Author John Liddy Speaks On Innovation And Social Media

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this far-ranging interview with John Liddy, the “entrepreneur-in-residence” at Syracuse. All quotes courtesy of, who really did a fantastic job drawing on Liddy’s experience in the world of New York business.

Vision Is Important

What separates the current generation of students and young workers from their predecessors, Liddy said, are grand aims. Young entrepreneurs see the success of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, and want to find their own ways to be successful.

“It’s what they see in the world and their ability to change it. There’s a desire to do what they want,” Liddy said.

Social media is a huge piece of that puzzle. Increasingly, students like Liddy’s are looking to the web for their start-ups, seeking to create competition or complements for companies like Facebook. Those who aren’t trying to do so independently are well-versed in social media, Liddy said, and can be nice fits for companies looking to bolster their efforts in that arena.

Keeping Up With The Web

The Internet evolves at such a rapid pace that Darwin’s ghost is feeling woozy, but that doesn’t mean companies have to fall behind.

Liddy said there are ways to keep up on trends, chief among them trend websites that track such things. Keeping abreast of technology changes is important, but it’s not always a wise decision to jump on the train before it gets firmly established in the public. is a great site for the social media and technology. It gives you an idea of what’s trendy,” Liddy said. “But you don’t change or innovate just for technology’s sake.”

Integrating Innovation

Liddy believes it’s one thing to talk about encouraging innovation and another thing entirely to actually follow through on it. He suggests that managers take a look in the mirror and decide which they’re doing. If it’s the former, it’s probably time to get out on the floor and talk to employees who might have ideas to contribute. Liddy, who said he used to ride alongside drivers at his $300 million New York oil firm, believes some of the best ideas come from employees.

“Too frequently, once people go up the ladder, they don’t go back down. If you don’t know the name of the janitor in your building, you are not doing your job,” Liddy said.

I hope the interview was an interesting read for you. Feel free to discuss it in the comments.

Photo credit goes to