Startups: Disrupt Yourself To Disrupt The Industry – Interview With Brian Solis

While startups may think that Silicon Valley is the only place they should build a business and find funding, they’re wrong. Startup hotspots such as Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Phoenix, Austin, and more, are bubbling up all over the country and the money is following for innovators willing to disrupt the world of business.

Digital anthropologist, futurist, and author Brian Solis is known for his expertise in innovation and experience design as well as research in disruptive technology and its impact on business and society. He’s had well over a decade of experience building startups and investing in companies that have come out of Silicon Valley and now he’s looking elsewhere.

“Silicon Valley is a mess!” said Brian in an interview with Tech.Co.

Brian said while Silicon Valley has this “allure” and founders think they need to drink the Bay Area water, the truth is:

“You don’t have to be there…you have to have a desire to solve problems that other people can not see,” he said.

I caught up to Brian at SXSW where we sat down to talk about startups, investment, company culture and how investors view innovation vs iteration when evaluating startups in the interview.

“Startups needs to spend more time building business that solve problems and make money,” Brian said.

Brian’s advice for founders who are building a brand is to prepare for obsolescence, meaning what you are building today won’t be relevant in a few years. In his new book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, he discusses the importance of blending CX, UX and BX together to re-imaging the customer journey and life cycle.

Austin has a city motto of “Keep Austin Weird.” In that spirit, I asked Brian about how he keeps it weird and authentic and in doing so stays true to himself.

If you liked what you saw, you might want to watch the full twenty minute fireside chat between Frank Gruber and Brian Solis. After all, if you’re going to disrupt, you need to know who’s making a difference.

This SXSW video series is brought you by .ME, which gives a truly personal tone to your domain name with its unforgettable meaning and word combination possibilities. Let .ME be the go to place for your online business or blog for people to learn about you. Learn more at

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Written by:
Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.
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