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Josh Linkner started his career as a jazz guitarist. He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. Josh built the largest digital promotions agency in the world, serving 74 of the top 100 brands when he founded ePrize which he later sold. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. Josh is the author of, two New York Times Bestsellers: Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, and The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation, as well as, Hacking Innovation. He is also the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners with Dan Gilbert and Earvin Magic Johnson, investing in and mentoring over 100 startups. His work on innovation has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, and The New York Times. And yes, he still plays a mean jazz guitar. For more information, visit 


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • [2:10] Jeremy introduces his guest, Josh Linkner. 
  • [4:00] How Josh learned to remove “Strings” in life and business. 
  • [6:40] Putting yourself out of business. 
  • [8:30] Josh talks about his work with Platypus Labs. 
  • [10:15] The three flavors of innovation. 
  • [13:00] A prison-themed gym. 
  • [16:25] The qualities investors look for. 

In this episode…

In what ways does your business need to innovate and think ahead to the next area of growth? Are you moving in the right direction, or do you need to rally the troops? On this episode of Inspired Insider, you’ll hear from innovator and entrepreneur Josh Linkner. In his conversation with Jeremy, Josh opens up about lessons learned from Jazz, why he tires to put himself out of business, the three flavors of innovation, and much more. Have pen and paper ready – you don’t want to miss a minute of this powerful episode! 

Innovation is one of those industry words that everyone tries to capitalize on, but few actually have the accomplishments to back up the buzz word. Josh Linkner does more than preach the wonders of innovation – he’s put in the work to push the ball forward. According to Josh, there are three “Flavors” of innovation. 

  • INNOVATION – a drug that saves lives.
  • Innovation – meaningful innovations that don’t make headlines but they make a difference. 
  • innovation – little micro innovations that are made by regular folks every week. 

Which flavor of innovation best describes your approach? What do you plan to do to increase innovation in your organization? Make sure to check out the link to Josh’s website where you can learn more about his take on innovation in the business world. 

If you were asked to sit down and decide which startup founder to invest in, which qualities would you look for? Would you look for someone who is brimming with confidence? How would your knowledge base or life experience factor into your decision making? Having had multiple opportunities to invest in startups – Josh Linkner shared the qualities he looks for when sizing up a startup. Josh says that he looks for coachable, openminded, and humble individuals who have a track record of working through adversity toward a positive outcome. What do you think of Josh’s approach? Would you add anything?

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Sponsor for this episode

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