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How NASCAR, filmmaking, and agtech startups are the same

Good morning innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs. This newsletter and podcast feature stories about the people – past, present and future – who change the world. They make decisions and take actions enlivened by what I call The Entrepreneur’s Ethic. The Entrepreneur’s Ethic infuses people, organizations and places where the future is created, and the world is made a better place. One of the Entrepreneurs featured in my upcoming book, The Entrepreneur’s Ethic, is Walt Disney, American animator, film producer and entrepreneur. Disney was a pioneer of the American animation and entertainment industry, and he had some battle scars to prove it. There are seven parts of The Entrepreneur’s Ethic. Disney’s work exemplifies Ethic 4: Invest for Tomorrow. This is the future-orientation of entrepreneurship.

This week’s episode is a great conversation with Jon Housholder. Jon is co-founder, co-owner, director, editor and producer with Unrivaled Films.

Unrivaled Films has produced critically acclaimed documentaries for major streaming services, network television docuseries, viral music videos, and nationally televised commercial branding ventures all around the world. He is a three-time Emmy Award winner as a producer, editor, and director. Examples of films Jon’s made are Unrivaled: Earnhardt vs. Gordon, about heated NASCAR competitors Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon and The Golden Hour: Making of 'Days of Thunder', about the Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Jon has had the opportunity to meet and work with some very recognizable and interesting people in making films such as Jeff Gordon, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jay Leno and others. He’s a creative entrepreneur and I enjoyed learning about his work and approach and know you will too.


Good Reads

Why AI Will Save The World – Marc Andreessen The Size of Firms and the Nature of Innovation – Matt Clancy Tomato Progress and the Problem of Regulatory Boxes – Virginia Postrel Progress or Stagnation in Film – Matt Clancy

Three Things I Think (I Think)

I got to ask filmmaker and entrepreneur Jon Housholder about his favorite filmmaker and movie. What’s your favorite movie? Patti and I participated some years ago in a workshop for aspiring fiction writers. I don’t recall the details of the workshop, but one question the workshop leader asked everyone is to name their three favorite movies. He then went around the room and would have individuals name their top three movies and he could do a sort of psychic trick of explaining to them what they deeply cared about based on their movie picks. Patti hated the question, asserting a person can’t just pick only three favorite movies. I, on the other hand, took about five seconds to pick my top three. And my list hasn’t changed in the intervening years. 1. True Grit (1969) – Rooster Cogburn, though certainly a flawed character, exemplifies for me the rough and ready habit of how Americans get things done. I liked the 2010 version with Jeff Bridges as Cogburn, but it’s difficult to rank that above the John Wayne version. The book on which the movie is based is good too. 2. Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) – Jeff Bridges gets the nod for this entrepreneurial adventure film. A terrific depiction of the audaciousness required to pull off big ideas, but also the dangers presented by the powers of the status quo. 3. Lincoln (2012) – Fortunately for all of us, Lincoln was a more talented statesman, politician and leader than entrepreneur. But innovators can take plenty of inspiration from his clarity of vision and pragmatism in achieving that vision. I have always listed Lincoln as one of the historical figures I would have most enjoyed meeting. Daniel Day Lewis’ Lincoln brought me as close to that experience as I could imagine.


Farm to my table

If I’m in my office, I’ll typically have an afternoon cup of tea. And that tea is usually American. Specifically, it’s from Charleston Tea Garden in South Carolina. It’s the only tea grown in the United States. A few years ago, then-ISU student Joe Popp brought in proprietor William Barclay Hall as a virtual guest for a travel course and I’ve been drinking their tea ever since.

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