Josh Linkner | Serial Entrepreneur, New York Times Bestselling Author, and Venture Capital Investor

Josh Linkner

Serial Entrepreneur, New York Times Bestselling Author, and Venture Capital Investor

Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner— a New York Times bestselling author — is a rare blend of business, art, and science. 

On the business front, he’s been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which created over 10,000 jobs and sold for a combined value of over $200 million. He’s the co-founder and Managing Partner of Mudita (moo-DEE-tah) Venture Partners - an early-stage venture capital firm investing in groundbreaking technologies. Over the last 30 years, he’s helped over 100 startups launch and scale, creating over $1 billion in investor returns. He’s twice been named the EY Entrepreneur of The Year and is the recipient of the United States Presidential Champion of Change Award. While proud of his business success, his roots are in the dangerous world of jazz music. He’s been playing guitar in smoky jazz clubs for 40 years, studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and has performed over 1000 concerts around the world. 

His experiences in both business and music led him to become one of the world’s foremost experts on innovation. Josh is the co-founder and Chairman of Platypus Labs, a global research, training, and consulting firm. Today, he’s on a mission to help leaders Find A WayTM through creative problem-solving, inventive thinking, and ingenuity. 

Josh Linkner
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Josh Linkner
Featured Keynote Programs

Find A Way™

A proven innovation framework to solve problems, accelerate opportunity and sustain growth.

As we enter a new era of business, 50% of leaders in the United States have lost confidence in their ability to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. The level of disruption, technology threats, and volatility can be paralyzing. We are in a leadership crisis and must embrace a new model to meet today's challenges.

Prolific entrepreneur, venture capital investor, and innovation expert Josh Linkner helps you Find A Way™ through his proven 5-step innovation framework for cultivating full-organization ingenuity. Whatever outcomes you crave the most - from sales growth to competitive advantage to employee engagement - you’ll walk away with specific tools to drive sustainable success.

The Find a Way™ framework prioritizes agility over brute force, creativity over hustle, and improvisation over perfect planning. Leaders who embrace the model are inspired and better equipped. They feel confident to move forward into the darkness and have a newfound capacity to win consistently, no matter the circumstances.

This keynote serves leaders & teams who are:

●  Facing uncertainty and volatility.

●  Seeking better ways to drive the outcomes they crave the most.

●  Struggling to keep up with the pace of change.

The audience will leave with:

●  A proven model for harnessing ingenuity to solve any problem and seize any opportunity.

●  Innovative strategies to drive better results every day.

●  The confidence to walk into the unknown and emerge victorious.

The Innovative Leader

A modern framework to lead with confidence in the face of uncertainty and change

The business you're running today isn't the business you'll be running next year. In this moment of volatility and uncertainty, we are being called to lead in a radically different way... more decisive, creative, and adaptable. So how can we use this defining moment to ensure relevancy, sustainability, and success in the future?

In this inspiring and practical keynote, battle-tested CEO, venture capital investor, and leadership expert Josh Linkner delivers a modern and accessible framework to help leaders thrive in the face of uncertainty and leverage their skills to move into uncharted territory with confidence.

You’ll learn how to unlock inventive thinking, creative problem-solving, and ingenuity in every box of the org chart. The most successful leaders today help everyday people become every day innovators. They make sure that innovation is an everyday business.

This can’t-miss session goes way beyond the future of work. This is the future of growth, the future of relevancy, the future of leadership, and the future of success.

A modern framework to lead with confidence in the face of uncertainty and change

This keynote serves leaders & teams who are:

● Being called to lead in a bold, new way

● Overwhelmed with the demands of modern leadership

● Craving a more innovative approach to drive explosive growth, gain competitive advantage, and get more from their teams

The audience will leave with:

● A modern framework for innovative leadership

● Insights from some of the world’s most prolific leaders

● A behind-the-scenes view of legendary business disruption

● Strategies to drive growth, engagement, and success amid change and uncertainty

The Music of Business™

What business leaders can learn about collaboration, creativity, and performance under pressure from the mysterious world of jazz.

