123: Dave Knox on innovation and disruption and what it means for companies both big and small

Dave Knox, author, Predicting the Turn

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In this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Dave Knox, marketer, consultant, and author. His book, “Predicting the Turn: The High Stakes Game of Business Between Startups and Blue Chips,” was an Atticus Awards Grand Prix winner in 2017.

Knox has worked for Proctor & Gamble and was chief marketing officer at Rockfish. Now, he is co-founder of The Brandery, a startup accelerator, and co-founder and managing partner at Vine St. Ventures, a seed venture capital fund.

During his conversation with Alan, Knox pointed out one reason why a lot of big companies struggle with innovation: “A CEO used to be rewarded for the five-year vision of how they were going to grow the company,” says Knox. “And today they’re being measured whether they hit a quarterly number or not. And that’s a really dangerous kind of short-term thinking that I think is stifling innovation in a lot of different ways.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Knox talks about his background and why he wrote “Predicting the Turn.” (1:16)
  • Innovation: A big business problem or widespread disruption opportunity? Short answer: It’s both. (4:47)
  • A focus on quarterly earnings hampers the ability of big companies to innovate. (7:17)
  • “Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can’t move fast.” (9:32)
  • Two watch-outs in prospective partnerships between big companies and startups. (11:53)
  • In the world of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and startups, relationships are key. (19:38)
  • Advice from a record company executive led to the way Knox’s career unfolded. (23:08)
  • Fatherhood grounded Knox with a sense of balance. (25:26)
  • Knox: “The future of marketing is going to be much more about total customer experience.” (29:03)
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