Polly LaBarre on Mavericks, passion


Photo: Geoff Oliver Bugbee, www.geoffbugbee.com

First things first, Businesspundit and Kevin Smokler are sitting to my right, live blogging Polly LaBarre's presentation. I'll just pass along some quotes if I find interesting and reflect a little more.

"The only way to stand out from the crowd is to be unique."

"I applaud the wild diversity of people and ideas at the ideaFestival... The best way to predict the future is to invent it."

Mavericks stand for important ideas. They don't just sell a product or service. She asks, "what values do you stand for?" It's "strategy as advocacy." For example, ING Direct has no minimums, no fees, and a very simple operation that leads to higher savings rates. There are maximums, not minimums.  They've fired customers.The goal is to "lead Americans back to savings." The founder is often talks on the "toxic financial culture" that encourages spending too much. He is a "preacher" in this business.

"What ideas do you stand for and can you articulate them?"

"Why would great people want to work there?"

Pixar only uses salaried employees. It ditches the Hollywood model. They passionately care about "how you do art as a team sport." Everyone is a film maker. Success and failure is done by the team.

The final think mavericks have in common is intellectual humility. The surround themselves with other bright people.

R&D has become C&D, "connect and develop."

Overcome the "passion deficit."


I'll conclude here to say that the common theme winding through all these sessions are those specifically human ideas - passion, hope, empathy, spirit. It's the one idea I've been left with: success depends to an enormous degree on our ability to feel something toward the object of our thinking.

I'm struck by the number of questions about passion. How? Answer: the burn is inside.