The mysterious and dangerous world of jazz is a caldron of spontaneous creativity. And in times of radical change and uncertainty, it serves as the perfect model for modern leadership. Professional jazz guitarist and prolific entrepreneur Josh Linkner connects the dots between jazz and business, helping to unlock the secrets of some of the world’s most creative geniuses. Using live jazz as a metaphor for collaborative innovation, this session is entertaining, inspiring, and directly applicable to the daily challenges we face in business. A fusion of live musical performance and keynote presentation, the session’s finale includes audience members “joining the band” to compose and perform a song in real-time to the delight of the audience. Cameras will flash as the entire group is dazzled by their colleagues' improvisation and spontaneous invention.

This keynote serves leaders & teams who are:

●    Looking for an elevated experience beyond a typical keynote.

●    Craving deeper collaboration, creativity, and performance.

●    Seeking a way to stand out from the pack and lead in a fresh, creative manner.

The audience will leave with:

●    The mindset and perspective of a jazz musician serving as a creative new model for business growth and results.

●    A deeper understanding of collaborative creativity and specific tools to harness inventive thinking and artistic expression.

●    A memorable and inspiring sense of what’s possible and how to push boundaries and barriers to achieve remarkable outcomes.

●    The creative confidence to pursue our highest calling and to never let the music inside us die.

Disciplined Dreaming™

A proven system to drive breakthrough creativity. 

In our modern AI-driven world, creativity has become the currency of success. It’s the one thing that can’t be outsourced or automated; the indisputable competitive advantage. We are all hard-wired to be creative, yet most of us have underdeveloped creative skills. And today, more than ever before, creative problem-solving and inventive thinking are crucial to overcoming obstacles and seizing opportunities.

Based on the breakaway New York Times bestselling book published in 19 languages and globally recognized by over 2 million readers as the definitive work on applied creativity, author and creativity expert Josh Linkner takes the audience on a journey to unlock their dormant creative capacity. Inspiring stories, surprising truths, and instantly-applicable solutions make this keynote both energizing and actionable.

This keynote serves leaders & teams who are:

● Facing increasing challenges and competitive threats

● Craving a new approach to harness their full creative potential

● Struggling to keep up with the pace of innovation

The audience will leave with:

● A proven model for harnessing and applying human creativity

● An understanding of how the most innovative and disruptive leaders think and act

● Practical techniques to generate more high-quality ideas at any time and for any challenge

Josh Linkner
Featured Books

Big Little Breakthroughsby Josh Linkner

Big Little Breakthroughs

by Josh Linkner

A surprisingly simple approach to help everyday people become everyday innovators.

The pressure to generate big ideas can feel overwhelming. We know that bold innovations are critical in these disruptive and competitive times, but when it comes to breakthrough thinking, we often freeze up.

Instead of shooting for a $10-billion payday or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus on Big Little Breakthroughs—small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By cultivating daily micro-innovations, individuals and organizations are better equipped to tackle tough challenges and seize transformational opportunities.

How did a convicted drug dealer launch and scale a massively successful fitness company? What core mindset drove LEGO to become the largest toy company in the world? How did a Pakistani couple challenge the global athletic shoe industry? What simple habits led Lady Gaga, Banksy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda to their remarkable success?  

Big Little Breakthroughs isn’t just for propeller-head inventors, fancy-pants CEOs, or hoodie-donning tech billionaires. Rather, it’s a surpassingly simple system to help everyday people become everyday innovators.

Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackersby Josh Linkner

Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers

by Josh Linkner

What if hacking approaches could be redirected for productive means? How can we harness the positive attributes of hacking to drive meaningful outcomes in our companies, careers, and communities? New York Times bestselling author Josh Linkner has 'cracked the code' in his latest book, Hacking Innovation, providing a new framework for innovation, reinvention, and transformation. Linkner reveals the Five Core Mindsets and Ten Primary Tactics of hackers as the new model for complex problem solving, innovation, and growth. These fresh approaches enable leaders at all levels to topple their competition with stunning efficiency. Hacking Innovation translates the complex hacker philosophy into a simple, yet effective system for modern business success. To uncover these secrets, Linkner immersed himself into the dangerous and clandestine world of hackers. Insights from ex-cons, secretive hacking societies, the FBI, and cyber-security giants deliver drama and suspense. He also penetrates the caffeine-driven world of tech startups, revealing the stealthy practices that have launched tech founders into the rarified billionaires club. All told, Linkner delivers the definitive work to propel the next generation of leaders and innovators.  

