Pop Quiz, Monday with Don Baker

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Don Baker

What is your job role?
I am the Founder, Senior Partner, and Visionary for Innception. In my role, I invent and cofound new and novel technology companies, products, and services as well as counsel growing companies on how they can leverage emerging technology (data science, gamification, GIS, etc.) to gain a disruptive and competitive market advantage.

Tell us about your company?
Innception creates and counsels elite companies that have the potential to disrupt markets through innovative technology. We are a small and agile business with experience spanning numerous industries — defense, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, IoT, energy, arts, agriculture, and more.

What motivates you to get up everyday and go to work?
Probably the fact that it doesn’t feel like work. There aren’t a lot of companies like Innception. I designed the business to play to my strengths and passions – technology, problem-solving, data science, and helping people.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-founder–Amadeus Guchhait–is a creative and business genius, lots of fun, skilled in areas I am not (he’s my compliment), and someone I trust completely. These attributes and many others–including his passion for helping people, desire to create a social impact, and incredible work ethic–inspire me each day.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are jokesters. We are always making each other laugh.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Admin – the necessary evil of business!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Fundraising is hard but not impossible. There are many reasons why you may be turned down for funding that have nothing to do with your company or product. In many cases, timing is everything.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
For aspiring entrepreneurs, my advice is:

  1. Don’t go it alone. Your odds of success are much greater if you have a co-founder by your side. The trick is finding the right one. That’s something Innception can help with.
  2. Find an experienced shepherd to support and guide you. The overwhelming majority of startup failure can be attributed to poor decisions made prior to launch. A good shepherd can help you make better-informed decisions and increase your risk of startup success.
  3. Follow your passion. I truly believe that if you follow your passion, success will follow you. The challenge is to find the right idea to pursue that both harnesses your passion and is commercially viable. This is what Innception specializes in.

It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to fail.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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