Published: Feb. 9, 2021


Deviant Spirits, Jeff York, Brad Werner


Jeff York  00:14

Welcome to the first episode of creative distillation. My name is Jeff York, Professor of Entrepreneurship strategy here at the Leeds School of Business. And I'm also the research director for the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. I'm joined today by Brad Warner, my co host. Hi, Jeff. Thank


Brad Werner  00:31

you very much, Jeff. And I actually have the pleasure of working together and lead School of Business. I'm Faculty Director for entrepreneurship right now. But primarily, my role is a practitioner role, where how do you actually take the academic model and create tools that are effective for our students the day they walk out the door? So I'm really excited to do this with Jeff to talk about current academic, entrepreneurial research, and to distill it down into how actually, does this help someone who's starting a business right now someone that's in a growth stage and those different types of business life cycles?


Jeff York  01:08

Absolutely. And that's what we're gonna try to do, or at least I'm going to try to do. The Nexus for this idea came about, through conversations Brad and I were having we've known each other for what, four or five years? That's correct. But now Brad has agreed to formally join our faculty, which I'm just thrilled about full time, and he's going to be working on organizing all of our teaching for all of our entrepreneurship students as Krause MBA executive education undergraduate, and there couldn't be a better person for the job, in my humble opinion, thank you very much. Like I'm just thrilled he agreed to take this on. Because Brad's background is not as an academic. I've had him as a guest judge in many of my classes. He's generously given his time. And there's always this trickle of fear that comes into the student teams eyes, as they see him hear about things, ranging from small scale commercial aviation, to a restaurant concept, to a new app to a bakery and Brad's like, Oh, yeah, I've been involved in starting one of those. I've also started one of those. And here's why I've done this. He literally has done almost everything that that I've ever exposed him to he had some hand in it. So I think that you bring a great wealth of experience stores, thanks, really appreciate that. I on the other hand, did work. Before I became an academic, not to imply that academics don't work. But I worked in the real world, I did some work at a technology, startup incubator at one of the National Laboratories also did a lot of work during, boom, with many failed ventures that I'm really proud of, that don't exist anymore. And I also worked at a major financial services company, doing partnerships before I decided, you know, this is, this is just too hard. I'd rather write papers than actually do this stuff. So I went back did my PhD at the University of Virginia came here at the University of Colorado. I've been here about 10 years now. And my role as the research director for the Deming center is to figure out how to support entrepreneurship research here at the Leeds school at CU. We do that across campus, not just at elite schools that were involved in partnerships with the law school with sociology with a music school, but also to try to make that research interesting and useful to students. And that's what led to this idea for a podcast, Brad and I are continuously having conversations where I tried to explain to him what we folks that write these papers are doing and why it might be a value to someone other than other academics. That's right. And we thought, well, let's see, that could be an interesting way for us to do something different and talk about that with each other podcast. And so we started to think about well, that's a good foundation. I think it's but what else do we both enjoy? There's many things we're both are interested in, and one turned out to be we both have a love of Colorado's boom, and beverages. That's right.


Brad Werner  04:08

And Jeff just the benefit of being in Boulder, Colorado, with the the startup scene, generally, but more specifically in the spirits and in the beer industry is really, really incredible. We're fortunate enough Yes, to be able to do this at a really really cool distillery. But we're also fortunate enough to have rally with us who is here actually rallies walking up right now who's a co founder of the business


Jeff York  04:34

Yeah, and we are here at dv eight that's a D of v and eight right rally. That's correct. dv eight spirits. We plan to do this podcast pretty much from a different location, featuring a different beverage. It won't always be alcoholic. I was supposed to mention that. just happens that you know the name of the podcast, of course planning on Joseph Schumpeter his famous idea of creative destruction, creative distillation, because we're trying to creatively distill these ideas down into useful tidbits. And Brad will tell me if I'm successful in that probably won't be. But I'll try.


Brad Werner  05:07

And truthfully, Jeff, looking at some of these academic papers, you do need a vodka. And the other thing that I'd like the listeners to know, is that most of our podcasts will be recorded on location at a really, really cool, hopefully distillery but different businesses around town. like beer. Yeah, like


Brad Werner  05:28

bourbon much better than beer.


Jeff York  05:29

I say, hopefully a brewery.


Brad Werner  05:30

But But please excuse the background noise if there is any.


Jeff York  05:34

Yeah, there's no way for us to do this in the field and not get a little noise. Right, which is great. Yeah, it's a real place. We thought we started the podcast off. And we also have a plethora of cold brewed coffee companies and older, as well as kombucha. I know, several kombucha guys. But anyway, we're not here to talk about them. We're here to talk about deviate. And you were saying your most popular spirit is a vodka rally.


