Josh Linkner, Louis CK & The Power of “Why?”
Our new friend Josh Linkner stopped by last week. Josh is a good dude; and with all the time I spend in Detroit, it’s a wonder it took us this long to meet.
We had this funny moment in the big board room. Josh was being introduced to the group before his presentation, and we all started laughing, even Josh, about how long it was taking to just get the intro over with and let the man freakin’ talk. That’s because mofo has done so much, and I’m not sure if he’s even 40 yet. Por ejemplo:
- CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners. Together with business partners Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert, Josh is actively rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship.
- Adjunct Professor of Applied Creativity at the University of Michigan
- New York Times Bestselling author of Disciplied Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, named one of the top 10 business books of 2011
- Founder, Chairman and former CEO of ePrize, the largest interactive promotion agency in the world providing digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands.
- Founder and CEO of three other successful technology companies
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
- Detroit News Michiganian of the Year
- President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient
- Columnist for Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, and his work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, and The New York Times
- Berklee-trained professional jazz guitarist performing regularly in jazz clubs throughout the United States
See what I mean?
When I got home that night, my son asked what I did that day. I tried to explain about Detroit Venture Partners, and that’s when the “Why” questions started flying:
D: “What’s a ‘venture partners’?”
Me: “A group of businesspeople who invest in companies, like startups.”
Me: “When someone has a great idea for a new business, they need funding to support it.”
Me: “You know, like, money to get the business going.”
Me: “I don’t know, like, office space.”
Me: “Because you can’t have your whole staff work in Starbucks.”
Me: “Because the city is struggling. And there’s not a lot of free wifi in Detroit.”
Me: “Because of the economny in Detroit, the infrastructure, the crime. Everything, really.”
Me: “Because the city is having an existential crisis.”
That’s when I stopped the conversation, told my son I needed to show my wife something, and played this clip that Josh showed in his presentation. Watch it and you’ll get, um, why…