Interviews

We’re working hard to conduct weekly interviews with fellow entrepreneurs and thought leaders in various related fields. But we’re not talking about fluff and puff interviews with clever quotes by the bucket full. Instead, we focus on high quality interviews with peers and seasoned vets still doing battle in the trenches, because we’re looking for pragmatic, practical, and realistic solutions, as well as some compelling stories of course. While focused on young entrepreneurs, our interviewees do run the gamut (the brilliant Bob Langer case in point).

If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear from you. As we all know, in entrepreneurship one size definitely doesn’t fit all so the more stories the better as we navigate through. Email pierson@existentialentr.com or use our contact page.

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New Content at Forbes

New Content at Forbes

We’ve published some insightful new content at Forbes, from a piece on two entrepreneurs at Y Combinator to a piece on whether you learn more from failure or success. Please consider following us there! Here’s the link. Thank you! Read More ->

Riding a Meta-Rollercoaster: An Interview with hotelicopter Co-founder Charles Seilheimer

Riding a Meta-Rollercoaster: An Interview with hotelicopter Co-founder Charles Seilheimer

“Entrepreneurs like to feel action all of the time. You want to feel like you’ve moved the needle in a measurable way – you want to feel like you’ve moved it that day,” said Charles Seilheimer, co-founder of hotelicopter and serial entrepreneur. “But generally you don’t feel that way, which can be frustrating. You feel […] Read More ->

Avoiding Awkward Conversations and Friction: An Interview with Prodoh Co-founder Stacey Doherty

Avoiding Awkward Conversations and Friction: An Interview with Prodoh Co-founder Stacey Doherty

“I truly feel like that was a big hurdle for us. It was something we should’ve addressed in the beginning, and we could’ve alleviated some of these awkward conversations,” reflected Stacey Doherty, co-founder of Prodoh, a South Carolina-based children’s apparel company. She was talking about her and her co-founder, who happens to be a best […] Read More ->

What It Means to Be an EQ Guy: An Interview with Ed Warren of Zippity Cars

What It Means to Be an EQ Guy: An Interview with Ed Warren of Zippity Cars

Ed Warren considers himself an EQ guy versus an IQ guy. Not that he isn’t smart, but because he’s relied more on the former for his successes. “Things that drive success are rarely the person who has the raw IQ power to solve your problem the fastest,” he explained, “but the person who has sufficient […] Read More ->

Prepare for Uncertainty and Conflict: Part Two of Our Interview with Jim Twining

Prepare for Uncertainty and Conflict: Part Two of Our Interview with Jim Twining

“You have a strategy you agree on. You’re in alignment. You adjust it regularly. You revisit it, you adjust it, you revisit it. It just never ends. The planning is very fluid, it’s very dynamic. ... If there is a person holding you back from meeting goals, you need to decide whether they should step aside. If it’s you, the founder ... Read More ->

Who Makes a Good Entrepreneur? Part One of Our Interview with Jim Twining, formerly of Southern Tide

Who Makes a Good Entrepreneur? Part One of Our Interview with Jim Twining, formerly of Southern Tide

“My opinion is pretty steadfast that you are born with what your natural personality is. Of course experience can bring about different behavior without changing the underlying personality, and I do think intellect can help a person because to me the ability to assess, understand and process cause and effect can contribute to self-awareness. ..." Read More ->

Getting Out of the Hole and Meaningful Solutions, Part II of Our Interview with Andy Chan

Getting Out of the Hole and Meaningful Solutions, Part II of Our Interview with Andy Chan

“In 2017 I realized I was not okay. I needed to change the way I think about things and get myself out of the hole I had dug myself into,” Andy Chan said, as he reflected on hitting rock bottom. It was then he finally talked openly to his parents about his tendencies, and he […] Read More ->

A Downward Spiral into Dangerous Territory, Part I of Our Interview with Andy Chan

A Downward Spiral into Dangerous Territory, Part I of Our Interview with Andy Chan