Deviant Spirits  05:58

That is correct. It's our flagship product. The thing that kind of separates us in the industry is we're 100% rice based spirits here over at 14th and Pearl in Boulder. And as we're sitting here taste, I'm going to kind of walk these gentlemen through the tasting awesome. So because it is 100% rice base, it's going to be a little bit more similar to esaki. The Japanese influence spirits like it Alright, now that you're in Gilmore, that bubblegum that banana, a little bit of a nice, it's a little more viscous. So the reason why behind rice is you're gonna get a lot more of these profiles there as a


Brad Werner  06:27

plain viscous,



viscous Yes, is just the consistency of the liquid itself. So it's almost, it's a little bit more like it's almost like a simple syrup. It has a thicker quality on the palate. So it coats your palate, as opposed to water, which just goes down really quick and easy. It has more residual effect, it has legs, quote, unquote,


Jeff York  06:43

yeah, I can see legs coming up on the side of the glass, like you would with a really nice scotch or



exactly where one, you know, liken it to those two things. So as you taste it, you'll be able to get a little more activity on the nose. So it's not a neutral vodka. It's an active buck. I


Jeff York  06:58

don't really like okay, so so I guess we should talk about our qualifications to do this at all. I'm a certified beer judge the beer judge certification program. Don't drink a lot of vodka. So I respectfully to not like this since I'm not a drinker. Excellent. But already smelling this. I'm like, usually my sense of vodka is I pick it up. I smell it. I'm like, yeah, that smells like alcohol. Okay, great. Here. Exactly. So almost get like esters like banana. That'd be peach.



Yep. Okay, one more that stone fruit. And the idea behind this because you want to make it more enjoyable and a little more active. So as you when you mix it and things, you're just gonna make a vodka tonic and don't really notice it. But moving can meet by itself. It has character as opposed to just trying to take everything out. You want to leave some stuff in.


Brad Werner  07:47

would you classify this more as a sipping vodka then versus a mix?



I would Yeah, so I drink it neat. I drink it rocks and drink it Martini. I'll put it mixed drinks, of course as well. But traditionally, I like I like the flavor flavor of alcohol when it's not when it's made well.


Jeff York  08:01

Yeah. Having been like, what? 16 degrees last few days. And that's right. boulder is the perfect.


Brad Werner  08:07

This is apropos Cheers, guys,


Jeff York  08:09

thank you so much for hosting us, right? Yeah, really?


Brad Werner  08:12

We really appreciate it and the vodka tastes fabulous.


Jeff York  08:15

Oh my goodness, that is smooth. Yes.


Brad Werner  08:19

I'm not a drinker myself. Why I am not a professional. I used to be a professional. I would say I've moved back down to the Semi Pro League.



Holy cow.



I like to liken myself.


Jeff York  08:30

Yeah, right. It is unbelievable. It has a actual flavor to it does. It's pleasant.


Brad Werner  08:38

Yeah. So I've never had anything like this. I've never had vodka.


Jeff York  08:42

And I mean, I had a friend who was an exchange student to Russia. And he he brought all this vodka back and was telling me how it was all different how we had to you guys know this thing where you like if you don't have anything to chase your shot within Russia, you you smell the other person's scalp?


Brad Werner  08:55

Never heard of that.


Jeff York  08:58

He could have he could have just I could be totally disobeying this information here if you're out there and hearing this then



start applying that to my customers when they cry. Yeah,


Jeff York  09:06

free shot.


Brad Werner  09:06

Yes. If


Jeff York  09:07

you if you like smell Chase, you smell this guy. But usually it's like but but but even that, I mean, like that was like I was like yeah, I guess it tastes like this actually is really, really,



really good. It's a rally if someone wanted to try this on, how would they actually track you down and you can look us up on the internet. deviant spirits calm is the website. But I would recommend going to Hazel's here in Boulder and all the big liquor stores in Colorado, but primarily Hazel is where we do a lot of business and ask any of the reps for DBA pocket no great,


Brad Werner  09:36

great, but it's totally worth a try. And if you get a chance to hop into the distillery really cool space too. So that's what


Jeff York  09:43

is the address of



where we are. And we are at 24 at 49th Street unit ease and Edward here in Boulder, Colorado. And you said you're making a bourbon now too, as well. You are making a bourbon as well. We're just releasing three new products over the last few weeks. So we're just in a huge growth phase


Jeff York  09:57

right now. That's fantastic. That's


Brad Werner  09:58

great. And then oh Good. So when I was thinking in rally You and I were talking before we started the podcast today and rally in the entrepreneurship world, you you're unique because you were able to start your business purely through bootstrapping. Correct. Do you mind talking about that for a minute or so? Totally? Yeah, absolutely.



