Home > Big Omaha > Four founders riff on fun, failure and asking the right questions (Video)

Four founders riff on fun, failure and asking the right questions (Video)

Video by Three Pillars Media of Lincoln. Post-production by Evolve of Des Moines.

If you’ve been following our Big Omaha 2012 Video Series, you’ve seen the solo performances given by Yael Cohen of F CancerBen Lerer of ThrillistJim McKelvey of Square and Philip Rosedale of Coffee & Power on May 10 at Big Omaha 2012

Now, we bring you an encore performance featuring that entire quartet. The four founders took the stage together to close the opening day of this year’s conference, riffing on a wide array of questions submitted by the audience. Below is a sampling of some of the question-and-answer session’s greatest hits: 

Cohen on recognizing contributions of all employees

“I think the first thing to realize is that as employees or as team members or not the founder, you’re so so important,” she said. “Because without the people that are like ‘Hey, I believe in you and I’ll come work with you or work for you,’ you’re just a crazy person that has an idea.”

Lerer on enjoying work

“The pervasive thing for us in the office that we always talk about is the idea of fun. Fun is a big part of our culture,” he said. “You have to like what you do.”

McKelvey on incisive interview questions

“I’ll say, ‘If I give you, let’s say, $3,000 and you’re going to come to my company and your job with this $3,000 is to spend it in some manner, whatever you choose, to better the company. How would you spend it?’ ” he said.

“The answers are very revealing.”

Rosedale on flushing out bad ideas

“Ship it,” he said. “Launch the bad feature. What I mean by that is there’s a much lower cost nowadays to putting something into circulation and seeing it fail than having a protracted, ego-rich conversation about whether everybody else thinks it will fail.

“A better strategy I think is to build a company where you can do a lot of small experiments pretty rapidly and then you can quickly back out of things that don’t work.”

For the full Q&A session, check out the 30-minute video above, the 11th in the Big Omaha 2012 Video Series presented by Microsoft BizSpark.

Read our recap: “Speakers put on the spot for Q&A to close Big Omaha’s opening day

About Big Omaha & Thinc Iowa, SPN Premier Events

Silicon Prairie News hosts two premier annual events, Big Omaha in May and Thinc Iowa in October. Both events bring together entrepreneurs, innovators, creative individuals, investors and others for a lineup of inspiring speakers, a schedule of unique networking opportunities and a community of support.

To sign-up for alerts regarding Thinc Iowa, which will take place Oct. 10-11 in Des Moines, visit thinciowa.com


Credits: Photo of speakers by Malone & Company/Big Omaha.

About our sponsor, Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business. BizSpark will fast-track the success of your startup with software, support an visibility.

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