When the Tide Goes Out, You See Who’s Swimming Naked | Ammirati on Innovation

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Each month, “Ammirati on Innovation” episodes will look at ways that the disruptive-startup mentality is spreading beyond young entrepreneurs to big established corporations. Serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Carnegie Mellon B-school professor Sean Ammirati, who sits at the intersection of these high-change dynamics, provides insight.

Episode 11

In this episode, Sean gives us an update on the ripple effects of COVID-19 in the venture capital world. The roughly 30 companies that Sean is advising at the moment have all been impacted by COVID-19, of course – but all in different ways.

He doesn’t name any names, but Sean wants to see an end to venture firms putting out sweeping recommendations for how to respond to the crisis. There is no one-size-fits-all playbook, Sean says.

We talk about coronavirus as a “catalyzing event” for businesses. Sean quotes a Warren Buffett saying: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” For some businesses, the catalyzing event of COVID-19 may be a jumping-off point that pushes them into an overdue pivot or a much-needed embrace of digital transformation. For others, it will drag them under.

Finally, Sean offers some advice to startup executives who have been forced to navigate this crisis.

You can also stream this episode in audio-only format:

Thanks for watching! For more like this, we recommend:

Follow Sean on Twitter and LinkedIn for more valuable insights into innovation and entrepreneurship. He also has a podcast, called Agile Giants.

Stream more episodes of Ammirati on Innovation, via Cloud Wars Live.

Cloud Wars Live Digital All-Stars

Sean Ammirati is one of our regular Digital All-Stars appearing in monthly video podcasts. The conversations focus on the critical themes shaping (and re-shaping!) the business world in the digital age of 2020. Our intention is to provide regular chunks of timely ideas and insights about high-priority subjects from industry veterans with diverse backgrounds.