Blog Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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The Other “F” Word Podcast #7: Experimentation, & RIP Mr. Post-It Notes (video)

In this episode, John Danner and I discuss the importance of experimentation to drive innovation and change, and the role that having a healthy relationship with failure has in the way we process the outcomes of all of these experiments, and especially business experiments.

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The Other “F” Word Podcast #5: Disney, Pendleton, and “our suggestions so far” (video)

Just published the current episode of our 10-minute “Other ‘F’ Word” podcast based on John’s and my book of the same name, on how to turn failure to success. In this episode we discuss: how Disney has navigated the pandemic, including the breakout success of its “Disney Plus” streaming service, and how the company is positioned for the...

John Danner and Mark Coopersmith on Podcast

Is there a failure in the making at Amazon (video)?

Check out Episode 4 of “The Other ‘F’ Word” podcast. John and I discuss Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash, Jeff Bezos stepping back from the CEO role, and the “Goldilocks-zone” for checklists (= just right). Is there a failure in the making at Amazon? Do you know how to optimize YOUR checklists? Join us for 10 minutes to find out our take.

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Gravity, and how it can be a force for good (video)

Boeing has been in freefall for awhile now (“freefall” is probably a bad analogy for an aviation company), and this week announced their biggest loss ever and yet another delay in their space program and in the launch of their next big jet. In our latest Other F Word podcast, John and I dissect what...

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New Year’s resolutions (video)

I just published episode #2 (!!) of the “Other ‘F’ Word Podcast,” where my co-author John Danner and I discuss/dissect/disagree re: current failures, what we can learn from them, and how to bounce back and improve. All in about 10 minutes. This week’s topics: New Years’ Resolutions; the insurrection and riots in Washington, and the...

Cover image for youtube link to the first episode of The Other "F" Word Podcast by John Danner and Mark Coopersmith

I Just Launched My New Podcast (video)

I just launched a new podcast based on my book “The Other ‘F’ Word,” co-authored with my UC Berkeley colleague John Danner. And we cohost the podcast as well. We figured if NOW wasn’t a good time to learn from our collective failures (goodbye and good riddance 2020), there might never be such a time....

A TED talk take on The Other “F” Word (video)

This is a TED-style 25 minute talk on my book The Other F Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work (co-authored with John Danner) about how to create a more productive relationship with failure to drive innovation and growth for individuals as well as companies large and small. This keynote address was recorded in Copenhagen in November 2019, at the Innovation Roundtable Global Summit, which is represented as the largest annual gathering of corporate innovation executives globally.

cover of the nyt featuring mark's mother, alice coopersmith furst

My mom made the front page of the NY Times today (for a sad reason)

The NYT remembered 1,000 victims of COVID, including my mother Alice. She was in the fourth column, above the fold. She would’ve loved that, having grown up in Manhattan and always a bit of New York girl at heart. Alice Coopersmith Furst passed away from complications of COVID-19 a few weeks ago. She was 87. She lived a...

Dr. Samuel West and Mark Coopersmith

“Museum of Failure” and other highlights from the Innovation Roundtable

Greetings from Copenhagen! I am here for the Innovation Roundtable Summit—the largest gathering of corporate innovation executives in the world. I just delivered a keynote address on the closing of Day 1, giving an updated take on “The Other ‘F’ Word.” On Day 2 I did a deeper dive into that topic, and deconstructed the Failure Value Cycle (from my book). On Day 3 I led a session on “Three Keys to Corporate Entrepreneurship,” where I take core entrepreneurial practices and adapt them to work in large enterprises.

Join me in Copenhagen at the Innovation Roundtable Summit (plus new insights from “The Other F Word”)

In 2015, my coauthor John Danner and I released our book “The Other F Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work,” (Wiley).  At the time, I thought we would have two or, at most, three years of interest in our book and the related frameworks we developed to cultivate a more...

Unlocking Innovation: Strategies from Silicon Valley CEOs (podcast and article)

I recently moderated an on-stage conversation in Silicon Valley with a group of four amazing and successful CEOs of very successful companies. This was the kickoff evening of a multi-day conference, and our objective was to lay out the topic of innovation as the core theme for the days that followed.

To to get things started I asked them each to share some personal perspectives and examples about how they unlock, drive and nurture innovation inside large organizations.  

Innovation versus Entrepreneurship

We often conflate innovation and entrepreneurship, but while they are related, they differ in several key elements. My definitions are straightforward: Innovation is developing something new and better, with the potential to drive significant value for customers, partners and your organization. Innovations include concepts, processes, products and services. Entrepreneurship is all about putting innovation to...

