This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Startup Passion Smack-Down

#sxsw #Passion


A surprisingly high percentage of entrepreneurs derail their startups because they fall in love with their idea. Emotional attachment to an idea leads to premature scaling and a number of other dangers. But, passion is a sacred topic among founders, who are often just as passionate about their passion as about their startups. Too often, we entrepreneurs equate rigorous scrutiny of our ideas with “negative thinking.” In this workshop we will transcend the false dichotomy between "positive" and "negative" thinking, and explore how entrepreneurial passion can bring danger along with its obvious benefits. Drawing on the latest psychological and business research, we will show how to scrutinize and strengthen your startup idea in a way that deepens your passion and confidence, and elevates your odds of success.



John Bradberry CEO Ready Founder Services

John is founding partner of Ready Founder Services (, a consulting and education firm based in Charlotte, NC. Over two decades as a consultant, coach, investor and entrepreneur, John has improved the performance of a thousand leaders and hundreds of teams in companies such as Sun Microsystems, Novartis, Avon, Coca-Cola, and Bank of America. In 2006, he launched an immersive study of startup success factors, with the aim of developing tools and services for entrepreneurs and investors. His first book (6 Secrets to Startup Success: How to Turn Your Entrepreneurial Passion into a Thriving Business) was published by the American Management Association in 2011. Guy Kawasaki said that 6 Secrets to Startup Success is "an excellent summary of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur -- every person who wants to start the 'next big thing' should read Bradberry's book before taking the leap forward."

John worked inside First Union Corporation (now Wells Fargo) for five years in several senior consulting roles. While there, he profiled the company’s top thirty executives, worked to successfully integrate newly merged functions and regions within the bank, and designed and led corporate leadership programs.

He began his professional career with Kepner-Tregoe, a global management consultancy based in Princeton, NJ. His clients included IBM, Fuji Film, Merck, and Nortel. He managed client accounts, led organizational improvement efforts, and trained managers in problem-solving and decision-making skills.

He earned his master’s degree in psychology from the University of Richmond, where he was honored as the Psychology Department's Outstanding Graduate Student, and is a 1983 graduate of Davidson College. He lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife and daughters.

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