Category: Blog

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

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.”  (dilbert.com, (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...

Mark Coopersmith Interview at Haas 2016

How Innovative Leaders Operate With a Startup Mindset (video)

I recently sat down with our Thought Leadership team at Haas and discussed the concept – and state of being – of having an entrepreneurial mindset.  What does that mean for entrepreneurs, as well as leaders inside large enterprises who are seeking to drive innovation, growth and change?  How do these types of leaders think...

“This Product Really Sucks” – How my student’s breast pump startup made the NY Times

“I want to rethink and reimagine the breast pump.”  That’s what my UC Berkeley Haas MBA student Jeff Alvarez told me on the first day of our “Workshop for Startups” class. That was several years ago, and Jeff has stayed in touch with me and my co-instructor John Danner ever since, as he has pursued...

Lightbulbs for Startup Mindset

How to Be an Entrepreneur in a Big Enterprise – and Succeed!

I often give talks about – and recently led a series of discussions on – how to “Develop a Startup Mindset.”  Coming out of those are several articles, including the below piece from our Center for Executive Education at UC Berkeley Haas, and an executive education course called The Start-Up Mindset (register by February 2, 2017)....

Business “Truisms” You Shouldn’t Believe, and an invitation to join me & 6,000 women (!) at San Jose at Watermark’s Conference for Women

On April 21 I will be in San Jose speaking at Watermark’s Conference for Women – Silicon Valley, a great conference (see here for more info). I will be joined by John Danner – my co-author of The Other “F” Word – along with several accomplished women panelists, and we promise a lively discussion. I recently...

Conversation with NASDAQ’s Nicola Corzine on Success & Failure (video)

I sat down recently at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center with its Executive Director Nicola Corzine for a wide-ranging conversation about my book “The Other “F” Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work.”   We discussed how failure manifests itself – and can also be used as a resource for innovation and growth...

Great evening with Guy Kawasaki discussing how to launch startups

I had a great time discussing startups – and how to launch them – with longtime friend, colleague and startup guru Guy Kawasaki at NASDAQ’s Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco.  Great hospitality from the center’s exec director Nicola Corzine (seen with Guy and me below). Guy shared highlights from his recent updated version of the...