Innovate or Die

The last few innovators I have interviewed have commented on how valuable they found the process of answering the questions I gave them. Apparently it gave them a chance to stop and think about their brand and where it has come from.

So I thought I would eat my own dog food, and put myself through some Innovate or Die questions.


What is the Innovate or Die all about?

At Innovate or Die we gain insights into innovative brands by interviewing the people behind them, in order to inspire others.

A new interview is posted every Friday, to give people food for thought over the weekend.

Why did you start Innovate or Die?

I started a blog called Maloney on Marketing in 2009, but over the years I learned that my posting behaviour was rather schizophrenic, covering whatever I was passionate about at the time.

While this approach was somewhat successful, as a marketer I knew that if I was going to build a brand I had to focus my energy. So I took my two biggest passions from the Maloney on Marketing blog, interviewing business owners and writing about innovation, and turned it into Innovate or Die.

Finally, Innovate or Die is now all about the insights of the people we interview, not just my own, which allows for much more room to grow moving forward.

Where did the name “Innovate or Die” come from?

“Innovate or Die” has been a popular saying in the business world for a long time now, and it is something I truly believe in. If you look at the pile of brands left behind by Apple and Google you get a sense of how powerful this statement is in the new world of business.

From a branding perspective, it is short, memorable and the url was available (which is more important that we often admit!). The use of Innovate in the title should also help from an SEO perspective.

However, in reality I was probably mostly influenced by one of my favourite websites “Funny or Die”

Who is Innovate or Die for and what is special about them?

Innovate or Die is for innovative entrepreneurs, be they current or aspiring. They are not fond of the status quo and want to be a part of something new and different. The behind-the-scene interviews on Innovate or Die are designed to inspire and challenge these entrepreneurs, and remind them why what they do is what they do.

Innovate or Die is also popular with marketing professionals who find the insights valuable in building the brands they work on.

Where do you find the people you interview on Innovate or Die?

It varies, but generally I like to have met and had a first hand experience with people before I interview them. So whenever I meet people that run businesses I am very inquisitive to see if they might be right for Innovate or Die.

However, recently I have been personally approached by several people interested in being interviewed (mostly via LinkedIn), so I look into their business and see if I think they would have an interesting story that Innovate or Die subscribers would enjoy reading.

How are you marketing Innovate or Die?

People mostly find out about Innovate or Die through word of mouth or search. We do have a relatively large email subscriber base and I promote interviews through Linked In, Facebook, Twitter etc which helps drive traffic.

Whenever I do a speaking gig, traffic and subscribers tend to spike, and soon I am planning to start doing some advertising around the web in order to build a bigger Innovate or Die community.

What has been the best part of starting Innovate or Die?

By far the people I get to meet and interview. There is something magnetic about people who choose to quit their job and do what they love. Every interview I publish inspires me.

What has been the hardest part?

The back-end technical stuff that comes with running a website. I force myself to learn as much as I can, but to be totally honest it is not my strength. My laptop nearly went out the window the other night when I was trying to map a new domain to the blog.

What is the best piece of business advice you ever received?

“It is easier to beg forgiveness, than ask permission”

What’s next for Innovate or Die?

More and more interviews! I am currently considering going back to some of the businesses I interviewed 2 years ago for an update on what has happened since, and I am toying with the idea of video interviews.

We have also been approached by publishers about developing an Innovate or Die book, that I am working through the proposal on at the moment. All things going well we should be able to get something out early next year.

Finally, what is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to start their own business?

Just go for it. Diving in the deep end is the best way to learn how to swim.

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Categories: Interview, Media


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