So when we were starting the business, we knew it something wanted to do, but we are very reticent to give away equity, obviously, at the onset of a business, giving away equity, what's the sense of that unless you're 100%? happy, right. So I was a server at the buff over here, this restaurant over here, just working my butt off 530 in the morning, till two in the afternoon, and coming here and working here all night. And that was about a year and a half, two years of that. And the benefit of it for us was just one, it's that sweat equity that I think is really important. You know, you pour your heart into something, and you're gonna treat it better. Yeah, you know, there's always something you're gonna have a little more of removed perspective of it. Sure. So that's half of it. And the other half of it for us is just like, you know, say that equity, we're serious about doing this in the long run. And, for us, you know, the bootstrap was the only way that really made sense to us. And also, I think it's a really good way to prove ourselves, too, we now have a couple investors who have really come in, and everyone loves seeing that, that we've put our heart and soul everything, all of our cash in the game is huge in this game, the game is huge. And it also just shows a lot about how who we are as people that were able to take nothing and turn it into something.


Brad Werner  11:13

Can you just speak to maybe your largest or your biggest entrepreneurial challenge of getting the business growing?


Brad Werner  11:19




Gosh, I would say time energy resources, you know, for us, the biggest leap was, I think, the misconception of what our market was going to be, right, you know, you do endless market research, and then you actually building your business, you know, day one.


Jeff York  11:36

That's all that's,



that's exactly. That's, that's really day one. So for us, it was okay, we're just going to sell alcohol. But what really we've become is more of an event space and a safe space here in Boulder, Colorado. So we throw dance parties, we do a lot of LGBTQ fundraising. So we're more of like our mission statement has become is now radical self acceptance for self and others. So we're really actually in the business of promoting is self acceptance. Live who you are your best self, all that sort of things through the lens of, you know, like, we have glow parties, when people paint themselves up with painting, you know, where scantily clad outfits or they'll come in and, you know, be newly out in the in the queer community. And that's, that's, that's what, who we want to support.


Jeff York  12:16

It's great. So you've tapped into a whole nother community that was sort of looking for more of a home,



and you're providing and we are that as well, you know, we are our community, and we represent that demographic. And so we want to be and that's really the point that businesses become, we're so grateful that we get to have an opportunity to affect people's lives. Well, personally,


Brad Werner  12:34

I think that the community is grateful to have entrepreneurs like you, and and Jeff and I talked about this a lot as well on how entrepreneurship can actually effectuate social change. And I think that that is really important. And I think that you are a testament to that happening right now. So that's why I



do it as much as we can. And we find that, you know, the more we lean into that aspect of the business more successful we become, as opposed to leaning into our concepts of what we want to be right. Right. Right. Right. Yeah,


Jeff York  12:59

we always talk about this with students a lot, actually. Because they're always coming up with opportunities, I would call it great opportunities for Google. like, Yeah, that'd be great. And if you did it, then Google could take it away like that, right? Except why not think about who you actually are? And I don't mean, like, you know, the courses you took, like, what is your identity? What do you care deeply about? And then thinking about how can you align the business with that or create a new business from that, and that tends to be I mean, and the research actually shows bread, okay, that folks that do that, that's what experts, printers do, people, there's studies showing that people who have founded multiple successful businesses are people who start with who they are and who they know and build out from that, rather than the opportunity that's sitting out there on the horizon, the authenticity,



and that's what we found, that people respond to in our businesses, people like, Oh, this is true for you this that you actually live this, right, and then they then they buy into your brand


Jeff York  13:55

when you have a great product.


Brad Werner  13:56

But it doesn't work without that it doesn't work. Also, if you're not authentic, right, which is important. And I actually think that being authentic then leads into self awareness and those other types of things. It's really, really important as an entrepreneur. Those are, those are fundamental, foundational tools you need to understand before you go


Jeff York  14:15

on, and it's so true, like so many of the industries here in Boulder to like, you know, I mean, we're talking about craft brewing craft spirits, as well, as well. We're gonna be talking a little bit about the organic foods industry today, as well as rural entrepreneurship. This sense of authenticity is what allows you to differentiate sometimes, yeah. Awesome. Maybe we can get you in the class. Come talk. Yeah.



