Friday, July 31, 2020

"Innovation on Tap: The Movie", Podcasts, and Guest Posts

"Innovation on Tap" was awarded the 2020 Silver Medal in the
"Entrepreneurship and Small Business" category
by Axiom Business Books
This post features a collection of excerpts, guest posts, reviews, videos, podcasts, interviews, and book-talks related to Innovation on Tap, which was published in October 2019.

The book can be ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Greenleaf Book Group, and Porchlight (for bulk purchases), and is available in hardcover, Kindle, and Audible.

Innovation on Tap
received a silver medal for "Entrepreneurship and Small Business" in the 2020 Axiom Business Book Awards, was a finalist in the "Business and Career" category of the 2020 Independent Book Publishers Association awards, and was longlisted for the Porchlight Business Book Awards in the "Innovation and Creativity" category.  

In July 2020, Innovation on Tap became an Amazon Bestseller in Business, Technology, and Innovation categories. 

Also available, free of charge, is a special set of notes prepared for entrepreneurs, business class instructors, and book groups that explore the leadership and innovation issues presented in the book. See Special Notes for Entrepreneurs here.


The video below is a 30-second summary put together by Booksplainers.

Book Talks

We had a great conversation about innovation across Asia Pacific in August 2020.

A fantastic virtual panel with three of the entrepreneurs from  "Innovation on Tap"--
Brenna Berman, CEO and Exec Dir of City Tech Collaborative, Jean Brownhill, CEO & Founder of Sweeten Brent Grinna, CEO & Founder of EverTrue.  Notes from this session may be found here.

I had a great session with the team at PHG, the folks who made Weathermakers to the World
and Food Foolish look so good.

Thanks to the Venture Cafe in Cambridge for hosting this event.

The only book talk I was able to present live, before the pandemic...

What a Pandemic-era book talk looks like from the author's podium.  My thanks to HBS 83I sectionmate Neil Collins for making this possible.


Published Excerpts of "Innovation on Tap"

"Innovation on Tap" was longlisted in the "Innovation
and Creativity" awards category by
Porchlight Business Books
In the months before publication, I posted several short excerpts from the book, including Buddy Bolden and the birth of jazz, Jason Jacobs and the growth of RunkeeperJean Brownhill and the launch of Sweeten, Elizabeth Arden and "the right to be beautiful," GM's Alfred Sloan (the most successful American entrepreneur ever?), and Brent Grinna and Evertrue.

Thanks to Laura AsialaPyxera Global posted a review and parts of the Introduction from Innovation on Tap. Laura adds, "When I read about the challenges faced by these pioneers, I find myself agreeing with Schultz: there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, which is a good thing, because we need many of them."

Chapter 19, which features Brenna Berman and smart cities, appeared on the CityTech Collaborative website.  Bermans explains how large cities employ data to improve the delivery of services, and how entrepreneurs in giant organizations must find ways to navigate complex ecosystems in order to deliver high-impact innovation.  A fun and good read--and thank you to Brenna.

Guest Posts

Here's my guest post for CEOBlogNation, The Things I Learned About Successful Entrepreneurs from Studying Three Centuries of History.  It's a long title for a short post that concludes, among other things, that "community is an entrepreneur's superpower."

From barbershop to coffeeshop, Ray Oldenburg's third places contribute in important ways to an entrepreneur's community.  Here's a guest post I wrote for SmartHustle: "Healthy third places are marked by an ability to unite a community, flatten rank, assimilate newcomers, spread information, and enhance a person's sense of belonging.  They can become socially powerful in their own right--a reason that British authorities frowned up coffeehouses in colonial America."
AllBusiness featured Where Do Successful Entrepreneurs Get Their Brilliant New Ideas From?, in which I managed to fit six entrepreneurs from the book into 1,000 words. (I'm learning.)

I also wrote 3 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Slow Things Down for Greater Success, a post featured on  Addicted2Success. "As an entrepreneur, wisdom normally accumulates one day at a time.  But if you could hack this pace, one-day-of-experience for one-day-of-work, you might be able to slow the world down even as it accelerates."

Stephen Tyng Mather is one of the early heroes of sustainability and one of my favorite chapters in Innovation on Tap. Mather appears in a guest post thanks to the good folks at the Gettysburg Foundation.


In November 2019, Innovation on Tap was nominated to the Porchlight longlist in the category of Innovation and Creativity.  Gabbi Cisneros wrote a generous review:

Eric B. Schultz crafts a lively history of famous entrepreneurs from the late 1700s to 2015. Rather than placing them on a pedestal, the author places them on a barstool. The atmosphere of a barroom full of entrepreneurs is a creative choice that humanizes the sometimes flat characters who are otherwise only described as "the inventor of…”. Additionally, this setting highlights other key points that the author makes about entrepreneurship: “The stronger the community the greater the chances for success" and “no single story is as powerful as the sum of all the stories." Schultz chronicles each entrepreneur’s coming-of-age and the many obstacles they faced and ultimately overcame (to various degrees). Entrepreneurs of today can identify with patenting issues, racism, sexism, and debt, which have been hurdles across time: "[Eli] Whitney never grew rich on his invention," "William Grimes was born a slave and fought bravely throughout his life for freedom and economic independence," "[Elizabeth] Arden appealed to consumers by emphasizing the 'New Woman' — who was anything but traditional." Additionally fascinating is the progression of entrepreneurial focuses which divide each section: Mechanization, Mass Production, Consumerism, Sustainability, and Digitization, and though it's exciting to understand these changes in priority and capacity, it's most incredible to appreciate the unrelenting drive that entrepreneurs grow to possess, no matter their background or invention.

The Midwest Book Review wrote: "A unique storytelling approach to surveying and presenting insights into entrepreneurial success, "Innovation on Tap" . . . is an inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of business students, aspiring entrepreneurs, corporate executives, business managers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Innovation on Tap" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99)."

Foreword Reviews wrote a critique here: "Built upon strong research and fun to read, Innovation on Tap gives today's innovators the wisdom and gumption they need to overcome the odds."  

Podcasts and Interviews

This podcast from July 2020 is with journalist Sam Mednick for her "Happiness at Work" series on Management 3.0.  We cover the stories of both living and not-so-living entrepreneurs from Innovation on Tap, and talk about what it means to be happy at work.                                                                                                                                            Here's an HBS Skydeck podcast that took me back to my alma mater. Dan Morrell and I discuss innovation and entrepreneurship through the lens of music--Buddy Bolden and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Here's a fun podcast I did with Kayla Armstrong at CHENPR (along with some of their other good work).

Here's a podcast for Everyday MBA.  Many thanks to host Kevin Craine. 

Here's a podcast I did with James Taylor of The Creative Life.  It runs about 35 minutes and allows me to talk about the book and Mekko charts. 

The book is “the story of innovation in America told through the eyes of 25 entrepreneurs, from Eli Whitney to Lin-Manuel Miranda.” What do you think all these entrepreneurs have in common across history, location and sector? 
First, it’s community. They all succeeded because of community, and when they were good at finding, building, nurturing, leveraging community, they did better. The second theme is: the business model is critical. When we talk about entrepreneurs, we say they need to have perseverance, grit, courage; what they need is a good business model. If you have a good business model, and you’ve been thoughtful about it, and you can pivot quickly when you need to, then it covers up an awful lot of sins.


  1. Hi Eric,
    I'm on your site, but how do I get my email on your mailing list?
    All the best,


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