The 4th Option Junto
#69—Derek Lidow: The Historical and Modern Role of Entrepreneurs in Society

#69—Derek Lidow: The Historical and Modern Role of Entrepreneurs in Society

Derek Lidow is unique in having successful careers as CEO of a global publicly traded semiconductor company, a founder and CEO of an innovative and valuable startup, and now as a teacher and scholar of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Derek is a professor of the practice at the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education at Princeton University. He is the author of Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises , Building on Bedrock: What Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies, and THE ENTREPRENEURS: The Relentless Quest for Value, as well as more than a hundred articles on innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Lidow graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and received a PhD from Stanford as a Hertz Foundation Fellow.

In this podcast, he shares:

  • What it really takes to be a successful entrepreneur—and the history of these individuals

  • What people often get wrong when they think about entrepreneurship

  • Lessons for you to apply to become a successful entrepreneur

  • The positive and unexpected negative consequences of entrepreneurship in society



-Derek Lidow


Episode Timeline:

00:00—Introducing Derek + The topic of today’s episode

2:23—If you really know me, you know that...

2:54—What is your definition of strategy?

3:29—What is your definition of entrepreneurship?

5:14—Could you talk about the history of corporations and their structures, and how entrepreneurs fit into that?

7:01—How were business people like the Elon Musks and Jeff Bezos perceived 4,000 years ago, and who were they?

8:15—What would the world look like without entrepreneurs within the business mix?

9:39—What are the less desirable impacts of entrepreneurs?

11:51—How do we incentivize entrepreneurs to lean toward positive endeavors?

14:14—Do you believe there is a shift toward entrepreneurs being focused on societal problems rather than self-interest focuses?

15:44—What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur (qualities, characteristics, etc.)?

17:16—What is something you'd like to share we haven't covered?

17:58—How can people continue to learn from you and follow you?


Additional Resources:

Personal Page:




The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.