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

Dave Knox, author, Predicting the Turn

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)