Building Startup Communities to Last

One of my heroes is Jim Collins. Of all books that I’ve ever read about business, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t are two of the most important ones I’ve ever read. While I read Built to Last first, I didn’t really get how important it was until I read Good to Great. I went back after, read Built to Last again – and slowly – and realized how powerful Collins’ research and thinking was.

So it was an incredible honor to interview Jim for 45 minutes last week at the Startup Phenomenon event about Startup Communities. We spent the time applying the ideas from Jim’s books and research to the idea of Startup Communities.

I learned a lot. I also had a lot of fun. And I came up with a few new ideas as Jim tossed out a few absolute gems during our 45 minutes together.

If you are interested in Startup Communities, or are a Jim Collins fan, I think you’ll like this a lot. Enjoy!

Startup Phenomenon | Brad Feld talks with Jim Collins from 23rd Studios on Vimeo.

  • My fave Jim Collins quote:
    “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

    • Leonardo Jimenez

      Yeah, I like the discipline part and the emphasis that somethings grow can be on detrimental of the company if not well managed.

  • It’s a great analogy for becoming great, but we also need to understand why great companies decline (aside from the Innovators dilemma).

    • Have you read “How The Might Fall” – – another great Jim Collins book.

      • ah, i haven’t. But I will, now that you pointed it. thx.

      • I read it. Arrogance plays a large role (or victims of ones past success). It is ironic that it is true that, all things being equal that past success is the best predictor of future success, but at the same time also perhaps the greatest impediment, as one’s future success is unlikely to look like, or come about in the same way, as one’s past success.

        Perhaps that is why they say that one’s greatest strengths tend also to be one’s greatest weaknesses (and that the more things change, the more they stay the same).

  • mschraad

    Jim’s writing and thinking is fantastic… especially ‘Good to Great’. Unfortunately to many business people read them like recipes. Understanding context is an incredibly powerful and way under rated skill.

    • Well said – context is hugely important and the “not great” don’t know how to deal with it / think about it.

  • tgodin

    Have you read ‘The Halo Effect’ by Phil Rosenzweig? Its an interesting and thought provoking counterpoint to Jim’s work.

    • I haven’t. Will go grab it now.

  • Very well done. Impressed with each of you.

  • Thanks for sharing this! I actually just finished reading Good to Great, and think Mr. Collins has an amazing perspective on business (and life). I also just found your blog, and am excited to read more of your thoughts!

  • Jason Whitney

    I sat front and center for this session and enjoyed every minute of it. Very thoughtful. Thanks for participating.

  • rimalovski

    Thanks for sharing this Brad. Really helpful, insightful stuff! Worth the watch involved in building a community.