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Connecting the Dots with Indiana Innovators and Failure Fans

By Erin Sparks
November 21, 2014

We’re still reeling from our recent banter with some of Indiana’s best – including a state governor, a multi-millionaire or two, the designer of the Dirt Devil, an Olympic gold medalist, an initial Napster investor, and many other successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Why? Because we’re more than digital marketing gurus – we’re connectors.

Recently Site Strategics was invited to participate in two Indianapolis-based events that showcase Indiana as a nationally emerging innovation and new tech development hotbed.

Governor Pence Edge of the Web Radio
Governor Mike Pence discusses how tax relief and education aid innovation on Edge of the Web Radio

The Forbes Reinventing America: Innovation Summit generated a lot of buzz from the first floor of the JW Marriott hotel downtown Indianapolis last Thursday, November 8, 2014. Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Steve Forbes himself headlined the event which pulled together über innovators to tell their stories and encourage would-be innovators in the audience.

Interview with Mike Pence - Download This Episode


Pence praised the common sense of Indiana and touted regional solutions for regional issues. Forbes also had praise for the Hoosier state and its cooperative spirit. “Indiana is creating a good environment in terms of doing business,” he said. “It’s gaining critical mass where people can have cross-fertilization and make things happen.”

Steve Forbes Edge of the Web Radio
Steve Forbes: “Keep doing what you’re doing, and people like us will come because we start noticing.”

Edge of the Web Radio host (and Site Strategics owner) Erin Sparks interviewed both men for the radio show and podcast – as well as several other business leaders like Wayne Eckerle, vice president of corporate research at Cummins, and Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie’s List – about ways to promote and improve the climate for innovative business thinking here in the Midwest. Some also shared helpful observations born of experience. “A mediocre idea with great talent behind it will do better than a great idea backed by mediocre talent,” said Hicks.

Sparks and crew were also on hand Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the inaugural Fail Fest – the brainchild of Launch Indiana, and a celebration of the virtues of failure and how it can lead business to greener pastures. Edge interviews captured pearls of wisdom from such glorious failure alums as Michael Cloran of DeveloperTown and veteran serial entrepreneur Scott Jones.

Quinn Buckner Edge of the Web Radio
Quinn Buckner tells Erin Sparks it’s not failure, it’s an unwanted outcome.

Surprise guest Quinn Buckner had a lot to say about the lessons of failure as well. The former Olympic gold medalist may be known for his successful careers with IU and Pacers basketball, but he had a lot to learn from his less successful stint coaching the Dallas Mavericks.

“When you fail in some area, you bring in someone else who does it well,” said Buckner during his Edge interview. “You have to be willing to pool your resources and work with others, because life is lived in relationships.”

You can hear excerpts from these interviews and others on upcoming Edge of the Web Radio podcasts. Tune in each week to increase your SEO wisdom and get connected to great resources in Indianapolis and across the state.