One of the benefits of everything going up in smoke? You might just learn how to avoid creating that kind of fire—or Fyre Festival—again. Entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and start-up advisor Marc Weinstein is known as the voice of reason from Fyre, the Netflix documentary about the unparalleled disaster that was Fyre Festival. A Wharton graduate and former investment banker, Weinstein mines both successes and crises to produce a powerful message of mindful entrepreneurship. You can learn from mistakes before they’re made, engage ethically and meaningfully with the attention economy, and push back against the pressures of “toxic entrepreneurship.”
“Slapping slick marketing and charismatic storytelling on top of a weak foundation is a recipe for disaster. Fake it till you make it does not always work. It’s time for a new paradigm, where we no longer worship the charismatic CEO, but instead focus more on execution: building valuable products and services for consumers.”— Marc Weinstein
Think of charismatic CEOs like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg, who are worshipped for their innovation and unapologetic approach to getting things done. “Often in start-up culture, we hear phrases like we don’t take no for an answer, solutions not problems, and every problem is an opportunity,” says Marc Weinstein. These clichés might be true in some circumstances, but they can also lead to egregious decision making, as Weinstein witnessed firsthand as Fyre Festival’s music festival consultant. “We are bombarded with stories of heroic entrepreneurs who nearly failed, but in the 11th hour, pulled it off thanks to their incredible work ethic, drive, and differentiated thinking,” he says. But what happens when they don’t? Weinstein’s anchoring talks challenge audiences to resist the hero narrative, instead opting to surround ourselves with the right colleagues, taking expert advice when it's provided, and empowering those around us to make realistic decisions.
Weinstein is currently a Principal at Wave Financial, a leading venture capital firm in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, where he leads the investment team. He is an active advisor to start-ups, including Prime Social Group, Siempo, and Swytch. Prior to this, Weinstein worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Jefferies & Co. A serial entrepreneur with multiple start-ups (like the smash 90sFest) under his belt, Weinstein is currently developing a podcast that addresses the modern challenges that Millennials face, like social media addiction. The show shines an insightful light on entrepreneurs and researchers trying to solve these problems. Weinstein built the #1 ’90s account on Instagram, which he then expanded into 90sFest—spanning multiple markets with more than 10,000 attendees—before selling it to Scopus Media in 2017.