Yeah, whatever is needed has been a real pleasure. Thank


Jeff York  14:38

you. Wonderful. Thank you. This is great. Really appreciate. So that was awesome. And I honestly I mean, I'm not saying this because these folks are being nice enough to host us here. I'm saying because I genuinely enjoyed my drink of vodka that we had. And I don't think I've ever said that in my entire life. Even when I was drinking. to even be drinking vodka. In fact, I know I didn't enjoy it. Because, you know, it was really good. And we got a bottle, Brad and I are both gonna buy a bottle because we both like bourbon a lot, even more than vodka. This is their d v eight, whiskey, awesome label you can see in bringing in sort of the Colorado deer elk feel here, really like the branding on this too. It's really clean, modern, distinctive, it's beautiful. I think it's cool. So we're gonna, we're just gonna leave this up here, I don't know, if we're gonna get to open it, maybe we will later. Let's see, once I start talking about academic papers, maybe Brad will open it won't be able to stop. So the idea here was, you know, we were having this conversation about academic papers. And then Brad was just kind of like, Yeah, I know, these things exist, I have no idea why. What you guys do, who would read this stuff and why it would matter. And, you know, I gotta admit, I've thought the same thing myself as someone who writes it. But I did think that this would be a good opportunity, rather than us just having sort of a broad ranging discussion about the nature of academia and that kind of thing. Let's look at some papers. You know, every every month, journals, academic journals, crank out a whole bunch of papers and publish them. And then people like me, read the ones we find interesting. And so I was looking at the papers I chose, I don't know how many we'll get through, we're new to this.


Brad Werner  16:24

Well, here's the other thing, Jeff, that I'd like to just just bring to the forefront is that you're also an entrepreneur. So by that title, you are you are, you have a filter, you can also you can relate to what's going on in the academic world, but you also can relate to the practical tools that are needed out in the field. Sure. And so I think that your filter bringing these papers to light, it's actually really, really an important part of this process.


Jeff York  16:51

Oh, I hope so. What we'll see, I mean, I think it's, I think it's, you know, one of our goals for this was how do we communicate, you know, the value of research more broadly to our stakeholders, because, you know, it's interesting being an Entrepreneurship Center in a university, like See you at Leeds School of Business. You know, a lot of our stakeholders are not academics. In fact, most of our stakeholders, certainly in the community are not academics. That's not to say we don't have relationships and sponsor research conferences and bring guest speakers in fact, we're doing that this Friday. We care a great deal about research, it's very important to us. But you know, there's an awful lot of people who care about what we do are very passionate about that. We also want to explain why we care about these things. So with no further ado, I don't know how many papers will get through, we have three. Brad, you did not read these by my instruction. Correct. I want to save I think Brad sleeps okay at night, so I didn't want to make him have any more of asleep here. But I've chose three papers, and we'll see if we make it through all of them. The first one I wanted to look at I love this title, by the way, urban farmers and cowboy coders, reimagining rural venturing in the 21st century. And the title is, I think, pretty evocative. And the other reason I chose this, first of all, this is a forthcoming paper. It's in the Academy of Management perspectives. And Brad just stopped me anytime with any questions like What the What the hell is the academy?


Brad Werner  18:10

I can't even get beyond the fricking title.


Brad Werner  18:18

Cuz Knights are


Jeff York  18:19

the podcasts went off the rails and never recovered. Yeah, so it's interesting. And again, we're gonna try to stay on the papers. But again, this is supposed to be a broad discussion.


Brad Werner  18:29

So let's stop


Jeff York  18:30

there, though. Because we look at these titles. It's interesting. We look at the three papers we have, right, yeah, there's a colon in every title. And this is sort of the thing about academic papers. It's always something evocative or hopefully evocative, then followed by a colon and something about what the paper is actually about. That's right. So we'll see that pattern emerge. Again, it's very interest is a very, very codifies codified and clear format to these things, the way they're done. Okay, these papers are a little funky. Actually, we're looking at


Brad Werner  19:02

this. So for me, it's always let's cut to the chase. How can this help me?


Jeff York  19:05

Sure. Sure. Well, okay, well, we're not going to get there just yet. No, I, but we will try. So So first of all, I also wanted to do this paper because it is it is impressed at the Academy of Management perspective. So the Academy of Management is this over overarching body of management scholarship. And it has multiple journals and perspectives in the past was supposed to be the one that was more appealing to practitioners or like Harvard Business Review kind of thing. But now it's become more like, Hey, we're gonna offer a broad perspective on a topic. It's not necessarily research and the way we often think about trying to answer a specific question. It's a perspective on something, usually trying to be evocative, a little bit kind of rubbing, you know, saying, hey, there's some problems here. And the last reason what it is paper is that the first author Richard hunt, Rick Kant, as we know him here at the cu, lead School Business, is an alumni of our program I really addressing guy, absolutely a very seasoned and successful entrepreneur who entered into academia as sort of his second career. And it's cool to see someone who really does have the gravitas and experience now writing and Rick has been very successful in publishing and very good journals, along with his co authors on this one, David M. Townsend, also a Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Stephen korsgaard, who's at the University of Southern Denmark, and Alexis Gnar, who is also at Virginia politics. Those are the authors of this paper. So I love the pedigree there, especially when you're


