He has been called the B2E proponent, the king of the killer app, and the most eligible bachelor in Silicon Valley. Oliver Muoto demonstrated on May 9 that he is all of those things — plus a valued and trusted member of the Fast Company community — during his speaking stint at RealTime Orlando.
The cofounder of Silicon Valley’s Epicentric Inc., Muoto urged the RealTime audience to think differently in order to welcome and anticipate change in daily life. Three words — trust, fun, and innovation — pervaded his comments and gave shape to his rebel spirit. “When you are chased out of the company, twirl a baton and pretend it’s a parade,” he said. “And, above all, focus on the customer rather than the competition.”
The downfall of many leaders, Muoto argued, is something called the “Problem Mentality.” “You must ask, do we really have a problem or de we need a problem?” he asked. “Any simple problem can be made infinitely more complex. Don’t let it.”
Shortly after his discussion with the RealTime participants, Muoto spoke with Fast Company about change, creativity, and building to last:
What message do you hope to convey to the RealTime participants?
I’m here to deliver a message of change — how change relates to the fast economy and to getting things done at Internet speed.
Where do great ideas come from?
Great ideas come from people. It is the responsibility of organizations to nurture that creativity amongst its people and empower them to implement those ideas. That happens from the top down with great leadership. We have a lot of leaders here, and my message to them would be this: Empower your people to act on the ideas they form, and form a culture where risk-taking is encouraged and empowerment is the rule rather than the exception.
I think we don’t have enough good leaders in corporations today. A lot of leaders are leaving big companies to found their own startups, and more needs to be done to retain great leaders and educate new leaders.
Where do you stand on the Built to Last/Built to Flip issue?
If we have learned anything from the recent fluctuations in the economy it is that if you want to build a lasting business, you need to have a long-term mentality. The Built to Flip is innately flawed in that you are trying to create profit without actually providing a valuable service or product. That is not a long-term, lasting solution.
Why are you here at RealTime Orlando?
I’m here to convey a message of change — how change relates to the new economy and, more importantly, how change relates to the fast economy. We have a lot of fast people here who want to learn how they can function at Internet speed. Mine is definitely a message of change.
One of the important things to take away from this conference is the dynamic of change. Change and momentum are very closely related. Momentum is essentially a change in speed. We need to understand, greet, and anticipate change with more momentum. We also need to create environments where employees can embrace and affect change.
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