Join UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, our talented panelists and our moderator, Paul Wetenhall, President of Ventureprise at UNC Charlotte and UNC Kenan-Flagler alumnus (MBA 1975), as…
Insights and Wisdom From The 2013 NC Entrepreneurship Summit Keynote Address
November 26, 2013 at 8:18 AM
Doug Lebda is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur.
As Keynote Speaker for the 2013 NC Entrepreneurship Summit, Doug Lebda, who is founding CEO of Lending Tree, shared his idea to start Lending Tree, which birthed after his own miserable experience of trying to secure a mortgage.
As one of Charlotte’s most successful entrepreneurs, Doug’s startup-to- big-league is a classic underdog story that we find easy to root for and stay hungry for key lessons learned along this storied journey.
As he leads the turnaround effort, Doug and his team has reinvented Lending Tree by diversifying across other industries and replicating the company’s initial mortgage model for other industries such as healthcare, autos, education, home equity loans and insurance.
Doug showed up at the Summit to share his wisdom gleaned over 17 years at the helm of Lending Tree with rich and relevant sound-bite bullets, each loaded with substantive stories to drive home main points and capture key elements of what goes in to building a great company:
- Think Differently (essence of creative thinking, design thinking)
- Businesses Fail, Entrepreneurs Don’t. (Failure is a valuable part of your journey)
- Great Ideas Come From Wet Feet (the LL Bean startup story: his new company, Tykoon, came from Doug’s and his co-founder’s frustration of teaching their own kids about money)
- Teams Win (Hard to succeed as an Individual. Don’t hire dopes, only talent wins)
- Solve Advice Overload (by listening only to those willing to put skin in the game)
- Sell Always and Sell Differently (A fast no - there’s nothing better in life. The Magic Question – “What would it take to…?)
- Customers Are People, Not Pie Charts. (Choose simplicity over complicated)
- Fail Fast, Often and Small (Entrepreneurs are great at making small bets – this is the notion behind the ‘pivot’; be ok with not creating the perfect thing first)
- Write, Read, Live your Mission, Vision and Values (People don’t follow what you say; they follow what they see)
- You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play
After experiencing the frustrations and complexities of getting his first mortgage, Doug envisioned a way to empower consumers in the loan process where banks compete for the customers' business. Now years later, alongside successfully run businesses, Doug’s stories have (and continue to) empower entrepreneurs to create the future, not just predict it.
- Marilyn Carpenter, director of venture development
About Marilyn: Marilyn Carpenter serves as Ventureprise’s director of venture development. With over twenty years of working with and for entrepreneurs in pivotal sales, marketing and business development roles, Marilyn assists clients to accelerate their growth through coaching effective go-to-market and customer acquisition strategies.
Marilyn is also a published author, blogger and a speaker. Her topics on Ventureprise Vibe are focused on provocative innovation-driven entrepreneurs and enterprises, Lean Startup methods, and storytelling about clients and people up to big things in the entrepreneurial space.