(All photos by Asa Mathat)
Walter De Brouwer
Founder and CEO, Scanadu
Read the full transcript below. (Transcript by Realtime Transcriptions.)
Kirkpatrick: Next we’ve got two 180s. First, Walter de Brouwer, who you heard last night, is going to talk about entrepreneurship from Scanadu; and then Alison Schwartz of Lulu is going to talk about mean girls. So, Walter, you first, and then Alison.
De Brouwer: Hello, ladies and gentlemen. So we all want to go to heaven, but no one wants to die, right? So I live in Silicon Valley now. Everyone in Silicon Valley has an idea, has a business plan, has PowerPoints, Keynotes. Every square meter of real estate is taken up by a pitch, and we all want the same thing, like killing IPO. We don’t really say it, but it’s what we want.
Now, in order for that big IPO to happen, so you have to change consumer behavior, consumer adoption, think of a new business model. This is not so easy. You have to create something out of nothing. So it creates a creatio ex nihilo. This is where I want to bring niche into my 180 seconds; because niches, you can only create something out of nothing if you go deep inside yourself and find the pathway to the Superman in you.
Now, we all have this Superman in us, and we all probably found the pathway now and then. I can tell you how I find the pathway. When I do something, I invest everything I have. There’s no possession left. I will work only for that company, bring my wife in. We are with our back against the wall, war paint on our faces, and this is when it happens. For some reason, after a while, with all the pressure on you, I see the pathway, I see with confidence, I know what to do, and all the noise becomes signal.
Now, that’s why I think I can do that, because I’m an individual. That’s why I think individuals would change the world, and not corporations. Corporations can’t do that. Corporations can’t say to its shareholders, “Let’s die for a while.” So that’s why I believe, and it’s my advice to you, to try it, put some more danger into the things you do personally, because you will increase the art of success.
And I would like to end with Colonel Kurtz, actually he’s quoting Conrad in “Heart of Darkness,”—”Bring the kids to your family,” he says to his wife. “Burn the house and kill the dog.” And so we are going in. So that’s it.
Now let me know how it works out for you.