Brad Werner  20:36

an entrepreneur writing it. And we this is something we were talking about off camera a moment ago, though, maybe this being our first go with this, can you kind of explain the process of problem identification? Sure, right. So entrepreneurs, in a sense, look for a problem, provide a solution and test it. And how does that work in the academic Well, okay, so


Jeff York  20:55

it's interesting, because this paper actually talks about the way that we normally do that as being a problem as interesting problem identification in academia as a problem and of itself, not trying to get too metaphysical here or anything or paradoxical. But, um, so this paper is about reviewing, and then discussing future directions for research on rural entrepreneurship, which actually is a fourth reason I wanted to do it. Because Brad has been very involved in our dimming center efforts to go out into rural Colorado and work in communities to educate folks on entrepreneurship and help them out all volunteer work, I might.


Brad Werner  21:32

Yeah. Well, I think that rural outreach is really, really important for not only us at the university, but people who live in rural states, there's been a great migration to cities, and how can we actually give the smaller communities tools to create businesses, they're the people want to stay and live that great lifestyle, which they're so fortunate to be in?


Jeff York  21:52

Absolutely, in this paper talks a lot about that. And so what's interesting is the the basic gist of the the front end of the paper is, we know that's necessary. We know that's necessary. In the United States. We know there's a huge divide politically, socially, culturally, increasingly, economically between urban and rural citizens yet and entrepreneurship realm, we know things like exactly what you just said, right? We need to as educators, especially you were in a state, Colorado, I mean, we have a huge, you know, the state is really divided, it's it can be easily split in half, the Front Range is urban, seems like a big city, including boulder and Fort Collins, and we're very much You know, there's there's a whole foods on every block here in Boulder or something, it looks like it. And then we have a huge expanse of the rural part of the state with three miles away, which I know you go out to quite a bit or recreation as do I so so we spent a lot of time out there and realize, yeah, they don't, they don't always think it's finally if we would hope of the University of


Brad Werner  22:51

color. If you even look at it in a broader picture. It's like we live in two different countries.


Jeff York  22:54

Yes, absolutely. And


Brad Werner  22:55

how do we bring that together? Once again, I believe that entrepreneurship can create social change. And I think that this is a good lead into that as well.


Jeff York  23:04

Absolutely. And so, interestingly, back to your question, how do you figure out what is the problem you want to do this research on? So So Rick and his co authors here have said, The problem is, there's research on real entrepreneurship, but it's in all these different fields. It's happening in economics, it's happening in sociology, it's happening in rural in geography. It's not happening very much in the management literature. In fact, I think they have less than 12 papers published in what we consider a top management journal, are unreal entrepreneurship, and less than 1%. With that title, less far less than 1% is the exact wording this. So this is a topic that's gaining traction in the management literature and there and so they think about why. And their Why is the way that we in academia often think about what we should study is what they call the gap approach. We look for a gap in the literature, preferably something related to theory that we can then write a paper about, because it hasn't been written yet. And this is something that doesn't always really work that well, as an editor. I see this all the time, people have said, Well, nobody has studied this phenomenon. And the good editor and a good reviewers responses that maybe that's because it doesn't matter. And also, it leads to very much an incremental approach. And when you're trying to say when you're trying to break ground, so we just established in the paper, the establish rule, entrepreneurship is not studied very often. So when you're trying to establish and talk about something hasn't been studied very often, it's very hard to find a gap in that topic because no one's talking about it. Interesting. So they're saying that's one of the reasons this hasn't been studied. This is the problem. Our approach is usually to find these gaps. And because people aren't even talking about rural entrepreneurship doesn't matter. second criteria, we try to find things that have Have generalizability In other words, they're not dependent on the context, we could generalize them to all of entrepreneurship. So we take our friends here at deviate, and we say it doesn't matter that they're here in Boulder, like we want to find insights about them that we find work. And what they're arguing is, when you do that, you remove the reason for studying rural entrepreneurship. Because the context is what really matters here. That's what might provide these entrepreneurs some kind of advantage. It's them being embedded in these unique, localized, often traditional context, where they can know their network where they can find need to create something new. That's what's important. So there's a reason they don't stay that and then they talk about this idea of dichotomy. And this goes back to pragmatist philosophers like john Dewey, it's an American tradition of thought of taking things and saying, rather than it's important to have a distinction that we're going to economize. And then we're going to say they are separate and do not cross. And they talk about the dichotomy in urban versus rural entrepreneurship, which we all know doesn't make any sense. Because if you think about a rural entrepreneur, of course, they're going to have some interaction. I mean, they're not going to just only sell in their community, because


Brad Werner  26:10

their customer base is tight. But I have to tell you that after speaking to hundreds of rural entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs, they feel left out. Yeah, they actually feel alienated, and they don't know what to do, right. And hopefully, this paper can shed some light on some practical things that these folks can take advantage of.


