Emerging Voices: Achieve Mastery in Business | AIChE
Emerging Voices
March
2021

I love French cuisine because creating an astounding dish like beef bourguignon requires only basic ingredients, brought together by patience and technique. The same approach can be applied to building a successful company. Rigorously practicing simple truths has merited rave reviews of my cooking, and earned me professional recognition, including AIChE’s 35 Under 35 award, Puget Sound Innovator of the Year, and Univ. of Washington Diamond Engineering Alumni. The core skills I use as an entrepreneur are simple but powerful: mastering innovation, focusing on corporate strategy, and building diverse teams. When put together, these skills create a recipe for success.

Master innovation. Innovation is like salt — too little is dull, too much is overwhelming, and the right amount can make an organization hum with energy and focus. Companies that maintain the right level of innovation change the world. Many books have been written on innovation and it is easy to believe innovators simply see the world differently or make connections that are not so intuitive, but that is only part of the picture. The best innovators learn what problems are worth solving, which is almost always the rate-limiting step.

Failing to focus on the rate-limiting problem is expensive. For example, at Membrion, we abandoned two years of product development and pivoted to a...

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