Daniel Epstein on building an “Us” world through collaborative advantage - Kathy Varol
Daniel Epstein
July 20, 2022   |   Episode #: 034

Daniel Epstein on building an “Us” world through collaborative advantage

Show Notes:

Daniel Epstein is one of the most impactful leaders of our generation. He is the Founder and CEO of Unreasonable Group, a company that takes a unique approach to accelerating the scaling of growth-stage companies solving the world’s biggest problems. Unreasonable Group does a lot of things, as Daniel says, “It’s hard to describe exactly what Unreasonable Group is. It’s a company. A portfolio of initiatives. A rallying cry. An investment firm. A family. But to try to fully define it would mean to put it in a box, potentially jeopardizing its multifaceted uniqueness.”

Today, their community of 324 Unreasonable Fellows is positively impacting over 1.4 billion individuals in more than 180 countries, and they have raised 8.9b in financing and generated $7.9 in revenue. Unreasonable Group believes that community is everything. Standing by that belief, the Unreasonable Fellows have lifetime support from their fellow peers, and a community of top-notch mentors ranging from Nobel Laureates to renowned executives and policymakers.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Unreasonable Group is re-purposing capitalism (the most powerful tool of our age)
  • The importance of mentorship and peer support at any stage in a CEO’s journey
  • What business and a hammer have in common (you might be surprised!)
  • The important life lesson we can all learn from a little-known parable

Key Takeaways: 

  • I loved Daniel’s logical approach, rooted in his philosophy background, to business. “What do all entrepreneurs have in common? All entrepreneurs design solutions to problem sets. I can choose the nature of the problem sets I want to solve. Therefore, I’m only going to work on problem sets worthy of my life’s work.”  WOW. Take a moment to consider, is your organization working on problem sets that are worthy of your life’s work?
  • Never underestimate the magnetic power of making a difference. I am blown away by the caliber of mentors Unreasonable Group has, from Nobel Laureates to renowned executives and policymakers. It was refreshing to hear Daniel explain how they got these top-notch, unpaid mentors onboard. Unreasonable Group humbly offered them a chance to use their expertise where it’s needed, with a chance to contribute to world-changing enterprises. That offer is compelling. It’s not transactional. It taps into our deeply wired intrinsic motivation to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
  • There is power and freedom in shifting thinking from harnessing a competitive advantage, to nurturing a collaborative advantage in business. The very definition of a competitive advantage builds off a scarcity mindset. There isn’t enough to go around, so hone your niche as well as possible while you fortify the walls of your castle in order to take an increasing slice of the limited pie. This mindset is insular, creating a divide of “us” and “them”, and a winner-takes-all world. But a collaborative advantage creates a cooperative world full of abundant possibilities. Your business can still be an expert in something, but you are liberated to lift your gaze to see how your expertise can be combined with another expert, and another, to create a collaborative impact that would never be possible from a single entity. You start building an “us” world, where you’re playing on the same team, each position working together like a championship basketball team. Instead of being rooted in scarcity and fear, you’re rooted in collaboration and possibility.


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