Jeff York  26:29

Yeah, so the the practical prescriptions in this paper, are more about what we can do from a research perspective, to try to help advance research and entrepreneurship. So we would actually have an answer to that question, because I don't think we do. And actually, I love the way this paper ends, they say, if I can just flip to it very quickly. The specific circumstances related to rural entrepreneurship are poignant, colorful, and illustrative of key steps the field must take to correct its course, when I correct this course. I mean, to actually study this issue, the question now becomes, how will we respond? Does management's approach to real entrepreneurship suggests that we are ready or a mess, and I think they're trying to strongly again, it's a perspective that we're pretty remissed, they do have some practical things that I think are interesting. So if we look at the back of it, he's got this table here. And they talk about, the research tells us that one thing we do know about real entrepreneurs, they tend to have a sparser network.


Brad Werner  27:30

Now, does that take though an academic to figure that out? Or a guy that could just try


Jeff York  27:34

to tell you that but but then, but then the question becomes, does that sparse network actually help them? Or does it hurt them? Now, we could argue, of course, we think about resources, think about the bigger my network, the better off I am, right? Correct. Okay. Is that necessarily true? Right, mean, but if I just have a huge network of sort of very peripheral kind of contacts,


Brad Werner  27:56

but in reality, let's talk about maybe there's two entrepreneurs, are people willing to admit that they're entrepreneurs in these towns? Right, right. You may be. Right, but I'm talking there needs to be some sort of critical mass, right, and maybe beyond the critical mass. I don't know. That's that's not that's not a point for me even to get into argue. But I'd love to know, what is that critical mass for people that are out in the country right now. And my advice, without reading the paper is that in that situation, the bigger the network, the better the higher chances of success that you'll have. Because there's there's a people that in a sense that you can rely on that fill in needs that you may not have, and vice versa, right? Yeah.


Jeff York  28:38

Yeah. They and they actually talk a lot about that, in the paper, they talk about this idea that like, Look, you have to let go of this idea that somehow rural entrepreneurs are isolated from their urban counterparts, or they can't make those connections, we need to understand why they don't have that happens.


Brad Werner  28:53

Well, right. I mean, we could talk about infrastructure and all other issues. Right,


Jeff York  28:56

right. Right. The other aspect we talked about is is example setting and education. So exactly what what you guys are doing and what I hope to become more involved in as we go forward, right, is figuring out you know, how do you normalize entrepreneurship as a career path in rural communities where there may not be many successful entrepreneurs? That's right. How do you make that something that is not like some weird, strange sounding thing, but more like, you know, farmers are the ultimate entrepreneur, in my humble opinion, I totally agree. I mean, they, they struggle with all sorts of things that all entrepreneurs struggle with on a much more tangible and day to day, and frankly, difficult basis, a lot of the time. So I think those kinds of things are prescriptions that come out here. And then the other aspect that I think is interesting here, they talk about hyper contextualizing entrepreneurship, what does that mean? Exactly? Okay. So that means rather than saying, you know, we need to go teach these these folks in rural communities, the things that will work when you are here in Boulder and you're trying to do your tech startup and get into it, and Bear. I'm not I'm not I'm not trying to demean these things. These are incredibly valuable things that happen here. But do they really help someone like, you know, talk about some of the businesses you've worked with? Oh, no. I mean, is there any way useful


Brad Werner  30:11

to it's not an option? Right? Not an option for just for geographic reasons for cash resources, right? These these businesses are being started on shoestrings. Right. Right. And that's, it's a, it's an amazing, it's amazing testament to the individuals that are doing this. But yeah, they do that they would never have access to the types of resources that you're, you're referring to?


Jeff York  30:33

Yeah. And so and so figuring out how do you help people do that more effectively? Now, there are a few papers that are referenced in this study that talked about that one's a very famous one. Ted Baker's the first author on it, that talks about bricolage, the idea of making do with what's at hand, and they actually restoring rural entrepreneurs and showed they actually were incredibly creative at using their resources. I don't think what this study does is gives you what you want, exactly. It doesn't say, hey, Brad, here's some things, but does it at least maybe give you a way to think about, like a different approach to?


