Safi Bahcall: Why Do Good Companies Kill Great Ideas?

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Disruptive innovation. Visionary leaders. Innovative culture. All phrases you’ve likely seen before in your LinkedIn feed, heard in TED Talks, or read in business book titles. Forget them all. The one neologism you need to know: loonshot. Unlike its celebrated etymological parent, the moonshot, a loonshot is a great idea that’s widely dismissed as too crazy to ever succeed. That’s according to physicist, former biotech CEO, and ex-Obama Administration science advisor, Safi Bahcall. He joins the podcast to talk about his new book, Loonshots, and discuss why we need leaders with heart who boldly make changes to the structure of a company (not the culture) in order to nurture those crazy ideas.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • The difference between a moonshot and a loonshot, and how to get the latter off the ground
  • How business leaders can bridge the divide between a company’s “soldiers” (the doers) and its “artists” (the creators) — while loving them equally
  • Why we should all erase the term “disruptive innovation” from our business vernacular
  • How the film industry has mastered maximizing franchises and nurturing loonshots
  • The need for leaders to be “careful gardeners” and to always avoid the “Moses trap”
  • What the physics of a glass of water can reveal about the dynamics of group behavior

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