The Innovation Conundrum

As business leaders, we seek growth and competitive advantage. Innovation is a key lever to help us get there. Unfortunately, I often hear executives frame it this way: “We need more innovation across the organization. And, of course, failure is not an option.” There is a conflict inherent in that statement. The more innovation these...

The “3 Sets” of Successful Entrepreneurs

Every year I meet with dozens of groups who seek to better understand why so much innovation, company formation and value creation takes place in Silicon Valley. Part of the answer is found in the highly evolved entrepreneurial ecosystem that exists in Silicon Valley, and part of the answer is found with the talented entrepreneurs...

Mark Coopersmith Executive Education

Top 10 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

For more than a decade, I have maintained a list of the top 10 traits that define the mindset of successful entrepreneurs: How they think, how they are wired, where they set priorities.  Here it is: Bias to action: Every strategy and plan is merely a set of hypotheses until put into action, and that’s what...

Mark Coopersmith Strive Magazine Cover Story The Entrepreneurial Mindset

“The Entrepreneurial Mindset” (cover article for Strive Magazine)

How do entrepreneurs think? What distinguishes the best entrepreneurs and innovators from the rest? Originally published as the cover article for Strive Magazine, January 2019 For the past 30 years, I’ve pursued the answer to this question: “What distinguishes the best entrepreneurs and innovators from the rest of us?” I’ve done this as a startup...


SPOTANGELS dubbed the “Waze for Parking”

The idea for SPOTANGELS was developed by Hamza Chahdi during one of my Learn2Launch classes in the Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at UC Berkeley. SpotAngels is now available on the App Store and Play Store and has been featured by Apple and Google as among the best apps of the year, but I...

Winners and Losers in the Age of Automation by Mark Coopersmith

Winners and Losers in the Age of Automation (Video)

The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. Computers make decisions on their own and their logic now evolves and improves without human intervention. Robots operate independently. Our homes and cars and cities are increasingly connected and automated. The definition of “reality” blurs when we add the suffixes “virtual” or ‘augmented.” If you think technology-driven...

Winners & Losers in the Age of Automation – Join me for a Business Edge Briefing Breakfast

On Tuesday April 10 I will be giving a talk followed by Q&A in the Business Edge Briefing Breakfast series, offered in partnership with the North Bay Leadership Council, Dominican University, and The CEO Club of Marin. This event will be held at Dominican University in San Rafael. Here is info from the invitation, including a link...

How Facebook Blew It. My comments on this fiasco, on the evening news

What are the implications of the recent Facebook disclosures? I was interviewed about Facebook for the Evening News on Fox around the 2016 Presidential election and how Facebook data was used (and misused) to target voters and influence outcome… What about Russian meddling, consumer privacy, who controls the data, Facebook itself and transparency, and the...

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in… Austria

It doesn’t matter where you are, or whether you are in the private or public sector, around the world it seems everyone wants to drive more innovation and more entrepreneurial activity. I see this every day in the classes I teach at UC Berkeley, the executive programs I run, and the talks and advisory work I do globally. Which...

Scalable Founders Event

Personal growth may be one of the toughest challenges an entrepreneur may face. Only those who learn how to grow personally will survive and thrive — scaling the company, scaling the team, and “scaling” themselves.

Donald Trump Portrait for Mark Coopersmith's Blog

“The Trump Effect” and Impacts on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Whatever your political orientation or where you are in the world, 2017 in the USA has certainly gotten off to a most interesting start. Since the election of Donald Trump, almost every executive, entrepreneur, official and policy group I’ve met with has asked my view on the business and economic implications of the new administration....

“Act like entrepreneurs, but not like the brave ones.”

As the boss from Dilbert says: “I want you to think like entrepreneurs, but not like the brave ones.”  (, (c) 2016 Scott Adams) Scott Adams, my friend and former classmate – and a current great mentor and supporter of startups – at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, nails it again. His comic strip...

Brexit – Live from London

Greetings from post-Brexit-vote London.  I have been in the UK and Ireland for the past couple of weeks leading up to the Brexit referendum, the vote, and the immediate aftermath.  The results were announced Friday morning in a surprise for many, with “Leave” being the ultimate choice of 52% of the voters. I happen to...

Two ways Europe can accelerate the creation & growth of startups

I recently had a fascinating dinner with a delegation of members of the EU Parliament who were visiting San Francisco and Silicon Valley to address global cyber security and privacy issues, and also investigate how best to drive more entrepreneurial activity and innovation across Europe. During dinner I was asked to offer some comments and insights on...