Brad Werner  31:10

Here's what it does for me beyond? Maybe there are a bunch of practical takeaways, right? If you're talking about if this paper helps shine, a spotlight right on the issue? Yes. That's a great,


Jeff York  31:22

that's what they're trying to do here. Okay, so it's absolutely


Brad Werner  31:25

100%. Behind the mission there. Yeah. To me, though, I don't live in the world that I know that this problem exists. I've the lights already been turned on in my brain. Yeah. But if this can bring other people and other really good minds to tackle these problems, all for it,


Jeff York  31:39

that's, that's what they're up to here. That's what they're trying to do. It's interesting, because they're kind of saying, look, you guys, this is a huge aspect. And they're really questioning. I know, you have mixed feelings about this quote, but I thought it was great. Because universities, we sometimes can get caught up in like, what's the what's the hot thing? We certainly see our students do that right here. Right. So I know you think this is a little prediction, I like it. Maybe competence is academic. While there's little doubt that digital forms of entrepreneurship might enjoy higher levels of total factor productivity, the relative prosperity of economies, the global north, will not be sustained by armies of social media influencers selling each other fashion tips and travel suggestions.


Brad Werner  32:21

Yeah. And my response to that is,


Jeff York  32:23

yeah, but but when you say that, do your students know that or do they?


Brad Werner  32:27

I think that's a great question.


Jeff York  32:30

And that's exactly what I'm talking about that the paper implies is like going out and trying to teach people in rural Kenya. Oh, well, you know, yeah, social media is where is that? Like? Yeah, like there's people and Okay, here's here's something. You didn't read the paper, right? Correct. Right. I'm gonna read you two vignettes. You tell me where if I let you tell me if one is located in rural Colorado, or here in Boulder, okay, squashed by Sam is doing a brisk business fresh from the fields. Sam's large crates of zucchini, pumpkin, butternut acorn, and delicata sellout in under an hour. Less than 20 feet away mountain song a local producer of artisanal cheese also packs up after another successful morning, having sold out 30 pounds of homemade cheese for a bounty of $754. Now, second vignette, literally and figuratively, 1000 miles away call Paulson and David Helm break up and another case of Red Bull, they have been coding a web application using Ruby on Rails for the past 30 hours. But there's still only two thirds finished with contracted work that must be written, tested and uploaded before the end of the week. Which ones


Brad Werner  33:31

the urban which I guess the urban one would be the first with the farmers market to smartphone. And the colors. They can live anywhere. Now why would you say yeah, so that's that's just it, because because I've met these people. Yeah. And it worked out there. I would have gone the other way.


Jeff York  33:46

Okay, cool. And that's and that's exactly what these guys are trying to put on this paper is we make some generalizations that these rural business and by the way, the second one is located in rural Arkansas. Okay. The first one was like, two miles from Brooklyn. So. So it's really interesting that they're showing through these vignettes now that you've actually worked in rural communities. But to me, you know, if you read that, I'll be honest, if I'd read that, oh, yeah, that's probably you know, the codings probably happening in the big cities. Sure, right. It makes


Brad Werner  34:13

sadly, in Berlin, it fits into everybody's stereotype.


Jeff York  34:16

And that's their thing. Here. They're talking about this idea of dichotomy. When you write that dichotomy, you close your mind down to what the opportunities are for these rural businesses, and you try to prescribe things that may not make any sense. And vice versa. Probably the emergent of craft industries, such as the one I think of deviate is being a craft industry. They're making small batch, really high quality vodka and spirits for a very localized community. Of course, they'll expand they already are in Hazel's, which are awesome other local business. But you know, it's this idea that like, you know, when we think about opportunity, let's not take the context and let that define what may or may not be an opportunity, but let's not also say context doesn't matter.


Brad Werner  35:00

I agree with absolutely done. Let me go one step farther is that I think that if you had read, read those two vignettes to a rural community group, yeah, that they actually may have gone with the stereotypical thinking, yes. And so they, in a sense, bought into the stereotype as well. So there is a mindset that needs to slowly be helped change in these rural communities, in effect that we can do this


Jeff York  35:24

right. And so to take it back to why academia can be useful. This is a long running conversation ever since the age of enlightenment, that Dewey and other pragmatist philosophers and other scholars have what is called American pragmatism have talked about and said, like, dichotomies, I will misquote Dewey, so forgive me, dichotomies are not only conversation killers, they're thought killers. Yep. And that's what this is illuminating. And hopefully this is useful in that it gets into the hands of those that are trying to teach entrepreneurship in rural areas, like yourself, and they start to think, well, I need to think about this differently. And then they have a whole slew of research questions. Now tell me, they don't have the answers here. Sure. But these research questions be helpful to the extent How does the interaction of alternative social cultural and technological logics and a rural venturing yield novel innovations? And what they mean by that is how do how do entrepreneurs and a rural community coming from very different backgrounds and bait and biases than those in an urban community? How does that yield novelty? Perhaps you see that? I don't know. I actually got it.