“I distinctly remember there was this one night, it was midnight. I was walking home alone … and looking down from a bridge. I don’t know why, but I thought to myself, I wonder what it would be like to just jump over.” Then a student at Carnegie Mellon University, Andy Chan didn’t make the jump, but his thoughts continued to darken. Read More ->

Getting Out of Your Own Way

Getting Out of Your Own Way

“As an entrepreneur bootstrapping my business, I constantly have to manage myself to stay on track. I’ve learned that I have a tendency to hold myself back because taking risks is scary… Sometimes, I even find that I make obstacles and excuses for myself. In other words, sometimes I need to work on getting out of my own way,” stated Betsy Nesbitt, who's spent some time contemplating both mental and physical health in the pursuit of success. Read More ->

Reengineering a Framework for Existence Despite Business Success

Reengineering a Framework for Existence Despite Business Success

A couple successful start ups under his belt. Money to back them. An entrepreneur in residence at an elite U.S. business school. A seemingly charmed life. And yet, Yuki Aoyama felt compelled to seek mental health counseling for a deepening depression. “I had to think deeply about life,” Aoyama explained. Read More ->

Risk, Parenting and Co-founding with Your Significant Other

Risk, Parenting and Co-founding with Your Significant Other

When we spoke with Weiss, we were hoping for some perspective on being an entrepreneur while raising a young family; more specifically, co-founding a company with her husband, along with a 7-year old and a 5-year old in tow. We got it! She was forthright about their journey, the challenges ... Read More ->

Equity, Pivots, and Difficult Discussions

Equity, Pivots, and Difficult Discussions

“The accelerator wanted to know how we were dividing up the equity so we said, Let’s talk about it. The conversation was very interesting because we didn’t have a framework in which to talk about it, so a lot of it was subliminal attacking of each other. There were communication issues because we didn’t have experience talking about things like this.” Read More ->

Stretching the Rubberband

Stretching the Rubberband

“Life is risky in general,” she concluded. But for entrepreneurs the risk factors and propensity for risk are very much different. “It’s a big jump on outlooks on how to live life, and some people just don’t understand this kind of approach.” From her experiences, Gardell has some interesting observations ... Read More ->

Interview: Lance Stokes

Interview: Lance Stokes

Thick Skin and All In. Consider the situation. She’s pregnant. It isn’t going well. The docs restrict her to bed rest for 10 weeks. ... Fast forward to 2017. The company has blown up to over $13 million in sales and some 100 full-time and part-time employees. In September they landed #53 on Inc. 5000 list with a three-year growth of 6,010%. Not too shabby. Read More ->

Interview: Robert Langer (Part II)

Interview: Robert Langer (Part II)

You hear over and over how important a good team is, well, as you can imagine, Langer doesn’t want just good people, he wants great people. But you’ll see what’s more important is how he treats his people. “I am probably nit picky about who comes into the lab,” he said. “But once in lab, while not quite like a son or family but not that far from it, I’d do anything for them.” Read More ->

Interview: Robert Langer (Part I)

Interview: Robert Langer (Part I)

He Didn’t Fit the Mold, So He Broke It. The guy holds over 1,000 patents; has published over 1,000 articles; oversees an MIT lab that has served as an incubator for 40 companies; and he is the most quoted engineer in the world, ever. Ever in history. Read More ->

Interview: Greg Kotzbauer

Interview: Greg Kotzbauer

Homeless, Bootstrapping, and Living on the Outer Edge. As we sat at a local coffee shop, he described how bootstrapping is a way of life, and I munched on a solid egg sandwich. Then he told me how he is effectively homeless, all of his personal belongings in storage, him living out of hotel rooms and crashing with friends or family. Like an entrepreneurial vagabond. I set aside the sandwich. Read More ->

Interview: Jeremiah Prummer

Interview: Jeremiah Prummer

Seeing the Good Things Through Polarized Sunglasses. “I’m really good at forgetting the bad things.” That’s what gets Colorado Glasses founder Jeremiah Prummer through tough times. As he admitted, he doesn’t have a particular strategy yet for handling the down times but thinks it’s a “personality thing” that helps him fight through ... Read More ->