A healthcare company started by President George W. Bush’s cousin Jonathan Bush has the tagline “More Disruption Please” for their program designed to help foster the building of innovative ways for the healthcare industry to operate effectively.

The Disruptors

Disruption is obviously caused by disruptors and most of the time it is looked as positive in the startup world. Disruptors are those individuals who look at someone taking advantage of a confusion of facts and they in turn do something that causes pain for others in that industry, leading to something different. Oftentimes that new thing is a change in the very business models used.

Confirmation Bias

Favoring a specific worldview is precisely how we get confirmation bias and fail to see that, for many, we really need more disruption. While they are very excited to fund disruption in other industries, the VC’s sat there, mouth-agape and with their chin hitting their mahogany desks, as their industry changed — at least in the city of Austin.

Disruptor

[dis-rupht-or]

One who causes disorder or turmoil in

One who destroys, usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity of; interrupt

One who radically changes (an industry, business strategy, etc.), as by introducing a new product or service that creates a new market

The very people who used the term positively to describe me and my work taking on the automotive repair, education, hospitality, and healthcare industries, had morphed it into a new meaning.

Disruptor

[dis-rupht-or]

He who threw a grenade in our backyard and exposed our abuse of the confusion of facts.

I am very proud to wear the new D that sits emblazoned across my chest. (Your jokes are welcomed and appreciated)

For the first time ever — damage control pieces started flowing

Some decided to pen damage control pieces to the Dark Ages that were less than welcomed by the entrepreneur community due to their new-found lack of trust in the very words that used to be spoken as startup gospel. The industry in Austin shifted, uncomfortably. Backroom conversations were made public. People started talking about my written work — a lot. There was a noticeable buzz.

What they didn’t know is that the attachment of the new scarlet letter to my chest had the unintended consequence of propelling my work on the other side of the table from them.

Unbeknownst to them, I covertly helped dozens of companies negotiate for better terms from a position of power with information gained by my own experience and by that gained from my new-found fame. That fame allowed me the opportunity to talk with hundreds of entrepreneurs who reached out with their own stories. Hundreds of them.

Value creation for the entrepreneurs

In one instance I saw a valuation presented by the firm to a company updated by close to 200% because the venture capitalist wasn’t going to make the entrepreneur’s short list.

Look for me walking around like Austin’s subversive super hero

Today I wear my scarlet letter more proudly than ever. It is my badge of honor for having had some small part in kicking off disruption within Austin’s venture capital industry. I am still asked on a regular basis to help new startup companies with their preparations to meet investors and venture capitalists. I do so whenever I can. I advise a half dozen companies in a more established role because of my knowledge and experience.

Interestingly… I became the outspoken ass I am, demanding more from others, because of my own health scare.

You may not be aware of the reason I took the opportunity to help less-experienced entrepreneurs by writing the Dark Ages article. For those of you reading who don’t know, I had a blood clot that made its way to my brain through a trans ischemic attack and came millimeters from causing a stroke or even my death. I was given a second chance at life. I seized the opportunity to share and wrote about the experience in my fiction-esque Medium piece that was published a mere month before my Dark Ages article.

Where do we go from here?

Calling all disruptors! Continue to disrupt. Continue to find places where the cards are stacked on the side of the incumbents and look for someone taking advantage of the “confusion of facts” I wrote about earlier. Push the envelope. Help and share your thoughts with others in the startup community.

Disruptor & Austin entrepreneur with 4 acquisitions and 2 exits to the public markets. Proud father, husband, and philanthropist. @richardbagdonas