Brad Werner  36:36

I actually do. But I once again, I think it's this confidence level. And I think that some of the rural entrepreneurs can never paint with a general brush that Sure, of course, but but there are a large percentage of them that I've talked to that don't believe in their themselves enough that somebody else must be doing this in the big city where they have access to these other resources. Yeah. So why should I even start?


Jeff York  36:59

Yeah. And so it just ends up being that it's flipping that narrative for them crushing, you actually, are the ones that can come up with something, right?


Brad Werner  37:07

Because there could be a bunch of bombings somewhere else.


Jeff York  37:09

Exactly. That's right. And so so Oh, no. So what do you think?


Brad Werner  37:14

So I think it was very useful to me in the fact that if this lens is now shifting to how do we help rural communities, I'm all for it. I do think that there is a lot of verbiage in there. And I do not. Yeah, yeah, sure. But But once again, it's all about the focus the lens, and how can we provide tools for these folks that really, really need them? And I think this is a start, so I'm good with that.


Jeff York  37:36

Okay, cool. Good enough for me, then, I will say kudos to Rick and his co authors, I think, getting this in one of the academy journals. This is an influential journal. Yep. This is the journal. This is the kind of piece that people publish. And for me, it made me think about, well, hey, I should go talk to Brad. And maybe we could do a study on how these entrepreneurs do this and how it's different. I mean, you and I are in the classroom with a bunch of urban entrepreneurs. So I call people in Boulder, and then there's an opportunity to go out and study and study and understand these folks and how they might think differently or how we might help them or how they're the same.


Brad Werner  38:07

Is it your expectation that this paper actually could start that focus on rural communities?


Jeff York  38:12

Yeah, it's because of the thing we talked about the beginning of our conversation, the gap. Now, there's something published saying there's a gap. So now when I want to write my paper, I can hunt, I can, I can cite, hunt at all. 2020 when this paper comes out, and say there's a gap, and they said, there's a gap, it's not just me saying there's a gap. And so what this kind of a paper does is that it sort of breaks open the space for there to be more research in this. For what it's worth, I don't think that's the way great research gets written anyway, but it does, turn the focus and allow more of it to happen. And next time, we will talk about what these other papers which I do think one of them really does open up the path to great,


Brad Werner  38:57

a great man, you know, and one of our goals here is let's distill this and find some tools that can help people that are listening to our podcast right now. Yeah. The other thing I'd like to say is if people are have questions, or would like to email us, Katherine, who you'll hear from at the end of this can provide all of the contact information so that hopefully we can answer a few listeners questions every every time we go, oh, that would be awesome if people like wrote in. And


Jeff York  39:23

yeah, we could, especially with harsh criticism, we would love that.


Brad Werner  39:27

I'm all about


Jeff York  39:29

like, you know, telling us we have Rick right in I know, I know. You're capable of very harsh criticism, my friend. So yeah, right. And tell us how we got it wrong. In fact, I would love to have Rick on the show. I think he'd be okay. So awesome.


Brad Werner  39:40

So we have a lot of a lot of things in store, though, in the upcoming weeks with us. Yeah, really excited to move forward, Jeff. And I think that we can actually help stimulate some of the changes that we've discussed.


Jeff York  39:50

Yeah, I hope so. And our goal with this going forward, you know, perhaps we'll be talking about one paper. We also want to have guests on. So if you you're an academic out there who just published a paper recently about entrepreneurship, anything about entrepreneurship. Right to us,


Brad Werner  40:05

a practical entrepreneur like myself, come on and give me a little


Jeff York  40:08

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think that'd be great. I mean, we would love to have guests on from the boulder community or further abroad. And it'd be really fun brands if we could, you know, being the the clever guys we are. We could outsource and get the author to come talk to a guest entrepreneur, and then we could just sort of, you know, have wonderful products like deviate bourbon.


Brad Werner  40:27

Yeah, thanks. I think we should have a bourbon right now. Thank you very much.


Jeff York  40:29

I agree. All right. Thanks, Brad. Thanks, guys. All right, well, so that's it for the first episode of creative distillation. Hopefully, you found it interesting. And we will be working on these other two papers in the coming episodes. We'll also get some guests in here. And again, please write to us if you have ideas, suggestions, comments, vicious critiques, we welcome at all GVA does it fantastic products and thank you. Thank yo