"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names"
Hey kids! Do you like brilliance? Wanna know how to plan for change so it don’t kill yinz?
This week we’ve got Ben Mosior, founder of Hired Thought, who was recommended to us by some of the smartest people we know. He’s a “go-to” strategic thinker who practices Wardley Mapping, among other things - and since we didn’t know what that was, we asked. It’s a huge, wide-ranging discipline that studies and diagrams complex systems to understand them, so we only focused on a couple of aspects of it for this episode. Ben explains the relative value of mapping - which includes efficiency and savings you get from doing things in a strategic order of operations - and then helps Scot to understand the evolution of ideas from genesis to commodity.
Francois Gau and Levy Industrial move fast to identify actionable strategies!
Francois Gau has managed major initiatives for some of the world's largest corporations, including Honeywell and Kennametal, but he started out as an accountant and innovator in Toulouse in Southern France. He now owns Levy Industrial, which helps companies from $25 - $200 million per year to upgrade their processes and integrate their departments so that they can attract new clients, keep existing ones and multiply their revenues. In this extended-length episode, Francois tells Scot MacTaggart about his “sweet spot” method for quickly identifying opportunities for improvement, the value of ethnography (cultural study), and a practice he swears by called “hard listening”.
These tactics have served him well over the years, and resulted in major improvements for manufacturing and industrial firms as well as their clients.
As an international business lawyer and MBA professor, Mark's got the goods.
Trained as a lawyer, teaching classes in the Duquesne University MBA program, dragging a track record of high-dollar deals around with him, Mark Santo has seen a lot. This week, he visits Scot and Buzzy in the new podcast studio at the Pittsburgh Technology Council, looking out to the common outdoor area of Nova Place. Mark and Scot talk about right and reasonable timing and methodology in taking a business into the global international market, today’s competitive landscape, and how a young professional should prepare for the changes that are unfolding in the world.
Courtney Williamson has a process for everything - she shares some of her best with us!
LOTS OF GREAT STUFF THIS WEEK as Dr. Courtney Williamson, CEO of Abililife, checks into the Epicast Studios to talk to Scot about being the head of a medical equipment startup that is already assisting Parkinson’s patients in 40 of the 50 states after just a few short years. Courtney’s mom had Parkinson’s, so she assembled a team and invented the a product that could help with some of the physical challenges of the disease. The Calibrace+ is now accepted by Medicare and private insurance under prescription from a doctor. Courtney and Scot hit it off big time in this interview, hitting on the risks that passion presents to entrepreneurs, the importance of valuing process and time management, and of course Steve Urkel and Family Matters. Check it out!
Andy Hannah has 25 years of insights to share!
This week, we’ve got one of those guests where it’s hard to figure out if we can - or should - cover everything he has done in his career. Andy Hannah is the CEO of Othot, an AI / machine learning company that assists colleges and university by predicting how likely it is that a prospective student will be a good match for one school or another. Andy has been a CFO and a college professor as well, and has been noteworthy for his success in startup fundraising over the last 25 years. Even better, he attributes his success to building good relationships, good karma, and doing what you say you’re going to do. You’re going to love this episode.
Dr. Alan Martello begs founders to remember their basic principles.
For the second week in a row, we’ve got a doctor in the house! This week our guest is Alan Martello, who used his PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering to bootstrap, build and operate a company called Horizon Control, which he exited in 2011. Alan has spent a lot of his time helping entrepreneurs since then, and from those efforts, the Entrepreneur Coloring Book was born. It’s a simple and direct set of exercises for entrepreneurs (and business development people!) to set their direction. This episode features discussion on bootstrapping, finding meaning, and how your locale can affect your beliefs and expectations.
Dr. Weinkle's new book works for everyone - not just medical professionals
Dr. Jonathan Weinkle is a well-traveled and experienced physician who wrote a book about certain soft skills that doctors can develop and use to become more efficient, and ultimately build better relationships with their patients. Scot read it, and immediately thought “this book is really about how to listen, and how to ask follow up questions to solve your customer’s true pain”. So this week, Jonathan’s in the studio, and the two men dig deeper on the traditional ways that we listen to each other, and how to develop a problem-solving mindset that combines listening and thoughtful follow-up questions.
Venture for America (VfA) fellows help startups to scale - on a budget they can afford.
Sports teams spend a lot of time and money on their annual drafts, trying to get their hands on top talent at rookie prices. It’s exciting. Done well, it can literally change the trajectory of your team forever. This week’s guest is Katie Grimm, Pittsburgh director of Venture for America, and VfA brings that kind of excitement to the startup scene by making similarly promising talent available to entrepreneurial ventures. In this episode, Scot MacTaggart talks to Katie about the sports draft analogy as a way to simplify the pitch and clarify the value that Venture for America brings to the 14 cities it supports.
Fellowship applications are closing soon! Click here to go to the form.
With 55 years of history, American Gas Lamp Works can tell us about change.
DEEP DIVE! American Gas Lamp Works is a small Pittsburgh manufacturing company that dates all the way back to 1963. Like any business, the company has had to grow and adapt over that time. This week, Wendy Stover and Patrick Jardini come in to tell us how AGLW has adapted before, and is now doing it again. The conversation touches on pivoting to new sales channels, expanding the number of options available, maintaining “uncomfortable honesty” in communications, and giving the online buyer an easy way to customize their purchase.
Siloh Moses - once homeless - is being recognized in INC, Esquire and even Congress!
Yes, you read that correctly! This week’s guest was once homeless, and now he’s an award-winning business consultant, philanthropist, and community leader. He has won pitch competitions, been recognized by Congress, and was recently ranked in the Las Vegas 40 Under 40.
Siloh Moses was barely off the streets himself when he started feeding the hungry in his hometown of Las Vegas, and from that first pot of spaghetti, his non-profit Serving Hope LV began to take shape. His consulting practice is called WeWin360, and while his methods may have become sophisticated over time, the purpose is simple: using business as a force for good. Siloh helps each CEO to find the charitable mission that suits them, and helps them to excel in pursuing it.
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The Pitchwerks Podcast