Business, People

Jay Adelson. Innovator. Entrepreneur. Detroit Evangelist.

Future Midwest wrapped up day one of the conference with a dynamic keynote speaker that had a message tailored just for Southeast Michigan.

Former Digg CEO Jay Adelson was clearly excited to be on stage. The Southfield native used his time to remind Metro Detroit that there is a large pool of talent in the region. The region boasts great schools, affordable lifestyles, creative thinkers and a strong work ethic. It is the type of place where entrepreneurs should thrive.

[See our pre-keynote interview with Jay Adelson on our Youtube Channel]

Which is exactly why he challenged the standing room crowd to just get a little crazy.

“You need to find that screw that’s loose and loosen it a bit more,” Adelson said.

He pointed out that several well known industry leaders were thought to be just a little crazy. Henry Ford was crazy for thinking that people wanted something other than a horse to power their transportation. Bill Gates was a little crazy for pointing out the dangers of malaria worldwide by releasing a jar of mosquitos during a speech. Even his grandfather, who owned an electronics store on Eight Mile and Greenfield in the 1960’s was a little crazy in his drive to create a retail shopping experience. All three men were moved the thinking of the world by their craziness. That is the type of crazy Adelson wishes for Detroit.

Adelson even laid out a bit of a challenge for the Detroit region.

“If you want to make a difference in Detroit, I would say think about those limits that have been set for you — anything you’ve been told is impossible — find one and break it, because there’s no people better qualified to do that than the people in this room,” he stated.

Entrepreneur. Innovator. Proud new dad. Keynote speaker. All of these terms could be used to describe Adelson, but tonight the Future Midwest crowd knows there is one more term that should be used to describe him, Detroit evangelist.

We had a chance to sit down with him before his speech. The video is below.

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2 comments on “Jay Adelson. Innovator. Entrepreneur. Detroit Evangelist.

  1. How can someone be called a Detroit Evangelist but not live in Detroit? He can be a fan, but everyone needs to realize that this guy didn't make it his riches in Detroit and he still doesn't live here. The weakness we Detroiters have is that we worship everyone outside of Detroit. We focus on outsiders talents and never on our own. Detroit needs to start glorifying the hard working people here.

  2. Tony, I'll agree that we have a ton of talent in this region that does get overlooked and that was one of the points Adelson made in his keynote Friday. Given the completely negative bias toward Detroit in the national media, I am surprised when anyone speaks highly about Detroit who doesn't live here. My question is why does someone have to live here to be excited about our region?

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