In 1998, an unknown filmmaker named Lance Weiler rocked the stodgy movie business. His low-budget horror film, The Last Broadcast, cost $900 and grossed around $5 million. Weiler applied entrepreneurial skills to produce and market his movie.
A public-relations whiz, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery does not view competing breweries as enemies. He rightly concluded that any positive publicity for rival brands would benefit his business.
Papa John’s founder John Schnatter started a gutter-painting company when he was 12 years old at the home of his grandfather and mentor. A decade later, he launched what would become the nation’s third-largest pizza chain.
Big thinkers have developed a boatload of ideas to help established companies become entrepreneurial. Despite the help, it’s rare to find an established firm that creates radical new markets. What’s required for exploration and colonization often conflicts with what’s needed for consolidation.
Seth Bannon is a connected kind of guy, and it shocked him that the technology used to organize people and raise money is so awful. So, following a now-familiar path, Bannon dropped out of Harvard to start Amicus, a company to overhaul tech tools for nonprofits.
After college, Stephen McDonnell worked as a financial analyst at Ford, got a master’s in organizational behavior from Harvard and began to understand small businesses. He decided he wanted to change the way America eats meat …