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Our Turn, Our Time Chicago Innovation Awards Dinner 9/20/10. Stop the Excuses, Start Believing. “The press never builds up our heros”. “Chicago’s Culture is too conser- vative.”. “We’ve tried before And we’ll never make It work here”. “Meatpackers & farmers…” . “Archipelago was

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stop the excuses start believing
Stop the Excuses, Start Believing

“The press

never builds up our heros”


Culture is

too conser-


“We’ve tried before

And we’ll

never make

It work here”


& farmers…”

“Archipelago was

in Chicago?”

“We don’t

have the capital

(or don’t have the


“It’s the

flyover zone”

“There no support

network or


It’s Our Time, It’s Our Turn


Ideas Don’t Know Geography Or

Time But Rather Are Willed into Existence

“What is the most contagious parasite?

An idea.

From the tiniest seed, it spreads like a virus…”

-- Inception

chicago has a tradition of rebirth industrials to airlines to mobile to genomics to internet
Chicago Has a Tradition of RebirthIndustrials to Airlines to Mobile to Genomics to Internet

San Fran Had It’s Earthquake

Chicago Had It’s Fire

five sectors we are world class












Five Sectors We Are World-class
significant midwest exits increasing in size number
Significant Midwest Exits Increasing In Size & Number






Empim, Inc.

Diverse Industries from E-Commerce to Medical Device

Exits Above $100M

fortune 500 customers are here
Fortune 500 Customers Are Here

There are 141 of the 500 in the Midwest

Diverse Economic Base

Consumer Packaged Goods Busch, Kellogg, Kraft, Proctor & Gamble, Wrigley, SAB Miller

Financial Services CNA Financial, CSFB, Northern Trust, William Blair

Health Care Technology Abbott, Baxter, Eli Lilly, Guidant, Medtronic, Stryker

Hospitals Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Northwestern, U of Chicago

Insurance Allstate, Aon, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm

Legal Baker MacKinzie, Piper Rudnick, Sidley Austin

Manufacturing Boeing, Caterpillar, Ford, General Motors, Johnson Controls

Media Charter Communications, Tribune

Retail Best Buy, Kmart, McDonald’s, Target, Walgreens, Kohl’s

Services ADP, H&R Block, Laidlaw, Manpower, ServiceMaster

Technology Accenture, CDW, 3M, Motorola, NCR, Rockwell, Tellabs

Transportation GATX, Northwest, Schneider, Union Pacific, United Airlines

Utilities Detroit Edison, Exelon

Government City of Chicago, State of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin

the entrepreneurs employment act
The Entrepreneurs’ Employment Act
  • 1) Law of Exponentials
  • 2) Technologies 15 Year Cycle
  • 3) Black Swan
  • 4) Rule of Tech’s Counter Cyclicality
you ain t seen nothing yet
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet…

Destructive Capitalism Has Always Driven Innovation over the past 100 years

US highway system, nylon, radar, PC,

microwave oven, antibiotics,

recombinant DNA, airflight/jets,

space program, global electric & phone systems,

universal access to education, integrated circuit,

articial heart, fusion/atomic bomb,

polio vaccine, electron microscopes,

cell phones, radio, television,

air conditioning, lasers, imaging,

fiber optics, eBay, online payments, etc…

“The next 20 years of change will be equivalent to the past 100 years of change.” -- Ray Kurzweil Accelerating Returns

The New Normal? Depression?Reregulation, Deleveraging, DeglobalizationTechnology’s 15 Year Macro Trend is Counter-Cyclical

 We are here


DEC ascends

Early 1970’s


Wintel Era



Google, eBay


Social Net





IBM’s World


what is a black swan
What Is A Black Swan?
  • A black swan is:
    • A rare event
    • With high-impact
    • Hard to predict (pattern attributed post event)
  • Examples include:
    • 9/11
    • 1987 stock market crash
    • Penicillin
    • eBay, Paypal
why are they important
Why Are They Important
  • A small number of events explain most of the world’s developments
  • Infinite white swans prove nothing, but one black swan negates entire theories
  • Unstructured randomness, not planned approaches, have led to most significant discoveries
  • Negative black swan’s have cataclysmic & dire consequences
  • Positive black swan’s drive exponential improvements in life
  • Evolution occurs on the fringes (mutation)

You Think Our Economy Stinks

…Try a 22 Year Depression

what makes you all special
What Makes You All Special
  • Scrappy and cash efficient
  • Maniacally focused on customer needs
  • Humble and acknowledges weaknesses
  • Cooperative and community based
  • Healthy paranoia
  • Local sanctuary, national battleground
  • Straight forward and sincere