Episode from the podcastOutlier On Air | Founders, Disruptors, & Mavens

149: Peter Horan- Changing with Technology

Released Tuesday, 27th January 2015
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“Technology doesn’t create new behaviors, what it does is it facilitates and accelerates behaviors people already have.”

“Technology changes fast, and people change slowly.”

“The only reason we succeeded, is because no one took us seriously.” - Peter Horan

About: Peter Horan – Founder of Horan MediaTech Advisors

Peter C. Horan is an entrepreneur with a history of building successful media and internet businesses. He has played a role in five major revolutions in media and technology including: home video games; personal computers; cell phones; Windows computing; and the internet.

Overview: Throughout this interview, Peter walks us through his entrepreneurial journey and how he became involved in the tech world. He discusses the ups and downs of technology, what is valued today, and how he learned to spot potential even when it seemed dim.

peterhoranPeter Horan


History: Back when Peter got involved in technology, it was very risky to do so because of the unknown. In the early days, Peter was selling kit computers and at the time the general population was uninterested in personal computers, but he was determined to see all of these technological innovations through. Peter was never afraid to ask questions. Throughout the interview, Peter walks us through all the changes that he was apart of over the years. He explains how he was able to grow and how the knowledge of technology has become widespread.

Definition of Disruptive Technology

Changing Environments: Since technology is rapidly evolving, we must learn to adapt and change with it. Peter says that people have a hard time envisioning what a new type of technology is going to do for them. He explains that when something new is coming to the market, that it must be presented in a way that people can relate to. They must show how technology is going to help them accomplish that thing in a much simpler way.

What Peter Looks For in Technology: How something is accomplished, from daily tasks, to others finding information with that technology. Peter states that in the last 10 years a lot of value in technology has been created from what used to be the fact section in the newspapers. For example, finding out what’s playing at the movie theaters, looking for a house, buying/selling a car- all of which made a lot of money in the newspapers. There must be value in what each new piece of technology offers.

How to Work a Niche Business: Starting a niche business can be tough, there are a lot of ups and downs involved with doing so. Peter uses Starbucks as a good example of starting something niche. Starbucks did more then just sell coffee, they sold an environment where people could sit down, talk, listen to music, and eventually added food to their menus. Every couple of years, they come up with something else to add to their business for their consumers. Peter explains that whenever you’re starting something new, especially niche, you need to know your consumers. You need to know what you can do to add to your business every couple of years to engage those loyal customers.

What Peter Does Now: Peter sits on the board of directors of several companies, and also advises tech companies on how to excel. He is also an avid blogger where he shares thoughts and insights, and educational information for his followers.

Advice for Tech Entrepreneurs: Let’s not learn all the wrong lessons from the history of Silicon Valley. For Peter, he started in the tech industry because it was fun and interesting, and so he could change the world even though it seemed like a dodgy career at the time. He says often times for tech entrepreneurs, the future is always number 8 on the list of top priorities- be willing to be part of that future even when it’s not obvious. The why, the how, and the what next is what’s valuable to people.

Take Away: Peter is an excellent example of believing in something small. He has been apart of the tech world since the 1970’s and has grown immensely with it. He teaches us that as entrepreneurs, the future needs to be top on our priority list.


Connect With Peter:

Website | @PeterCHoran

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