The Road to Reinventionby Josh Linkner

The Road to Reinvention

by Josh Linkner

Companies, communities, and individuals fall for many reasons, but one of the most common--and easily avoidable--is the failure to reinvent. When people and organizations rest on prior successes rather than driving purposeful transformation, they discover too late that they have lost their market position altogether to competitors and external forces.

The most successful companies, brands, and individuals make reinvention a regular part of their business strategies. Transformation demands an ongoing process of discovery and imagination, and The Road to Reinvention lays out a systematic approach for continually challenging and reinventing yourself and your business. Venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Josh Linkner identifies six elements in any business that are ripe for reinvention and shares examples, methods, and step-by-step techniques for creating deliberate, productive disruption.

Throughout The Road to Reinvention, Linkner also explores the history--the great rise, unprecedented fall, and now rebirth--of his beloved hometown, Detroit. First rising to greatness as the result of breathtaking innovation, Detroit had generations of booming growth before succumbing to apathy, atrophy, and finally bankruptcy. Now, the city is rising from the ashes and driving sustainable success through an intense focus on reinvention. Linkner brings an insider's view of this incredible story of grit, determination, and creativity, sharing his perspective on Detroit's successes and setbacks as a profound example of large-scale organizational and personal transformation.

Change is inevitable. You need to decide: Will you drive that change, or be driven away by it? Will you disrupt or be disrupted? By choosing to deliberately reimagine your own status quo, you can secure a strong future for both your company and your career.

Disciplined Dreamingby Josh Linkner

Disciplined Dreaming

by Josh Linkner
A 5-part process that will transform your organization -- or your career -- into a non-stop creativity juggernaut

We live in an era when business cycles are measured in months, not years. The only way to sustain long term innovation and growth is through creativity-at all levels of an organization. Disciplined Dreaming shows you how to create profitable new ideas, empower all your employees to be creative, and sustain your competitive advantage over the long term. Linkner distills his years of experience in business and jazz -- as well as hundreds of interviews with CEOs, entrepreneurs, and artists -- into a 5-step process that will make creativity easy for you and your organization. The methodology is simple, backed by proven results.

  • Empowers individuals, teams, and organizations to meet creative challenges posed by the marketplace
  • Turns the mystery of creativity into a simple-to-use process
  • Shows how creativity can be used for everything from innovative, game-shifting breakthroughs to incremental advances and daily improvements to business processes
  • Offers dozens of practical exercises, thought-starters, workouts to grow "creative muscles," and case studies

Disciplined Dreaming shows even the stuffiest corporate bureaucracies how to cultivate creativity in order to become more competitive in today's shifting marketplace.

- #4 New York Times Best Seller (Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous)

- #8 New York Times Best Seller (Hardcover Business)

- #2 Wall Street Journal Best Seller (Hardcover Business)

- #9 Wall Street Journal Best Seller (Hardcover Nonfiction)

- #9 Washington Post Best Seller (Hardcover Nonfiction)

- #1 USA Today Best Seller (Money)

- #10 Entertainment Weekly Best Seller (Hardcover Nonfiction)

- #10 Publishers Weekly Bestseller (Hardcover Nonfiction)

Josh Linkner
Featured Reviews

Josh Linkner
Featured Articles & Resources

The Brain Science of Becoming More Creative

When we hear stories about iconic leaders like's founder Marc Benioff, or widely celebrated virtuosos like Lin-Manuel Miranda for that matter, we immediately...
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New Thinking for the New Era of Business

Albert Einstein famously noted, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used when we created them." In our post-COVID world of skyrocketing inflation,...
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When an Astronaut Needs a Pen

Ever get stuck on a problem, only to realize you’re solving for the wrong thing? That’s exactly what happened when the rocket scientists at NASA were trying to make astronauts’...
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How Shake Shack Drives Innovation

Do you prefer the crispy mozzarella, tempura watercress, and black garlic mayonnaise cheeseburger or the pumpkin mustard, bacon, cranberries, and sage hot dog? For something...
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Lady Gaga's Secret to Creativity

Just before she won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, I watched Lady Gaga dazzle the live audience with a pitch perfect performance of her hit "Shallow." From her stage...
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Creativity: Does Size Matter?

For some reason, we've been taught that for creativity and innovation to count they need to have a magnitude the size of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. As you may recall,...
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