of the Building

“Getting out of the building” means something deeper than many realize. Mike Maples Jr explores why in this key lesson of greatness.
12/9/20198 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Steve Blank: Great Entrepreneurship is Artistry

Steve Blank’s Customer Development methodology is one of the critical teachings of entrepreneurship over the last twenty years This episode explains why great founders are more like artists than normal business people and why getting out of the building is more about artistry than running a focus group.
12/9/201939 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: Hack Value Before Hacking Growth

Why proving a startup’s value hypothesis before testing its growth hypothesis is critical.
12/2/20196 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sarah Leary of Nextdoor: “The Moment You Know You've Created Something Valuable"

Nextdoor today is worth more than $2 Billion and is used by 250,000 neighborhoods throughout the world. Silicon Valley types had doubts about their approach, but Sarah offers valuable ideas for finding the path to the light. One crucial hint is that users matter far more than the folks in the "chattering class."
12/2/201950 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lessons of Greatness: You Need a Breakthrough Insight

Learn why great startups have unique insights that defy conventional wisdom.
12/2/20196 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Andy Rachleff on “How to Know If You’ve Got Product Market Fit”

The Co-founder of Benchmark Capital & Wealthfront explains the most important goal of a startup: how do you find product-market fit? As the man who coined the term, he’s the expert—and in this episode, he also shares lessons learned from legendary startup super performers such as Scott Cook, Reed Hastings, Don Valentine, and many others.
12/2/201938 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Greatness is a Decision

In the Starting Greatness premier, Floodgate co-founder and podcast host Mike Maples, Jr., explains why greatness is a decision—and what questions you need to ask yourself to make your startup a success.
11/19/20194 minutes, 53 seconds