Category Archives: Intrapreneur

Weekly Podcast – Week 02 – Creating ‘Good Problems to Have’ – Stop trying to prevent so much

Week 2 for my weekly podcast just uploaded and I’m talking this week about creating good problems. Some highlights:

  • If you don’t have the resources or product, still sell it! Vaporware is a good problem to have
  • Solve problems you have today not tomorrow.
  • Don’t create new problems (usually costs) by trying to prevent other ones

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New Podcast Series

I took some inspiration from Joel Gascoigne and have decided to create a weekly podcast (he does it daily). I absolutely am obsessed with SoundCloud right now and they make it very easy to record and upload directly from your computer. So here it is…my first podcast.

Entrepreneurial fears – launching, humility and failing

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/81628715" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Things I’m Proud of – The Unknown

Today marks a nice achievement for me – I’ve successfully launched an innovation lab (or incubator) at my workplace, called Xoomworks Labs. Of course launching is only 1% of the battle – actually launching products will be the ultimate measure for success of the lab. The overall concept is to take ideas generated by our employees and convert them to products. We are initially targeting iOS development so we can create innovative mobile products for enterprise customers. I’m very excited because they are tons of unknowns!

We should all be proud of things, especially for doing things that once may have been unknown to you. I’m constantly being told that I CAN’T and I repeatedly prove to  people that I CAN. A couple of things I’m proud of:

1. Living in a foreign country – I’m constantly questioned with “Why on earth did you leave NYC”. I don’t really have a good answer, it just feels right. There’s a huge world out there and if I don’t get to see all of it I’m going to be really upset. Also living in another country has opened me up to a whole slew of opportunity I don’t think most people get the chance to get. Not to mention I love having friends all over the world.

2. Triathlons – I just completed my first triathlon 2 weeks ago and am attempting to do a half Ironman in August and an Olympic triathlon in September. What I’m really proud of is my ability to be extremely discipline in my training. For someone who has a pretty active social life this is something most people say “no you can’t” to me. It’s important to note that this is all after I was unable to complete (well 16 miles running and 40 biking) the double marathon several months ago due to a knee injury. Not going to let anything like a stupid knee injury stop me!

3. Starting my own company – In 2009 I came up with the crazy idea to leave my very nice cushy job at SAP and start a company with a friend – in NYC no less. Talk about taking a dive into the unknown. BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. The bottom line is I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in my life. I can’t count on my hands how many failures and mistakes I made while doing it.

4. Driving manual transmission – Whoa, what an American! haha. When I moved to Germany several years ago I was thrown into a manual transmission car all by myself. I literally spent 2 hours driving around SAP’s headquarters in Walldorf teaching myself how to drive a manual transmission car. Now, I love it.

The overall point is this – I embrace the unknown and accept that I will probably fail. But that’s what makes life fun right?

I just found out what my real role is – Intrapreneur

in-tra-pre-neur (In¹tre-pre-nur) n. A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation [intra(corporate) + (ENTRE)PRENEUR.] -inftrapre-nouri-al adj. -intra-pre-neuri-al-ism n. -in’trapre-neuri-al-ly adv.

From Gifford Pinchot’s website

The word entrepreneur is more than 150 years old, having come into English from French in 1828. But it is not until very recently that we find its intracorporate counterpart, intrapreneur, meaning “a person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.” This coinage is generally attributed to management consultant Gifford Pinchot, author of the 1985 book entitled Intrapreneuring; others insist its true originator was Norman Macrae, deputy editor of the Economist, although Macrae himself denies it. Still, whatever its exact source, in the scant number of years since its inception the term intrapreneur has gained currency very quickly. It has also given rise to various derivatives, such as the aforementioned gerundintrapreneuring, the noun intrapreneurship (as in a September 30, 1985, interview with Stephen Jobs inNewsweek: “The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as intrapreneurship-only a few years before the term was coined – a group of people going in essence back to the garage, but in a large company”), the adjective intrapreneurial, and another noun, intrapreneurialism (“what has become known as intrapreneurialism, where people within the corporation acquire more adventurous small business outlooks,” by Ian Hamilton-Fazy in “An Uneasy Co-existence,” Financial Times, October 23, 1984). Broad use of a word and the development of numerous derivatives are strong signals predicting staying power within the language. Intrapreneur and its spinoffs are of particular interest to etymologists and lexicographers because they illustrate the constant changes inherent in a living language.

Yup, not much more to say than that.