Thinc Iowa Video Series: Douglas Olson of Microsoft Expression Studio
Recorded Oct. 21. This is the Livestream version; look for the final cut from Event 1 Video to be published soon.
The inaugural Thinc Iowa conference provided an arena for conversation on the common ground between established corporations and startups. Nine speakers, ranging from the founder of a new payments network to the chairman of a worldwide advertising network, took the stage on Oct. 21 at the Temple for Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines to contribute to that conversation.
To be timely, we're releasing the entire Thinc Iowa Video Series this month as recorded via Livestream. Thanks to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City-based foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation, for sponsoring the Livestream and Video Series, and to our video and post-production team made up of Event1 Video and Evolve. Look for the final cut from Event 1 Video to be published soon.
Olson, who has worked nearly two decades in the startup world to complement his time working for a corporation at Microsoft, shared vignettes from his experiences in both realms. He covered lots of ground, discussing an array of topics that included building software teams in the Midwest, taking care of employees, having a passion for work and putting feelings and emotions aside in business decisions. But no theme popped up during Olson's talk quite as frequently as the importance of taking chances.
“Calculated risk pays off," Olson said. "I don’t know; there's not much else to say. You're just not going to be successful if you're not willing to take risk. Risk comes in lots of different ways.”
“It's just something that sometimes I think you have to do if you want to get somewhere," he said later. "You can't expect somebody to give you an opportunity if you're just sitting there, you're not willing to take a risk.”
Read our recap: "Douglas Olson - 'It's what you do today that matters' "
About Thinc Iowa and Big Omaha, our two premier events:
Thinc Iowa, a Silicon Prairie News premier event, is held each October to provide a common ground for startups and corporations to explore partnerships, examine innovation and share lessons learned. Visit thinciowa.com to learn more.
Big Omaha, a Silicon Prairie News premier event, is held each May to inspire, educate and connect entrepreneurs, especially those with an interest in the tech industry. Visit BigOmaha.com to learn more.